Official Country Name

Bangladesh Overview
Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.

Bangladesh Economy
Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-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. 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 BNP government, led by Prime Minister Khaleda ZIA, has the parliamentary strength to push through needed reforms, but the party's political will to do so has been lacking in key areas. On an encouraging note, growth has been a steady 5-6% for the past several years.

Bangladesh Location
Bangladesh is located in Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India

Bangladesh is located in Asia

Bangladesh Population
Bangladesh has population of 147,365,352 (July 2006 est.)

Bangladesh Climate
Bangladesh has tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)

Bangladesh Terrain
mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast

Bangladesh Natural Resources
natural gas, arable land, timber, coal

Ethnic Groups in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has the following ethnic groups - Bengali 98%, tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims (1998)

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

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

Bangladesh Capital
Bangladesh capital is Dhaka

Bangladesh Currency
Bangladesh currency is taka

Map of Bangladesh