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Flag of Bangladesh

Country Profile

Capital City: Dhaka (pop. 10 million)

Other Cities: Chittagong (2.8 million), Khulna (1.8 million), Rajshahi (1 million), Mymensing, Comilla, Barisal, Sylhet.

Local Time: UTC +6h

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between India and Myanmar.
Area: 147 570 sq. km. (55 813 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Mainly flat alluvial plain, with hills in the northeast and southeast.

Border countries
: India, Myanmar (Burma)

Climate: Semitropical, monsoonal; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October).


Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 26 March 1971 (from Pakistan).
Constitution: 1972

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Bangladeshi(s).
Population: 130 million.
GNI per capita PPP: $ 1 998 (year) Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims. Religions: Muslim 88.3%; Hindu 10.5%; Christian 0.3%, Buddhist 0.6%, others 0.3%. Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English is widely used. Literacy: 54% for males; 32% for females; a total of 43% literacy.


Currency: Taka (BDT)

Natural resources:
Natural Gas, Lignite Coal, Limestones, Ceramic, Clay and Glass Sand, arable land, timber.

Agriculture products: Rice, Jackfruit, Jute, Tobacco, Sugarcane, Pulses, Oilseeds, Spices, Potatoes, Vegetables, Bananas, Mangoes, Coconut, Tea and Wheat.

Industries: Garments, Jute, Cotton, Textile, Tea, Paper, Newsprint, Cement, Fertilizer, Sugar, Engineering, Electric cables , Leather, Fish.

Exports partners: USA 22.7%, Germany 14.5%, UK 10.8%, France 6.7% (2004)

Imports partners: India 14.6%, China 11.7%, Singapore 7.8%, Japan 5.8%, Hong Kong 4.8% (2004)

Internet Sites

Official Sites of Bangladesh
Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh

Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad

Prime Minister's Office

Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Diplomatic Missions
Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations

Embassy of Bangladesh in the U.S.

Bangladesh's Diplomatic Missions Abroad

Foreign Missions in Bangladesh

Map of Bangladesh



Background:  Bangladesh came into existence in 1971 when Bengali East
Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan. 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: 144,000 sq km land: 133,910 sq km water: 10,090 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:  contiguous zone: 18 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

Climate:  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: 61% permanent crops: 3% other: 36% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  38,440 sq km (1998 est.)

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; water-borne 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,
Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, 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:  133,376,684 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:   33.8% (male 23,069,242; female 21,995,457) 15-64 years:
(male 2,444,314; female 2,069,816) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.59% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  25.12 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  8.47 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -0.75 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
1.18 male(s)/female total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  68.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   60.74 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.72 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.02% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  13,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  1,000 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Bangladeshi(s) adjective: Bangladeshi

Ethnic groups:  Bengali 98%, tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims (1998)

Religions:  Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998)

Languages:  Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 56% male: 63% female: 49% (2000 est.)

Government Bangladesh

Country name:  conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
conventional short form: Bangladesh former: East Pakistan

Government type:  parliamentary democracy

Capital:  Dhaka

Administrative divisions:  5 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka,
Khulna, Rajshahi; note - there may be one additional division named 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

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President A. Q. M. Badruddoza CHOWDHURY
(since 12 November 2001); note - the president's duties are normally
ceremonial, but with the 13th amendment to the constitution ("Caretaker
Government Amendment"), the president's role becomes significant at times
when Parliament is dissolved and a caretaker government is installed -
at presidential direction - to supervise the elections head of government:
selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president elections:
last held 1 October 2001 (next to be held by NA October 2006); following
legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats
is usually appointed prime minister by the president election results:
percent of National Parliament vote - NA%

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad;
300 seats elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies
(the constitutional amendment reserving 30 seats for women over and
above the 300 regular parliament seats expired in May 2001); members
serve five-year terms elections: last held 1 October 2001 (next to be
held before October 2006) election results: percent of vote by party -
BNP and alliance partners 46%, AL 42%; seats by party - BNP 201, AL 62,
JI 18, JP (Ershad faction) 14, IOJ 2, JP (Naziur) 1, other 4; note -
the election of October 2001 brought a majority BNP government aligned
with three other smaller parties - Jamaat-i-Islami, Islami Oikya Jote,
and Jatiya Party (Naziur)

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 [Saifuddin Ahmed MANIK]; Bangladesh
Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda ZIA, chairperson]; Islami Oikya Jote
or IOJ [Mufti Fazlul Haq AMINI]; Jamaat-E-Islami or JI [Motiur Rahman
NIZAMI]; Jatiya Party or JP (Ershad faction) [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD];
Jatiya Party (Manzur faction) [[Naziur Rahman MANZUR]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  AsDB, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO,

Diplomatic representation in the US:   Ambassador Ahmad Tariq KARIM
consulate(s) general:  244-0183 chancery: 3510 International Drive NW,
Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Mary Ann PETERS embassy: Madani Avenue,
 G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000 telephone:
Flag description:  green with a large red disk slightly to the hoist
side of center; the red sun of freedom represents the blood shed to
achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush countryside,
and secondarily, the traditional color of Islam

Economy Bangladesh

Economy - overview:  Despite sustained domestic and international efforts
to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains a
poor, overpopulated, and ill-governed nation. Although more than half
of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of
Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the
single most important product. Major impediments to growth include
frequent cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises,
inadequate port facilities, a rapidly growing labor force that cannot be
absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural
gas), insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic
reforms. Economic reform is stalled in many instances by political
infighting and corruption at all levels of government. Progress also has
been blocked by opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector unions,
and other vested interest groups. The newly-elected BNP government,
led by Prime Minister Khaleda ZIA, has the parliamentary strength to
push through needed reforms, but the party's level of political will to
do so remains undetermined.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $230 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  5.6% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $1,750 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 30% industry: 18% services:
52% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:  35.6% (FY95/96 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 3.9%
highest 10%: 28.6% (1995-96 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  33.6 (1995-96)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  5.8% (2000 est.)

Labor force:  64.1 million (1998) note: extensive export of labor
to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers'
remittances estimated at $1.71 billion in 1998-99

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 63%, services 26%, industry 11%

Unemployment rate:  35% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $4.9 billion expenditures: $6.8 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (FY99/00 est.)

Industries:  cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper
newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar

Industrial production growth rate:  6.2% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  13.493 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 92.45% hydro: 7.55%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  12.548 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

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

Exports:  $6.6 billion (2001)

Exports - commodities:  garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen
fish and seafood

Exports - partners:  US 31.8%, Germany 10.9%, UK 7.9%, France 5.2%,
Netherlands 5.2%, Italy 4.42% (2000)

Imports:  $8.7 billion (2001)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and
steel, textiles, raw cotton, food, crude oil and petroleum products,

Imports - partners:  India 10.5%, EU 9.5%, Japan 9.5%, Singapore 8.5%,
China 7.4% (2000)

Debt - external:  $17 billion (2000)

Economic aid - recipient:  $1.575 billion (2000 est.)

Currency:  taka (BDT)

Currency code:  BDT

Exchange rates:  taka per US dollar - 57.756 (January 2002), 55.807
(2001), 52.142 (2000), 49.085 (1999), 46.906 (1998), 43.892 (1997)

Fiscal year:  1 July - 30 June

Communications Bangladesh

Telephones - main lines in use:  500,000 (2000)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  283,000 (2000)

Telephone system:   totally inadequate for a modern country domestic:
UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fiber-optic cable in cities
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean);
international radiotelephone communications and landline service to
neighboring countries (2000)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 12, FM 12, shortwave 2 (1999)

Radios:  6.15 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  15 (1999)

Televisions:  770,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .bd

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  10 (2000)

Internet users:  30,000 (2000)

Transportation Bangladesh

Railways:  total: 2,745 km broad gauge: 923 km 1.676-m gauge narrow gauge:
1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (2000 est.)

Highways:  total: 201,182 km paved: 19,112 km unpaved: 182,070 km (1997)

Waterways:  up to 8,046 km depending on season note: includes 3,058 km
main cargo routes

Pipelines:  natural gas 1,250 km

Ports and harbors:  Chittagong, Dhaka, Mongla Port, Narayanganj (2001)

Merchant marine:  total: 34 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 269,932
GRT/379,271 DWT ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 26, container 3, petroleum
tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1, includes s foreign-owned ship registered
here as a flag of convenience: Singapore 5 (2002 est.)

Airports:  18 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 15 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047
m: 4 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 5 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 3 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 under
914 m: 2 (2001)

Military Bangladesh

Military branches:  Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, paramilitary
forces (includes Bangladesh Rifles, Bangladesh Ansars, Village Defense
Parties, Armed Police Battalions, National Cadet Corps)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 37,303,372 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 22,139,736
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $559 million (FY96/97)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1.8% (FY96/97)

Transnational Issues Bangladesh

Disputes - international:  only a small portion of the boundary with India
remains undelimited; discussions to demarcate the boundary, exchange
162 miniscule enclaves, and allocate divided villages remain stalled;
skirmishes, illegal border trafficking, and violence along the border
continue; Bangladesh has protested India's attempts to fence off high
traffic sections of the porous boundary; Burmese attempts to construct
a dam on the border stream in 2001 prompted an armed response halting
construction; Burmese Muslim refugees migrate into Bangladesh straining
meager resources

Illicit drugs:  transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Bangladesh Observer

The Independent

The Daily Star

New Age

News from Bangladesh

Bengali Newspapers
The Daily Ittefaq

Jaijaidin Weekly

The Daily Janakantha

International News on Bangladesh Bangladesh

Yahoo! News Full Coverage-Bangladesh

Arts & Culture
Bangladesh National Museum

Bangladesh Showbiz

Kazi Nazrul Islam

Manipuri Dance

The Manipuris

The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh


Business & Economy
Central Bank of Bangladesh

Dhaka Stock Exchange

Chittagong Stock Exchange

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce

Biman Bangladesh Airlines

GMG Airlines

Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation


Bangladesh World


Discover Bangladesh

Glimpses of Bangladesh

Virtual Bangladesh

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)

Independent University, Bangladesh

Jahangirnagar University

North South University (NSU)

University Grants Commission of Bangladesh

University of Chittagong

University of Dhaka

Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization


Ministry of Environment and Forest

Department of Environment

Bangladesh Environment Network

Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre

Inter Basin Water Transfer link Project, India's River Link plan

Bangladesh History

The Bangladesh Liberation War Museum

Rahman, Sheikh Mujibur (1920-1975)


Virtual Bangladesh : Directory

Newsgroup of Bangladesh





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