Demographics of Bangladesh

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Demographics of Bangladesh, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

The area which is now Bangladesh has a rich historical and cultural past, combining Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Mongol/Mughul, Arab, Persian, Turkic, and west European cultures. Residents of Bangladesh, about 98% of whom are ethnic Bengali and speak Bangla, are called Bangladeshis. Urdu-speaking, non-Bengali Muslims of Indian origin, and various tribal groups, mostly in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, comprise the remainder. Most Bangladeshis (about 83%) are Muslims, but Hindus constitute a sizable (16%) minority. There also are a small number of Buddhists, Christians, and animists. English is spoken in urban areas and among the educated.

Sufi religious teachers succeeded in converting many Bengalis to Islam, even before the arrival of Muslim armies from the west. About 1200 AD, Muslim invaders established political control over the Bengal region. This political control also encouraged conversion to Islam. Since then, Islam has played a crucial role in the region's history and politics, with a Muslim majority emerging, particularly in the eastern region of Bengal.

Urbanization in Bangladesh is proceeding rapidly, and it is estimated that only 30% of the population entering the labor force in the future will be absorbed into agriculture, although many will likely find other kinds of work in rural areas. The areas around Dhaka and Comilla are the most densely settled. The Sundarbans, an area of coastal tropical jungle in the southwest and last wild home of the Bengal Tiger, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts on the southeastern border with Burma and India, are the least densely populated.

Demographic data from the CIA World Factbook


144,319,628 (July 2005 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 33.1% (male 24,590,207/female 23,162,420)
15-64 years: 63.5% (male 46,764,824/female 44,868,733)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 2,650,683/female 2,282,761) (2005 est.)

Median age

Total: 21.87 years
Male: 21.88 years
Female: 21.85 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate

2.09% (2005 est.)

Birth rate

30.01 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Death rate

8.4 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Sex ratio

At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.16 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate

Total: 62.6 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 63.65 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 61.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total population: 62.08 years
Male: 62.13 years
Female: 62.02 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate

3.13 children born/woman (2005 est.)


Adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS: 13,000 (2001 est.)
Deaths: 650 (2001 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Degree of risk: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations
Water contact disease: leptospirosis
Animal contact disease: rabies (2004)


Noun: Bangladeshi(s)
Adjective: Bangladeshi

Ethnic groups

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


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

Others: Christians, Buddhists and Native Religions


Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English


Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 43.1%
Male: 53.9%
Female: 31.8% (2003 est.)


Template:CIA WFB 2005 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.