For many thousands of years a long list of regional empires and European traders fought for control of the water-logged land now called Bangladesh.
Ruled by Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries, Bangladesh (formerly called East Pakistan), was formed in 1971 when it officially separated from its union with West Pakistan (now called Pakistan).
As one of the most crowded countries on the planet, much of the lush, low-lying landscape is subject to yearly flooding, and the subsequent devastation of cyclones.
Those natural hazards have adversely affected the nation’s economy and its people, as they often cause great loss of life.
Not on the front-burner of most travelers, reports from those who venture here rave about its natural beauty, the friendly welcome, the capital city of Dhaka, and the easy-going beach resort of Cox’s Bazar – home to the world’s longest beach.
Facts and Figures
- Name Bangladesh
- (long form) People’s Republic of Bangladesh
- Population 144,319,600
- Population & Density (all countries)
- Capital City Dhaka (11 million)
- Currency Taka (BDT)
- Languages Bengali (official), English
- National Day March 26
- Religions Muslim (83%), Hindu (16%), others
Latitude/Longitude (Capital City)
23� 43′ N, 90� 22′ E
Relative Location Bangladesh is in both the eastern and northern hemispheres. It’s positioned on the Indian subcontinent in south-central Asia, and is bordered by the Bay of Bengal, and the countries of India and Burma (Myanmar).
Coastline 360 miles (580 km)
(land) 51,703 sq miles (133,910 sq km)
(water) 3,896 sq miles (10,090 sq km)
(TOTAL) 55,599 sq miles (144,000 sq km)
Landforms Bangladesh, a nation of rivers, is in essence a large delta comprised of three significant rivers; the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna.
Subsequently, Bangladesh is one of the most flood-prone countries in the world. When the spring snows melt in the Himalayan Mountains and run south to the sea, the rivers often overflow.
Replete with mangrove forests and tropical rain forests, the overall land is mostly flat, with a few hilly areas in the east and southeast.
Highest Point Keokradong – 4,035 ft. (1,230 m)
Lowest Point Indian Ocean – 0 ft. (0 m)
Land Divisions 7 divisions; including Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Sylhet.