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Country Profile - Bangladesh

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Full Country Name:

The People's Republic of Bangladesh


147,570 sq km (91,695.75 sq mi)


135 million (2003 estimate)

Capital City:

Dhaka, 11 million (2005 estimate)


The official language is Bangla (Bengali), which is spoken by 99% of the population. However English (especially in business circles) is also used


Islam (89%),
Hinduism (10%).
Buddhists and Christians make up about 1% of the population


The unit of currency is the taka (TK) which is divided into 100 piasas

Dialling code from UK

00 880

Weights & Measures

The metric system is generally used, although local measures including the tola (11.66g) and maund (37 kg) are also still in use. In addition, land may be measured by katha (80 sq yards) and bigha (1,600 sq yards)

Head of State:

President Professor Dr. Iajuddin Ahmed

Prime Minister:

Khaleda Zia

Foreign Minister:

Manzur Morshed Khan MP


Bangladesh has roughly the same land area as England and Wales. It is enclosed by Indian territory except for a short south-eastern frontier with Burma and borders the Bay of Bengal in the south. Most of the country is formed by the alluvial plain of the Ganges-Brahmaputra river system - the largest delta in the world; water flow is second only to that of the Amazon. To the east of the delta lie the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Flooding is normal and life has adapted to take account of this. But occasionally excessive flooding, as in 1988, 1998, and 2004 causes widespread destruction and loss of life. Arable land is extremely fertile. Bangladesh's principal natural resource is natural gas.

The climate is tropical and governed by the monsoon winds which in summer (June to September) bring very heavy rainfall (up to 200 inches), often accompanied by cyclonic storms. The short winter is mild and relatively dry. In winter the mean temperature is about 16 degrees centigrade (53F) and in summer 27 degrees centigrade (80F).

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