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Bangladesh Main Page

 

Background:
Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A military-backed, emergency caretaker regime suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes and violent street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in previous years, the parliamentary elections finally held in late December 2008 were mostly peaceful and Sheikh HASINA Wajed was elected prime minister. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.
 
Geography ::Bangladesh
Location:
Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India
Geographic coordinates:
24 00 N, 90 00 E
Map references:
Asia
Area:
total: 143,998 sq km
country comparison to the world: 94
land: 130,168 sq km
water: 13,830 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Iowa
Land boundaries:
total: 4,246 km
border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km
Coastline:
580 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin
Climate:
Current Weather
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
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m
Natural resources:
natural gas, arable land, timber, coal
Land use:
arable land: 55.39%
permanent crops: 3.08%
other: 41.53% (2005)
Irrigated land:
47,250 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
1,210.6 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 79.4 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)
per capita: 560 cu m/yr (2000)
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 ::Bangladesh
Population:
156,118,464 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
Age structure:
0-14 years: 34.6% (male 27,065,625/female 26,913,961)
15-64 years: 61.4% (male 45,222,182/female 50,537,052)
65 years and over: 4% (male 3,057,255/female 3,254,808) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 22.9 years
male: 22.4 years
female: 23.4 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.55% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
Birth rate:
23.43 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
Death rate:
5.81 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
Net migration rate:
-2.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
Urbanization:
urban population: 27% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 52.54 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 48
male: 55.04 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.44 years
country comparison to the world: 148
male: 67.64 years
female: 71.3 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.65 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
12,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 500 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
Nationality:
noun: Bangladeshi(s)
adjective: Bangladeshi
Ethnic groups:
Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims) (1998)
Religions:
Muslim 89.5%, Hindu 9.6%, other 0.9% (2004)
Languages:
Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.9%
male: 54%
female: 41.4% (2001 Census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 8 years (2007)
Education expenditures:
2.4% of GDP (2008)
country comparison to the world: 163
 
Government ::Bangladesh
Country name:
conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
conventional short form: Bangladesh
local long form: Gana Prajatantri Bangladesh
local short form:
former: East Bengal, East Pakistan
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
Capital:
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
Independence:
16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is known as Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh
National holiday:
Independence Day, 26 March (1971); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh
Constitution:
4 November 1972; effective 16 December 1972; suspended following coup of 24 March 1982; restored 10 November 1986; amended many times
Legal system:
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Zillur RAHMAN (since 12 February 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed (since 6 January 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last election held on 11 February 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results: Zillur RAHMAN declared president-elect by the Election Commission on 11 February 2009 (sworn in on 12 February); he ran unopposed as president; percent of National Parliament vote - NA
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad; 300 seats elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies; members serve five-year terms
elections: last held on 29 December 2008 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - AL 49%, BNP 33.2%, JP 7%, JIB 4.6%, other 6.2%; seats by party - AL 230, BNP 30, JP 27, JIB 2, other 11
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (the chief justices and other judges are appointed by the president)
Political parties and leaders:
Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA]; Bangladesh Communist Party or BCP [Manjurul A. KHAN]; Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda ZIA]; Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh or BDB [Badrudozza CHOWDHURY]; Islami Oikya Jote or IOJ [multiple leaders]; Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh or JIB [Matiur Rahman NIZAMI]; Jatiya Party or JP (Ershad faction) [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Oli AHMED]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Advocacy to End Gender-based Violence through the MoWCA (Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs)
other: environmentalists; Islamist groups; religious leaders; teachers; union leaders
International organization participation:
ADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CICA (observer), CP, D-8, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Akramul QADER
chancery: 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-0183
FAX: [1] (202) 244-7830/2771
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James F. MORIARTY
embassy: Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212
mailing address: G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000
telephone: [880] (2) 885-5500
FAX: [880] (2) 882-3744
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 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 ::Bangladesh
Economy - overview:
The economy has grown 5-6% per year since 1996 despite political instability, poor infrastructure, corruption, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, 45% of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Bangladesh's growth was resilient during the 2008-09 global financial crisis and recession. Garment exports, totaling $12.3 billion in FY09 and remittances from overseas Bangladeshis totaling $9.7 billion in FY09 accounted for almost 25% of GDP.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$259.3 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
$244.6 billion (2009 est.)
$231.4 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$105.4 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
5.7% (2009 est.)
6% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,700 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
$1,600 (2009 est.)
$1,500 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 18.4%
industry: 28.7%
services: 52.9% (2010 est.)
Labor force:
73.87 million
country comparison to the world: 8
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances estimated at $10.9 billion in 2009-10 (2010 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 45%
industry: 30%
services: 25% (2008)
Unemployment rate:
5.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
5.1% (2009 est.)
note: about 40% of the population is underemployed; many participants in the labor force work only a few hours a week, at low wages
Population below poverty line:
36.3% (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 8.8%
highest 10%: 26.6% (2008 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
33.2 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 94
33.6 (1996)
Investment (gross fixed):
23.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
Public debt:
39.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
39.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
5.4% (2009 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
5% (31 October 2010)
country comparison to the world: 86
5% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
14.6% (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
16.38% (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$13.98 billion (31 December 2010 est)
country comparison to the world: 67
$10.92 billion (31 December 2009 est)
Stock of broad money:
$57.21 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$63.03 billion (31 December 2009)
Stock of domestic credit:
$62.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
$53.77 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$7.068 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 74
$6.671 billion (31 December 2008)
$6.793 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry
Industries:
cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar
Industrial production growth rate:
6.4% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
Electricity - production:
25.62 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
Electricity - consumption:
23.94 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production:
5,733 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
Oil - consumption:
96,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
Oil - exports:
2,612 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
Oil - imports:
87,660 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
Oil - proved reserves:
28 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Natural gas - production:
19.7 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
Natural gas - consumption:
19.7 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
Natural gas - proved reserves:
195.4 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
Current account balance:
$3.734 billion (2010)
country comparison to the world: 34
$2.416 billion (2009)
Exports:
$16.24 billion (2010)
country comparison to the world: 73
$15.58 billion (2009)
Exports - commodities:
garments, frozen fish and seafood, jute and jute goods, leather
Exports - partners:
US 22.5%, Germany 14.2%, UK 9.6%, France 7%, Netherlands 6.4% (2009)
Imports:
$21.34 billion (2010)
country comparison to the world: 68
$20.3 billion (2009)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement
Imports - partners:
China 16.16%, India 12.61%, Singapore 7.55%, Japan 4.63%, Malaysia 4.46% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$10.79 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
$10.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt - external:
$24.46 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
$24.22 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$6.72 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
$5.617 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$82 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$81 million (31 December 2009 est.)
Exchange rates:
taka (BDT) per US dollar - 70.59 (2010), 69.039 (2009), 68.554 (2008), 69.893 (2007), 69.031 (2006)
 
Communications ::Bangladesh
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.522 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 63
Telephones - mobile cellular:
50.4 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 24
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 30 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 (2009)
Broadcast media:
state-owned broadcaster (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)
Internet country code:
.bd
Internet hosts:
68,224 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 81
Internet users:
617,300 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 112
 
Transportation ::Bangladesh
Airports:
17 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 140
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 15
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: 4 (2010)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
Pipelines:
gas 2,597 km (2009)
Railways:
total: 2,768 km
country comparison to the world: 61
broad gauge: 946 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Roadways:
total: 239,226 km
country comparison to the world: 21
paved: 22,726 km
unpaved: 216,500 km (2003)
Waterways:
8,370 km
country comparison to the world: 17
note: includes up to 3,060 km main cargo routes; network reduced to 5,200 km in dry season (2007)
Merchant marine:
total: 50
country comparison to the world: 70
by type: bulk carrier 16, cargo 25, container 5, petroleum tanker 4
foreign-owned: 4 (China 1, Singapore 3)
registered in other countries: 9 (Comoros 1, Malta 1, Panama 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 2) (2010)
Ports and terminals:
Chittagong, Mongla Port
Transportation - note:
the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Bangladesh as high risk for armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen
 
Military ::Bangladesh
Military branches:
Bangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army (Sena Bahini), Bangladesh Navy (Noh Bahini, BN), Bangladesh Air Force (Biman Bahini, BAF) (2010)
Military service age and obligation:
16 years of age for voluntary enlisted military service (Air Force); 17 years of age (Army and Navy); conscription is by law possible in times of emergency, but has never been implemented (2010)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 36,560,110 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 25,310,750
females age 16-49: 32,154,153 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 1,550,385
female: 1,676,137 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.3% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 112
 
Transnational Issues ::Bangladesh
Disputes - international:
discussions with India remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, exchange territory for 51 small Bangladeshi exclaves in India and 111 small Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, allocate divided villages, and stop illegal cross-border trade, migration, violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border; Bangladesh protests India's fencing and walling off high-traffic sections of the porous boundary; a joint Bangladesh-India boundary commission resurveyed and reconstructed 92 missing pillars in 2007; after 21 years, Bangladesh in January 2008 resumed talks with Burma on delimiting a maritime boundary
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 26,268 (Burma)
IDPs: 65,000 (land conflicts, religious persecution) (2007)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; a significant share of Bangladesh's trafficking victims are men recruited for work overseas with fraudulent employment offers who are subsequently exploited under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage; children are trafficked within Bangladesh for commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, and forced labor; women and children from Bangladesh are also trafficked to India and Pakistan for sexual exploitation
tier rating: Bangladesh is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, including some progress in addressing sex trafficking; the government did not demonstrate sufficient progress in criminally prosecuting and convicting labor trafficking offenders, particularly those responsible for the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers for the purpose of labor trafficking (2009)
Illicit drugs:
transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries

 

 


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