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Languages   2 languages are spoken in Bangladesh. We have 200 products available for those languages.

Capital: Dacca
Population: 131,269,860
Description: Bengali is spoken by the vast majority of the poplulation.
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Bangladesh Map


Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India

Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 90 00 E

Map references: Asia

total: 144,000 sq km
land: 133,910 sq km
water : 10,090 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Wisconsin

Land boundaries:
total : 4,246 km
border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km

Coastline: 580 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone : 18 nm
continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; cool, dry winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); cool, rainy monsoon (June to October)

Terrain: mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Reng Tlang 957 m

Natural resources: natural gas, arable land, timber

Land use:
arable land: 73%
permanent crops: 2%
permanent pastures : 5%
forests and woodland: 15%
other: 5% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 31,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: droughts, cyclones; much of the country routinely flooded during the summer monsoon season

Environment - current issues: many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; limited access to potable water; water-borne diseases prevalent; water pollution especially of fishing areas results from the use of commercial pesticides; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation; deforestation; severe overpopulation

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea


Population: 125,340,261 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 38% (male 24,397,316; female 23,417,919)
15-64 years : 59% (male 37,758,378; female 35,715,343)
65 years and over: 3% (male 2,204,445; female 1,846,860) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.82% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 29.8 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 10.9 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years : 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.19 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 100 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 56.26 years
male: 56.35 years
female : 56.16 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.45 children born/woman (1997 est.)

noun : Bangladeshi(s)
adjective: Bangladesh

Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, Biharis 250,000, tribals less than 1 million

Religions: Muslim 88.3%, Hindu 10.5%, other 1.2%

Languages: Bangla (official), English

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.1%
male: 49.4%
female : 26.1% (1995 est.)


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

Data code: BG

Government type: republic

National capital: Dhaka

Administrative divisions: 4 divisions; Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi
note: there may be two new divisions named Barisal and Sylhet

Independence: 16 December 1971 (from Pakistan)

National holiday: Independence Day, 26 March (1971)

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 Shahabuddin AHMED (since 9 October 1996); 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: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina WAJED (since 23 June 1996)
cabinet : Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president
elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 24 July 1996 (next to be held by NA October 2001); following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually appointed prime minister by the president
election results : Shahabuddin AHMED elected president without opposition; percent of National Parliament vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad (330 seats; 300 elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies, 30 seats reserved for women; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 12 June 1996 (next to be held NA 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party - AL 33.87%, BNP 30.87%; seats by party - AL 178, BNP 113, JP 33, JI 3, other 2, election still to be held 1; note - the elections of 12 June 1996 brought to power an Awami League government for the first time in twenty-one years; held under a neutral, caretaker administration, the elections were characterized by a peaceful, orderly process and massive voter turnout, ending a bitter two-year impasse between the former BNP and opposition parties that had paralyzed National Parliament and led to widespread street violence

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, the Chief Justices and other judges are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khaleda ZIAur RAHMAN; Awami League (AL), Sheikh Hasina WAJED; Jatiyo Party (JP), Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD; Jamaat-E-Islami (JI), Motiur Rahman NIZAMI; Bangladesh Communist Party (BCP), Saifuddin Ahmed MANIK


Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Khwaja Mohammad SHEHABUDDIN
chancery: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone : [1] (202) 342-8372 through 8376
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David N. MERRILL
embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212
mailing address : G.P.O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000
telephone: [880] (2) 884700 through 884722
FAX: [880] (2) 883-744

Flag description: green with a large red disk slightly to the hoist side of center; green is the traditional color of Islam


Economy - overview: Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains one of the world's poorest, most densely populated, and least developed nations. Annual GDP growth has averaged over 4% in recent years from a low base. Its economy is largely agricultural, with the cultivation of rice the single most important activity in the economy. Major impediments to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, the inefficiency of state-owned enterprises, a rapidly growing labor force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural gas), inadequate power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Frequent strikes that crippled the economy in 1995 and early 1996 subsided after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina WAJED's Awami League government assumed power in mid-1996, allowing a return to normal economic activity. The current government has made some headway improving the climate for foreign investors and liberalizing the capital markets; for example, it has negotiated with foreign firms for oil and gas exploration, better countrywide distribution of cooking gas, and the construction of natural gas pipelines and power plants. Progress on other economic reforms has been halting because of opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector unions, and other vested interest groups.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $155.1 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.7% (1996)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,260 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 31%
industry: 18%
services: 51% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 4% (FY95/96)

Labor force:
total: 50.1 million
by occupation: agriculture 65%, services 21%, industry and mining 14% (1989)
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Oman (1991)

Unemployment rate: 35.9% (1996)

revenues : $4.1 billion
expenditures: $6 billion, including capital expenditures of $3 billion (FY95/96 est.)

Industries: jute manufacturing, cotton textiles, food processing, steel, fertilizer

Industrial production growth rate: 5.7% (1996 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 2.98 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 10.01 billion kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 76 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes; beef, milk, poultry

total value: $3.9 billion (FY95/96 est.)
commodities : garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood
partners: Western Europe 42%, US 30%, Hong Kong 4%, Japan 3% (FY95/96 est.)

total value: $6.8 billion (FY95/96 est.)
commodities: capital goods, textiles, food, petroleum products
partners: India 21%, China 10%, Western Europe 8%, Hong Kong 7%, Singapore 6% (FY95/96 est.)

Debt - external: $17.1 billion (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient : $1.585 billion (FY95/96)

Currency: 1 taka (Tk) = 100 poiska

Exchange rates: taka (Tk) per US$1 - 42.450 (January 1997), 41.794 (1996), 40.278 (1995), 40.212 (1994), 39.567 (1993), 38.951 (1992)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


Telephones: 249,800 (1994 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic: poor domestic telephone service
international : satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries

Radio broadcast stations: AM 9, FM 6, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 11

Televisions: 350,000 (1993 est.)


total: 2,892 km
broad gauge: 978 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,914 km 1.000-m gauge (1992)

total : 168,513 km
paved: 15,672 km
unpaved: 152,841 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: 5,150-8,046 km navigable waterways (includes 2,575-3,058 km main cargo routes)

Pipelines: natural gas 1,220 km

Ports and harbors: Chittagong, Dhaka, Chalna Port (Mongla)

Merchant marine:
total: 41 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 323,057 GRT/464,090 DWT
ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 32, oil tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2 (1996 est.)

Airports: 15 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 14
over 3,047 m : 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 6 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (1996 est.)


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

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 32,797,816 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 19,406,790 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $481 million (FY95/96)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.7% (FY95/96)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: a portion of the boundary with India in dispute; Bangladesh and India signed a treaty 12 December 1996 to share water from the Ganges

Illicit drugs: transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries