Society of Bangladesh



Population per sq km:  1,237

Life expectancy:  72 years

Net primary enrolment: 92% (2010)

Population: 160,995,000 (2015); density among world’s highest; 34 per cent of people live in urban areas and 14 per cent in urban agglomerations of more than a million people; growth 1.2 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 20 per 1,000 people (47 in 1970), controlled by vigorous family planning schemes; life expectancy 72 years (44 in 1970).

Language: Bangla (Bengali) is the official language. English is widely spoken, especially in government and commerce.

Religion: Muslims 90 per cent, Hindus 9.5 per cent, a few Buddhists and Christians (2011 census); Islam is the state religion.

Media: 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, Dhaka Courier (weekly) and Holiday (weekly). Dailies in Bengali include Ittefaq, Prothom Alo and Jugantor.

Television is Bangladesh’s most popular medium, especially in the cities. The country’s sole terrestrial TV channel, Bangladesh Television, is a public service. Satellite and cable television are popular in urban areas. Bangladesh Betar is the national public radio service. 

Some 32 per cent of households have TV sets (2010). There are 23 personal computers per 1,000 people (2006).

Public holidays: Shaheed Day (International Mother Language Day, 21 February), Independence Day (26 March), Labour Day (1 May), Bank Holiday (early July), National Mourning Day (15 August), National Revolution Day (7 November), Victory Day (16 December) and New Year’s Eve. The weekend comprises Friday/Saturday.

Religious and other festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Prophet’s Birthday, Bangla Naba Barsha (Bengali New Year, around 14 April), Buddha Purnima (April/May), Shab-e-Bharat (Ascension of the Prophet), Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan, three days), Durga Puja (Dashami, October), Shabe-Qadr (Evening of Destiny), Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice, three days) and Islamic New Year.