Bangladesh Population: 159,453,001


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The huge delta region formed at the confluence of the Ganges and Brahmaputra River systems - now referred to as Bangladesh - was a loosely incorporated outpost of various empires centered on the Gangetic plain for much of the first millennium A.D. Muslim conversions and settlement in the region began in the 10th century, primarily from Arab and Persian traders and preachers. Europeans established trading posts in the area in the 16th century. Eventually the area known as Bengal, primarily Hindu in the western section and mostly Muslim in the eastern half, became part of British India. Partition in 1947 resulted in an eastern wing of Pakistan in the Muslim-majority area, which became East Pakistan. Calls for greater autonomy and animosity between the eastern and western wings of Pakistan led to a Bengali independence movement. That movement, led by the Awami League (AL) and supported by India, won the independence war for Bangladesh in 1971. The post-independence AL government faced daunting challenges and in 1975 was overthrown by the military, triggering a series of military coups that resulted in a military-backed government and subsequent creation of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in 1978. That government also ended in a coup in 1981, followed by military-backed rule until democratic elections occurred in 1991. The BNP and AL have alternated in power since 1991, with the exception of a military-backed, emergency caretaker regime that suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. That government returned the country to fully democratic rule in December 2008 with the election of the AL and Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA. In January 2014, the incumbent AL won the national election by an overwhelming majority after the BNP boycotted, extending HASINA's term as prime minister. In December 2018, HASINA secured a third consecutive term (fourth overall) with the Awami League coalition securing 96% of available seats, amid widespread claims of election irregularities. With the help of international development assistance, Bangladesh has reduced the poverty rate from over half of the population to less than a third, achieved Millennium Development Goals for maternal and child health, and made great progress in food security since independence. The economy has grown at an annual average of about 6% over the last two decades and the country reached World Bank lower-middle income status in 2014.

    Most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal
Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India
Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 90 00 E
Area: total: 148,460 sq km
land: 130,170 sq km
water: 18,290 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Pennsylvania and New Jersey combined; slightly smaller than Iowa
Land Boundaries: total: 4,413 km border countries (2): Burma 271 km, India 4142 km
Coastline: 580 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: to the outer limits of the continental margin
Climate: tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)
Terrain: mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast
Natural resources: natural gas, arable land, timber, coal
Land use: agricultural land: 70.1% (2016 est.) arable land: 59% (2016 est.)
permanent crops: 6.5% (2016 est.) permanent pasture: 4.6% (2016 est.) forest: 11.1% (2016 est.)
other: 18.8% (2016 est.)
Irrigated land: 53,000 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: droughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season
Current Environment Issues: many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; destruction of wetlands; severe overpopulation with noise pollution
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Bangladeshi(s)
adjective: Bangladeshi
Ethnic groups: Bengali at least 98%, indigenous ethnic groups 1.1% (2011 est.) note: Bangladesh's government recognizes 27 indigenous ethnic groups under the 2010 Cultural Institution for Small Anthropological Groups Act; other sources estimate there are about 75 ethnic groups; critics of the 2011 census claim that it underestimates the size of Bangladesh's ethnic population
Languages: Bangla 98.8% (official, also known as Bengali), other 1.2% (2011 est.)
Religions: Muslim 89.1%, Hindu 10%, other 0.9% (includes Buddhist, Christian) (2013 est.)
Population: 159,453,001 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.29% (male 22,135,349 /female 21,373,470)
15-24 years: 19.14% (male 15,313,674 /female 15,200,861)
25-54 years: 40.07% (male 30,626,005 /female 33,267,339)
55-64 years: 7.09% (male 5,582,450 /female 5,716,763)
65 years and over: 6.42% (male 4,844,612 /female 5,392,478) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 52.6 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 44.9 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 13 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 27.1 years
male: 26.3 years
female: 27.8 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.02% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 18.6 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 36.6% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 3.17% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 19.578 million DHAKA (capital)
4.816 million Chittagong
975,000 Khulna
880,000 Rajshahi
776,000 Sylhet (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 18.5 years (2014 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 176 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 30.5 deaths/1,000 live births male: 32.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.7 years male: 71.5 years
female: 75.9 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.15 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 62.3% (2014)
Physicians density: 0.53 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density: 0.8 beds/1,000 population (2015)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 86.5% of population
rural: 87% of population
total: 86.9% of population

urban: 13.5% of population
rural: 13% of population
total: 13.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 57.7% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 62.1% of population (2015 est.)
total: 60.6% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 42.3% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 37.9% of population (2015 est.)
total: 39.4% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: <.1% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 13,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,100 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 3.6% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 32.8% (2014)
Education expenditures: 1.5% of GDP (2016)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
total population: 72.9%
male: 75.7%
female: 70.1% (2017 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 11 years male: 11 years female: 12 years (2017)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 12.8% male: 10.8% female: 16.8% (2017 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
conventional short form: Bangladesh
local long form: Gana Prajatantri Bangladesh
local short form: Bangladesh
former: East Bengal, East Pakistan
etymology: the name - a compound of the Bengali words "Bangla" (Bengal) and "desh" (country) - means "Country of Bengal"
Government type: parliamentary republic
Capital: name: Dhaka
geographic coordinates: 23 43 N, 90 24 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the origins of the name are unclear, but some sources state that the city's site was originally called "dhakka," meaning "watchtower," and that the area served as a watch-station for Bengal rulers
Administrative divisions: 8 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sylhet
Independence: 16 December 1971 (from Pakistan)
National holiday: Independence Day, 26 March (1971); Victory Day, 16 December (1971); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of the Awami League's declaration of an independent Bangladesh, and 16 December (Victory Day) memorializes the military victory over Pakistan and the official creation of the state of Bangladesh
Constitution: history: previous 1935, 1956, 1962 (preindependence); latest enacted 4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972, suspended March 1982, restored November 1986 amendments: proposed by the House of the Nation; approval requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the House membership and assent to by the president of the republic; amended many times, last in 2018 (2019)
Legal system: mixed legal system of mostly English common law and Islamic law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Abdul HAMID (since 24 April 2013); note - Abdul HAMID served as acting president following the death of Zillur RAHMAN in March 2013; HAMID was subsequently indirectly elected by the National Parliament and sworn in 24 April 2013

head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA (since 6 January 2009)

cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister, appointed by the president elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 February 2018 (next to be held by 2023); the president appoints as prime minister the majority party leader in the National Parliament

election results: President Abdul HAMID (AL) reelected by the National Parliament unopposed for a second term; Sheikh HASINA reappointed prime minister as leader of the majority AL party following parliamentary elections in 2018
Legislative branch: description: unicameral House of the Nation or Jatiya Sangsad (350 seats; 300 members in single-seat territorial constituencies directly elected by simple majority popular vote; 50 members - reserved for women only - indirectly elected by the elected members by proportional representation vote using single transferable vote; all members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 30 December 2018 (next to be held in 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AL 289, BNP 7, other 3; composition - men 279, women 72, percent of women 20.6%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court of Bangladesh (organized into the Appellate Division with 7 justices and the High Court Division with 99 justices) judge selection and term of office: chief justice and justices appointed by the president; justices serve until retirement at age 67

subordinate courts: civil courts include: Assistant Judge's Court; Joint District Judge's Court; Additional District Judge's Court; District Judge's Court; criminal courts include: Court of Sessions; Court of Metropolitan Sessions; Metropolitan Magistrate Courts; Magistrate Court; special courts/tribunals
Political parties and leaders: Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA] Bangladesh Nationalist Front or BNF [Abdul Kalam AZADI] Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda ZIA] Bangladesh Tariqat Federation or BTF [Syed Nozibul Bashar MAIZBHANDARI] Jamaat-i-Islami Bangladesh or JIB (Makbul AHMAD) Jatiya Party or JP (Ershad faction) [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD] Jatiya Party or JP (Manju faction) [Anwar Hossain MANJU] Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Oli AHMED] National Socialist Party or JSD [KHALEQUZZAMAN] Workers Party or WP [Rashed Khan MENON]
National symbol(s): Bengal tiger, water lily;
national colors: green, red
National anthem: name: "Amar Shonar Bangla" (My Golden Bengal)
lyrics/music: Rabindranath TAGORE

note: adopted 1971; Rabindranath TAGORE, a Nobel laureate, also wrote India's national anthem
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Mohammad ZIAUDDIN (since 18 September 2014)
chancery: 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-0183
FAX: [1] (202) 244-2771
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Earl Robert MILLER (since 29 November 2018)
embassy: Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212
mailing address: G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000
telephone: [880] (2) 5566-2000
FAX: [880] (2) 5566-2915
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Bangladesh's economy has grown roughly 6% per year since 2005 despite prolonged periods of political instability, poor infrastructure, endemic corruption, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the services sector, almost half of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Garments, the backbone of Bangladesh's industrial sector, accounted for more than 80% of total exports in FY 2016-17. The industrial sector continues to grow, despite the need for improvements in factory safety conditions. Steady export growth in the garment sector, combined with $13 billion in remittances from overseas Bangladeshis, contributed to Bangladesh's rising foreign exchange reserves in FY 2016-17. Recent improvements to energy infrastructure, including the start of liquefied natural gas imports in 2018, represent a major step forward in resolving a key growth bottleneck.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $690.3 billion (2017 est.) $642.7 billion (2016 est.) $599.5 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $261.5 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 7.4% (2017 est.) 7.2% (2016 est.) 6.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,200 (2017 est.) $4,000 (2016 est.) $3,800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 30.2% of GDP (2017 est.) 30.6% of GDP (2016 est.) 30.3% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 68.7% (2017 est.) government consumption: 6% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 30.5% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 1% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 15% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -20.3% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 14.2% (2017 est.) industry: 29.3% (2017 est.) services: 56.5% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry
Industries: jute, cotton, garments, paper, leather, fertilizer, iron and steel, cement, petroleum products, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, tea, salt, sugar, edible oils, soap and detergent, fabricated metal products, electricity, natural gas
Industrial production growth rate: 10.2% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 66.64 million (2017 est.) note: extensive migration of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 42.7%
industry: 20.5%
services: 36.9% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.4% (2017 est.) 4.4% (2016 est.) note: about 40% of the population is underemployed; many persons counted as employed work only a few hours a week and at low wages
Population below poverty line: 24.3% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 27% (2010 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 32.1 (2010) 33.2 (2005)
Budget: revenues: 25.1 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 33.5 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 9.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -3.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 33.1% of GDP (2017 est.) 33.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.6% (2017 est.) 5.7% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$5.322 billion (2017 est.) $1.391 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $35.3 billion (2017 est.) $34.14 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: garments, knitwear, agricultural products, frozen food (fish and seafood), jute and jute goods, leather
Exports - partners: Germany 12.9%, US 12.2%, UK 8.7%, Spain 5.3%, France 5.1%, Italy 4.1% (2017)
Imports: $47.56 billion (2017 est.) $40.28 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: cotton, machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: China 21.9%, India 15.3%, Singapore 5.7% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $33.42 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $32.28 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $50.26 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $41.85 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $14.62 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $13.24 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $369.6 million (31 December 2017 est.) $228.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $92.33 billion (30 September 2017 est.) $77.99 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $71.73 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rates: taka (BDT) per US dollar - 80.69 (2017 est.) 78.468 (2016 est.) 78.468 (2015 est.) 77.947 (2014 est.) 77.614 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 60.51 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 53.65 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 11.9 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 97% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 3,666 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 21,860 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 28 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 26,280 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 106,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 901 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 81,570 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 29.53 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 29.53 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 185.8 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 79.97 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 145,113,669
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 92 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: inadequate for a modern country; introducing digital systems; trunk systems include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fiber-optic cable in cities; fixed broadband penetration in Bangladesh remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform; in July 2018  first test run of 5G technology in Bangladesh took place in Dhaka (2018)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity remains less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly and now exceeds 92 telephones per 100 persons; slow to moderate mobile subscriber growth is anticipated over the next five years to 2023; strong local competition (2018)

international: country code - 880; landing points for the SEA-ME-WE-4 and SEA-ME-WE-5 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6; international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries
Broadcast media: state-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) broadcasts throughout the country. Some channels, such as BTV World, operate via satellite. The government also owns a medium wave radio channel and some private FM radio broadcast news channels. Of the 41 Bangladesh approved TV stations, 26 are currently being used to broadcast. Of those, 23 operate under private management via cable distribution. Collectively, TV channels can reach more than 50 million people across the country.
Internet country code: .bd
Internet users: total: 28,499,324
percent of population: 18.2% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 18 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 16
(2017) over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
under 914 m: 5 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Heliports: 3 (2013)
Pipelines: 2950 km gas (2013)
Railways: total 2,460 km
narrow gauge: 1,801 km 1.000-m gauge (2014) broad gauge: 659 km 1.676-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 369,105 km
(2018) paved: 110,311 km (2018)
unpaved: 258,794 km (2018)
Waterways: 8,370 km (includes up to 3,060 km of main cargo routes; network reduced to 5,200 km in the dry season) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 329

by type: bulk carrier 33, container ship 4, general cargo 77, oil tanker 122, other 93 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Chittagong container port(s) (TEUs): Chittagong (2,566,597) (2017)
river port(s): Mongla Port (Sela River)
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Military branches: Bangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army (Sena Bahini), Bangladesh Navy (Noh Bahini, BN), Bangladesh Air Force (Biman Bahini, BAF) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 16-21 years of age for voluntary military service; Bangladeshi nationality and 10th grade education required; officers: 17-21 years of age, Bangladeshi nationality, and 12th grade education required (2018)
Military expenditures: 1.44% of GDP (2017) 1.44% of GDP (2016) 1.46% of GDP (2015) 1.36% of GDP (2014) 1.33% of GDP (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Bangladesh referred its maritime boundary claims with Burma and India to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea; Indian Prime Minister Singh's September 2011 visit to Bangladesh resulted in the signing of a Protocol to the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh, which had called for the settlement of longstanding boundary disputes over undemarcated areas and the exchange of territorial enclaves, but which had never been implemented; Bangladesh struggles to accommodate 912,000 Rohingya, Burmese Muslim minority from Rakhine State, living as refugees in Cox's Bazar; Burmese border authorities are constructing a 200 km (124 mi) wire fence designed to deter illegal cross-border transit and tensions from the military build-up along border
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 912,852 (Burma) (2019) (includes an estimated 743,816 Rohingya refugees who have fled conflict since 25 August 2017) IDPs: 426,000 (conflict, development, human rights violations, religious persecution, natural disasters) (2018)
Illicit drugs: transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries
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