Geography

Area: 147, 570 sq. km. (55,813 sq. mi.); about the size of Iowa.
Cities: Capital--Dhaka (pop. 10 million). Other cities--Chittagong (2.8 million), Khulna (1.8 million), Rajshahi (1 million).Terrain: Mainly flat alluvial plain, with hills in the northeast and southeast. Climate: Semitropical, monsoonal.

 

 

People and Economy

People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Bangladeshi(s).
Population (July 2009 CIA est.): 156 million.
Annual population growth rate (July 2009 CIA est.): 1.29%.
Ethnic groups (1998, CIA): Bengali 98%, other 2% (including tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims).
Religions (1998, CIA): Muslim 83%; Hindu 16%; Christian 0.3%, Buddhist 0.6%, others 0.3%.
Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English.
Education: Attendance--61%. Adult literacy rate--47.5%. (UNDP Human Development Index 2007/2008)
Health (CIA World Factbook): Infant mortality rate (below 1)--59/1,000. Life expectancy-- 60.25 years. 
Work force (70.86 million): Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries--63%; manufacturing--11%;mining and quarrying--0.2%.

Economy
Fiscal year: July 1 to June 30. 
Annual GDP growth rate (FY 2008): 6.2%; (FY 2008 World Bank est.): below 6%.
Current GDP (2008 est.): $84.2 billion (official); $226.4 billion (PPP).
Per capita GDP (2008 est.): $554 (official); $1,500 (PPP).
Inflation (December 2008): 6.03% (point to point basis) and 8.9% (monthly average basis).
Exchange rate: Dec. 2009: U.S. $1=69.03 BDT; 2008: U.S. $1=68.55 BDT; 2007: U.S. $1=69.89 BDT.
Annual budget (2008 est.): $12.54 billion.
Natural resources: Natural gas, fertile soil, water.
Agriculture (19.1% of GDP): Products--rice, jute, tea, sugar, wheat. 
Industry (manufacturing; 28.6% of GDP): Types--garments and knitwear, jute goods, frozen fish and seafood, textiles, fertilizer, sugar, tea, leather, ship-breaking for scrap, pharmaceuticals, ceramic tableware, newsprint.
Trade: Total imports (FY 2008)--$21.6 billion: capital goods, food grains, petroleum, textiles, chemicals, vegetable oils. Growth rate over previous fiscal year: 25.95%. Total exports (FY 2008)--$14.11 billion: garments and knitwear, frozen fish, jute and jute goods, leather and leather products, tea, urea fertilizer, ceramic tableware. Growth rate over previous fiscal year: 16.04%. Exports to U.S. (Jan.-Dec. 2008)--$3.74 billion. Imports from U.S. (Jan.-Dec. 2008)--$468.1 million. 

 

Government

Government
Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 1971 (from Pakistan).
Constitution: 1972; amended 1974, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1996, 2004.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. Legislative--unicameral Parliament (345 members). Judicial--civil court system based on British model.
Administrative subdivisions: Divisions, districts, subdistricts, unions, villages.
Political parties: 30-40 active political parties. Largest ones include Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the Awami League (AL), the Jatiya Party, and the Jamaat-e-Islami Party.
Suffrage: Universal at age 18.

 

 

Bangladesh

For Young Rohingya Brides, Marriage Means a Perilous, Deadly Crossing (Sat, 17 Oct 2020)
Girls and young women from refugee camps in Bangladesh, promised to men they have never met, are undertaking the dangerous journey to Malaysia to join them.
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Bangladesh to Allow Death Penalty for Rape Convictions (Mon, 12 Oct 2020)
Ministers approved an amendment that would permit capital punishment for the crime after a series of assaults led to widespread calls to tackle what many say is a systemic problem.
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Desde Asia hasta África, China promueve sus vacunas para hacerse de aliados (Mon, 14 Sep 2020)
Con la promesa de una vacuna contra el coronavirus, China está en una ofensiva de seducción para reparar las tensas relaciones diplomáticas y reforzar el compromiso con otros países.
>> Read more

From Asia to Africa, China Promotes Its Vaccines to Win Friends (Fri, 11 Sep 2020)
With pledges of a coronavirus vaccine, China is on a charm offensive to repair strained diplomatic ties and bolster engagement with other countries.
>> Read more

Explosion at Mosque, Likely Caused by Gas Leak, Kills 16 in Bangladesh (Sat, 05 Sep 2020)
Dozens of worshipers were severely burned in the blast on Friday night just outside Dhaka.
>> Read more

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