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

First Rohingya Are to Be Returned to Myanmar Killing Grounds (Wed, 14 Nov 2018)
More than 2,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees are set for repatriation from neighboring Bangladesh, many of them unwillingly. The United Nations calls it a “clear violation” of international principles.
>> Read more

Shahidul Alam: Fiercely Devoted to the Truth (Tue, 13 Nov 2018)
As fidelity to facts leads to hardships, the Bangladeshi photographer’s incarceration demonstrates how a government restricts expression and criticism.
>> Read more

The Rohingya's Perilous Return (Sun, 04 Nov 2018)
Sending stateless refugees back into the maw of genocide.
>> Read more

With Climate Change No Longer in the Future, Adaptation Speeds Up (Fri, 21 Sep 2018)
Experts have for years debated the priority of preventing climate change versus adapting to it, but both sides now agree that adjustment is crucial.
>> Read more

International Criminal Court Opens Door to a Rohingya Inquiry (Thu, 06 Sep 2018)
A surprise ruling held that a prosecutor could investigate the mass deportation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as a possible crime against humanity.
>> Read more

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