Bangladesh facts on every entity in the world

Muslim conversions and settlement in the region now referred to as Bangladesh began in the 10th century, primarily from Arab and Persian traders and preachers. Europeans began to set up 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 independence for Bangladesh in a brief war in 1971, during which at least 300,000 civilians died.

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 in 1991. The BNP and AL alternated in power between 1991 and 2013, 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. With the help of international development assistance, Bangladesh has made great progress in food security since independence, and the economy has grown at an annual average of about 6% over the last two decades.



Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India

Geographic coordinates

24.00° N, 90.00° E

Area 95/257

total: 148,460 sq km

land: 130,170 sq km

water: 18,290 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Iowa

Land boundaries

total: 4,413 km

border countries (2): Burma 271 km, India 4,142 km


580 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 18 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: to the outer limits of the continental margin


tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)


mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m

Natural resources

natural gas, arable land, timber, coal

Land use

agricultural land: 70.1%

arable land 59%; permanent crops 6.5%; permanent pasture 4.6%

forest: 11.1%

other: 18.8% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

53,000 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

1,227 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 35.87 cu km/yr (10%/2%/88%)

per capita: 238.3 cu m/yr (2008)

Natural hazards

droughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season

Environment - current 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; severe overpopulation

Environment - international 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

Geography - note

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

People and Society


noun: Bangladeshi(s)

adjective: Bangladeshi

Ethnic groups

Bengali at least 98%, ethnic groups 1.1%

note: Bangladesh's government recognizes 27 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 (2011 est.)


Bangla 98.8% (official, also known as Bengali), other 1.2% (2011 est.)


Muslim 89.1%, Hindu 10%, other 0.9% (includes Buddhist, Christian) (2013 est.)

Population 9/238

168,957,745 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 31.62% (male 27,115,731/female 26,311,130)

15-24 years: 18.86% (male 14,976,910/female 16,880,807)

25-54 years: 38.27% (male 30,608,224/female 34,053,744)

55-64 years: 6.12% (male 5,196,932/female 5,150,199)

65 years and over: 5.13% (male 4,258,664/female 4,405,404) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 52.2%

youth dependency ratio: 44.9%

elderly dependency ratio: 7.6%

potential support ratio: 13.2% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 24.7 years

male: 24.2 years

female: 25.1 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 75/233

1.6% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 76/224

21.14 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 174/225

5.61 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 72/222

0.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 34.3% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.55% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

DHAKA (capital) 17.598 million; Chittagong 4.539 million; Khulna 1.022 million; Rajshahi 844,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth


note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 49/184

176 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 46/224

total: 44.09 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 46.56 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 41.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 151/224

total population: 70.94 years

male: 69.02 years

female: 72.94 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 82/224

2.4 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

61.2% (2011)

Health expenditures 169/191

3.7% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.36 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density

0.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source


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


urban: 57.7% of population

rural: 62.1% of population

total: 60.6% of population


urban: 42.3% of population

rural: 37.9% of population

total: 39.4% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.01% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

8,900 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

700 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 190/191

3.3% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 5/138

35.1% (2013)

Education expenditures 161/173

2.2% of GDP (2009)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 10 years

female: 10 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 105/134

total: 8.7%

male: 8.3%

female: 9.2% (2010 est.)


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 democracy


name: Dhaka

geographic coordinates: 23.43° N, 90.24° E

time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

7 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sylhet


16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan)

National holiday

Independence Day, 26 March (1971); Victory Day, 16 December (1971); note - March 1971 is the date of the Awami League's declaration of an independent Bangladesh, and 16 December, known as Victory Day, memorializes the military victory over Pakistan and the official creation of the state of Bangladesh


previous 1935, 1956, 1962 (preindependence); latest enacted 4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972, suspended March 1982, restored November 1986; amended many times, last in 2014 (2015)

Legal system

mixed legal system of mostly English common law and Islamic law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Bangladesh

dual citizenship recognized: yes, but limited to select countries

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


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; reappointed 5 January 2014)

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 22 April 2013 (next must be held by 2018); the president appoints as prime minister the majority party leader in the National Parliament

election results: President Abdul HAMID (AL) elected by the National Parliament unopposed; Sheikh HASINA reappointed prime minister as leader of the majority AL party

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad (350 seats including 50 reserved for women; members directly elected in single territorial constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 5 January 2014 (next to be held by January 2019); note - the 5 January 2014 poll was marred by widespread violence, boycotts, general strikes, and low voter turnout

election results: percent of vote by party - AL-led Alliance 79%, JP (Ershad) 11.3%, WP 2.1%, JSD 1.8%, other parties 0.9%, independent 4.7%; seats by party - AL 234, JP 34, WP 6, JSD 5, other parties 5, independent 15; 1 seat repolled

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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; special courts/tribunals; Metropolitan Magistrate Courts; Magistrate Court

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]

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]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Ain o Salish Kendro (Centre for Law and Mediation) or ASK (legal aid and civil rights)

Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity

Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee or BRAC

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs or MoWCA (advocacy group to end gender-based violence)

Odikhar (human rights group)

other: associations of madrassa teachers; business associations, including those intended to promote international trade; development and advocacy NGOs associated with the Grameen Bank; environmentalists; Islamist groups; labor rights advocacy groups; NGOs focused on poverty, alleviation, and socioeconomic international trade; religious leaders; tribal groups and advocacy organizations; union leaders

International organization participation


Flag description

green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush vegetation of Bangladesh

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


Economy - overview

Bangladesh's economy has grown roughly 6% per year since 1996 despite political instability, poor infrastructure, corruption, insufficient power supplies, slow implementation of economic reforms, and the 2008-09 global financial crisis and recession. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, almost half of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector with rice as the single-most-important product. Garment exports, the backbone of Bangladesh's industrial sector, accounted for more than 80% of total exports and surpassed $25 billion in 2015. The sector has remained resilient in recent years amidst a series of factory accidents that have killed more than 1,000 workers and crippling strikes, including a nationwide transportation blockade implemented by the political opposition during the first several months of 2015. Steady garment export growth combined with remittances from overseas Bangladeshis - which totaled about $15 billion and 8% of GDP in 2015 are the largest contributors to Bangladesh's sustained economic growth and rising foreign exchange reserves.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 34/230

$577 billion (2015 est.)

$536.5 billion (2014 est.)

$496.6 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$202.3 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 24/225

6.5% (2015 est.)

6% (2014 est.)

5.9% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 178/230

$3,600 (2015 est.)

$3,400 (2014 est.)

$3,200 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 25/179

28.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

29.1% of GDP (2014 est.)

29.8% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 72.3%

government consumption: 5.4%

investment in fixed capital: 29%

investment in inventories: 1.9%

exports of goods and services: 17.2%

imports of goods and services: -25.8%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 16%

industry: 30.4%

services: 53.6% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry


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 10/202

9.4% (2015 est.)

Labor force 7/233

81.95 million

note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances were $10.9 billion in FY09/10 (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 47%

industry: 13%

services: 40% (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate 51/207

4.9% (2015 est.)

5% (2014 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

31.5% (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4%

highest 10%: 27% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 111/144

32.1 (2010)

33.6 (1996)


revenues: $21.28 billion

expenditures: $27.45 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 210/219

11% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 112/220

-3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 137/176

31.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

28.8% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 183/226

5.7% (2015 est.)

7% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 76/156

5% (31 December 2010)

5% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 72/184

11.2% (31 December 2015 est.)

13% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 65/192

$21.69 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$19.01 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 53/193

$107.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$95.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 50/191

$113.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$101.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 53/121

$50.98 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$41.73 billion (31 December 2012)

$23.55 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Current account balance 143/197

-$1.896 billion (2015 est.)

-$154 million (2014 est.)

Exports 63/224

$29.93 billion (2015 est.)

$29.93 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

garments, knitwear, agricultural products, frozen food (fish and seafood), jute and jute goods, leather

Exports - partners

US 14.3%, Germany 13.6%, UK 7.9%, France 5.2%, Spain 4.3%, Italy 4.1% (2014)

Imports 56/223

$38.22 billion (2015 est.)

$40.1 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

cotton, machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, foodstuffs

Imports - partners

China 18.8%, India 14.8%, Singapore 5.8%, Malaysia 4.2% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 53/170

$26.41 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$22.31 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 81/206

$24.47 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$27.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 93/120

$9.355 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$8.593 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 93/105

$134.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$130 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

taka (BDT) per US dollar -

77.42 (2015 est.)

77.57 (2014 est.)

77.614 (2013 est.)

81.86 (2012 est.)

74.152 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 55/220

47.31 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 55/219

41.52 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 107/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 122/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 70/214

6.36 million kW (2013 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 56/214

97.7% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 51/214

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 136/214

2.3% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 158/212

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Crude oil - production 85/214

4,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 88/214

313 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 65/214

25,320 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 83/215

28 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 89/214

26,110 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 77/212

109,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 102/214

2,560 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 58/213

75,830 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 28/216

22.86 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 34/215

22.86 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 64/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 163/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 41/212

264.6 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 53/212

63.5 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 74/219

total subscriptions: 1.09 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 12/217

total: 120.4 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 72 (2014 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

domestic: fixed-line teledensity remains only about 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly and now exceeds 67 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 880; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 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 (2011)

Broadcast media

state-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) operates 1 terrestrial TV station, 3 radio networks, and about 10 local stations; 8 private satellite TV stations and 3 private radio stations also broadcasting; foreign satellite TV stations are gaining audience share in the large cities; several international radio broadcasters are available (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 17, FM 19, shortwave 2 (2009)

Television broadcast stations

17 (2009)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 87/232

71,164 (2012)

Internet users 42/217

total: 11.4 million

percent of population: 6.9% (2014 est.)


Airports 139/236

18 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 16

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 5 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)


3 (2013)


gas 2,950 km (2013)

Railways 60/136

total: 2,460 km

broad gauge: 659 km 1.676-m gauge

narrow gauge: 1,801 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 106/223

total: 21,269 km

paved: 2,021 km

unpaved: 19,248 km (2010)

Waterways 16/107

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 64/156

total: 62

by type: bulk carrier 25, cargo 28, chemical tanker 1, container 5, petroleum tanker 3

foreign-owned: 8 (China 1, Singapore 7)

registered in other countries: 10 (Comoros 1, Hong Kong 1, Panama 5, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Chittagong

river port(s): Mongla Port (Sela River)

container port(s): Chittagong (1,392,104) (2011)

Military and Security

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

16-19 years of age for voluntary military service; Bangladeshi birth and 10th grade education required; initial obligation 15 years (2012)

Military expenditures 86/132

1.09% of GDP (2014)

1.15% of GDP (2013)

1.35% of GDP (2012)

1.44% of GDP (2011)

1.35% of GDP (2010)

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 32,000 Rohingya, Burmese Muslim minority from Arakan 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): 232,462 (Burma) (2014)

IDPs: at least 431,000 (violence, human rights violations, religious persecution, natural disasters) (2015)

Illicit drugs

transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries