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

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A recent assault on a military barracks was the first Congo attack claimed by the terror group. But there were earlier signs of an ISIS franchise in the region.
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She Was Forced to Marry in Bangladesh. In Brooklyn, She Made Her Escape. (Fri, 12 Apr 2019)
For Muslim immigrants desperate to flee their abusers, there are almost no safe options. A community in Brooklyn organized to change that.
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What Survival Looks Like After the Oceans Rise (Thu, 11 Apr 2019)
At the site of a Bangladeshi town lost to devastating storms, locals make do by scavenging what remains.
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Despite Prison and Torture, Shahidul Alam Refuses to Stay Quiet (Tue, 09 Apr 2019)
Ahead of his court case, the Bangladeshi photojournalist and activist discussed democratizing photography and government censorship at the New York Portfolio Review.
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Deadly Fire in Bangladesh Ravages Office Tower (Thu, 28 Mar 2019)
At least 19 people were killed and several dozen others were injured, officials said, after a fire broke out in a 24-story office building in Dhaka.
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