Encyclopedia Britannica, (2001)



National Anthem (audio)

Official Country name

গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ (Gaṇaprajātantrī Bāṃlādēśa) (audio)

Government Type

Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Republic

  • President: Abdul Hamid
  • Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • House Speaker: Shirin Chaudhury
  • Chief Justice: Syed Mahmud Hossain


Total: 147,570 km2 (56,980 sq mi) (92nd)

Water: 6.4(%)



Ethnic groups

98% Bengalis; Indigenous groups 2%


Bangladesh has a typical monsoon climate characterized by rain-bearing winds, moderately warm temperatures, and high humidity. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. The cyclones of 1970 and 1991 were particularly devastating, the latter killing some 140,000 people



Main cities

Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Tongi, Bogra, Mymensingh, Barisal, Rangpur

Official and National  Language


Other Languages

Chakma, Garo, Manipuri, Kokborok and Rakhine, urdu

Main Religion

Islam (89.5%)

Other Religions

Hinduism (8.5%), Buddhism (0.6%) Christianity (0.4%)

Education literacy rate

15-24 years: 93.3 (total) 91.8 (male) 94.91 (female)

15 years and older: 73.91(total) 76.67 (male) 71.18 (female)

65 years and older: 40.12 (total) 53.07 (male) 26.76 (female) (2018)

Child mortality:

30.02 (deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018)

In 2018, child mortality rate for Bangladesh was 30.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. Child mortality rate of Bangladesh fell gradually from 224.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1969 to 30.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018.

Currency: Bangladeshi taka (৳) (BDT)

International telephone area code


HDI (2018)        Increase 0.614 medium · 135th

(source: “Human Development Report 2019”; United Nations Development Programme. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019).

Driving side



3166 code


History: Formerly East Pakistan, modern Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation in 1971 after breaking away and achieving independence from Pakistan in the Bangladesh Liberation War. The country’s borders corresponded with the major portion of the ancient and historic region of Bengal in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent . It history is closely intertwined with the history of Bengal and the broader history of the Indian subcontinent.

Geography: Bangladesh is situated in the Ganges Delta where the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna come together. Most parts of Bangladesh are less than 12 m (39.4 ft) above the sea level. The highest point in Bangladesh is in Mowdok range at 1,052 m (3,451 ft) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the southeast of the country Cox’s Bazar, south of the city of Chittagong, has a beach that is uninterrupted over 120 km (75 mi).

A large part of the coastline is a marshy jungle, the Sundarbans. They are the largest mangrove forest in the world.

Politics and government

The parliament of Bangladesh, called the Jatiya Sangsad (House of the Nation), is a unicameral entity consisting of some 350 seats, most of which are filled through direct election. The remaining seats are reserved for women; these members are elected by the parliament itself. Legislators serve five-year terms. The parliament elects the president, who also serves a five-year term, with a two-term limit. The president then appoints the leader of the legislative majority party (or coalition) as prime minister.


Bangladesh is a country with a high population density, limited natural resources and a predominant agricultural economy vulnerable to floods and cyclones. Rice is the predominant agricultural product, jute and tea.

Economic policy aims to increase food production and expand education, while developing an industrial and technological base, but severe floods have often frustrated development plans.

From 2000 the economy grew strongly in clothing exports and remittances from Bangladeshis living abroad.

Since the establishment of Grameen Bank in 1976 and through the efforts of its founder, Muhammad Yunus, Bangladesh has served as a pioneering centre for microfinance, a means of extending credit in the form of small loans to non traditional borrowers, such as the poor. In the 2010s more than 30 million Bangladeshis were members of microfinance institutions.


Nobel Peace Prize

Muhammad Yunus (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ ইউনূস; born 28 June 1940) is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance.


The history of Bangladesh’s literature extends back many centuries, with the oldest sample of Bengali literature dating back a thousand years. A notable difference is seen in the literary works of pre- and post-independent Bangladesh. Literature from Bangladesh is produced in many forms, from novels to poetry, and in several languages

The best known are the works of the great Bengali poets Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) and Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899–1976), who was later proclaimed Bangladesh’s national bard and whose photos are displayed in establishments countrywide.

Modern-day Bangladesh has many prominent writers including Tahmima Anam, Kaiser Haq, K. Anis Ahmed, Razia Khan, Neamat Imam, Monica Ali and Zia Haider Rahman. They have through their books thrown light at the various facades of Bangladesh history and culture.


Bangladesh has a lively and thriving press, with very many newspapers and weeklies in circulation. Leading English-language newspapers are The Daily Star, Daily Sun, The Independent, New Age, The New Nation, and Holiday (weekly). Dailies in Bengali include Dainik Ittefaq, Daily Prothom Alo and Dainik Jugantor.


National Holiday

21 February:: Language Movement Day (2শহীদ দিবস Shôhid Dibôs commemorating the protests and sacrifices to protect Bengali as a national language during Bengali Language Movement of 1952

17 March: Mujib’s Birthday & Children’s Day মুজিব জয়ন্তী (Mujib jaẏantī) commemorating Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’ Birthday, founder of Bangladesh and National Children’s Day.

26 March:  Independence Day স্বাধীনতা দিবস (Shadhinôta Dibôs) commemorating the proclamation of Independence and the start of the Liberation War.

14 April: Bengali New Year’s Day পহেলা বৈশাখ (Pôhela Bôishakh) commemorating the start of the Bengali calendar year.

1 May: May Day মে দিবস (Me Dibôs) commemorating the International Workers’ Solidarity Day.

15 August: National Mourning Day জাতীয় শোক দিবস (Jatiyô shok dibôs)  remembering the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

16 December: Victory Day বিজয় দিবস (Bijôy Dibôs) commemorating the surrender of Pakistan and the ending of the Liberation War.

Religious holidays

Islamic holidays

Ashura আশুরা (Ashura) commemorating the death of the grandson of Muhammad

Eid-e-Miladun-Nabi ঈদে মিলাদুন্নবী (Īdē milādunnabī) commemorating the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad

Eid ul-Fitr ঈদুল ফিতর (Īdul phitar) End of the month of Ramadan. (Festival of Fastbreaking) commemorating the end of the month of Ramadan. (Festival of Fastbreaking)

Eid ul-Adha ঈদুল আযহা (Īdul ājahā) commemorating the”Sacrifice Feast”, the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son

Hindu holidays

Krishna Janmashtami জন্মাষ্টমী (Jônmashômi) commemorating the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

Durga Puja দুর্গা পূজা (Durga Puja) commemorating the battle of goddess Durga with the shape-shifting, deceptive and powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura, and her emerging victorious.

Christian holidays

Christmas Day বড়দিন (ôdin) commemorating Jesus Christ’s birthday

Buddhist holidays

Buddha’s Birthday বুদ্ধ পূর্ণিমা (Buddhô Purnima) commemorating the birth of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama, later the Gautama Buddha and founder of Buddhism.


Bangladeshi film industry has achieved limited commercial success. The 1984 short film Agami, directed by Morshedul Islam, is widely regarded as the birth of the Alternative Film Movement, the name given to Bangladesh’s independent film industry. It provides an alternative to the largely musical-based film industry, ‘Dhallywood’, and has generated creative talents such as the late Tareque Masud, whose award-winning 2002 film The Clay Bird is arguably the best independent film to have come out of Bangladesh.


Makher Taukari: (fish curry);  Saak-er Ghanto (vegetarian recipe with  different vegetables); Shemai (sweet)


The Education system is divided into five years of elementary education, three years of lower-secondary education and four years of upper-secondary education. It is oriented towards general, madrasah (religious) or technical / vocational preferences. Private schools and universities are funded by Government since the Constitution decrees that children between ages 6 and 10 shall pay nothing. Local education is controlled by a hierarchy of school boards.

Those who choose to complete the last 2 of their 10 school grades  at general secondary high schools may specialize in humanities, science or commerce to mention but a few. At the end of this they may write a secondary school certificate examination supervised by no less than 7 school boards. Alternatively, they may elect to follow the madrasah religious education route that culminates in a different series of similar level tests.

Vocational Education

Vocational training institutes or technical training centres are administered by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor and employment respectively. Choices here are between longer-term professional certification and shorter term job-specific orientation.

Tertiary Education

Students who stay either course have choices once again. These include writing their higher secondary education certificate after 2 more years at a technical / poly technical institute where they hone their practical skills further.  Alternatively, they may enter one of many private or state-funded universities for 5 years of undergraduate

Structure of Bangladesh school system


Age 3 – 5

Length: 3 years (not compulsory)

Elementary Education (compulsory)

Primary school

Age: 6 – 11

Length: 5 years

Lower junior high school:

Age: 11 -13

Length: 2 years

Secondary Education

The superior school’s system at present is structured in :

Secondary School Certificate (SSC)

Length: 2 years

Certificate  (Vocational Education)

Length: I year or 2 years

Higher Secondary Education

Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC)

Length: 2 years

Diploma (Vocational Education)

Length: 2-4 years

Tertiary Education

Bachelor’s degree (Pass)

Length: 3 years

Bachelor’s degree Honours

Length: 4 years

Master Degree

Length: 3-4 years

Master of Philosophy

Length: 2 years

Doctoral Degree (PhD)

Length: 2+ years