Bangladesh Demographics

What is the population of Bangladesh?

Population 162,650,853
Population Growth Rate 1.59%
Urban Population 28.400000
Population in Major Urban Areas DHAKA (capital) 15.391 million; Chittagong 5.239 million; Khulna 1.781 million; Rajshahi 932,000
Nationality Noun Bangladeshi(s)
Ethnic Groups Bengali 98%, tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims
Language Note Bangla, the official language, is also spoken in India’s West Bengal. People with a university education usually speak English.

Bangladesh Learning

What is school like in Bangladesh?


Schools are categorized into two groups, public schools, and private schools. Private schools are relatively new, and most of them could be found in cities and urban areas. Good private schools usually have well-equipped classrooms with computers, projectors, and other audio-visual equipment. But these schools usually have high tuition fees and only a small privileged group of kids can afford to go there. A big downside of most of these private schools is that they do not have their own playgrounds on the school premise.

Many of the government-funded public schools are early establishments (30/40 years old on average) and usually have big playgrounds. But the major problem in public schools is the teacher-student ratio. A typical classroom in a public school usually has around 60/70 kids and lacks proper resources. In many classrooms, blackboard and chalks are all a teacher has as teaching equipment and an inadequate number of benches/chairs is accommodated in seemingly insufficient space. Books are provided for free at the start of the year in public schools.


Classes in primary schools here usually have a duration of 1 hour. The time for recess is half an hour. Many students carry small Tiffin carriers with them which contain homemade meals. Public schools provide Tiffin also during recess, in private schools, this is not the case though.

Children who attend school do not speak English as a primary language at home. At home, conversations take place in their mother language, Bengali. There are private English medium schools where children use English as the language for communication during in-class hours. But these schools are only prevalent in big cities and are usually for the upper/upper-middle-class kids. For all the public and Bengali medium schools, English is included in the curriculum as a subject from grade 1 through grade 12.

The primary education completion rate is about 75% and enrollment in the Secondary level is a mere 42%. The majority of the population live in villages and the majority of them are farmers. Many kids have to drop school early in their life in order to support their fathers and families in farming. The cost of education is an issue here. The awareness level is continually increasing and village people are getting to understand the importance of education. The government is also extending a helping hand by setting up more schools in remote areas and providing books for free. A number of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are operating in villages across the country and they are playing a good part in raising awareness about a good education.

Both public and private schools are well disciplined. Students have to attend daily parades in morning schools and the day usually begins with reciting the national anthem. Uniforms are mandatory in both public and private schools. The teacher-student relationship here is very warm and children greet their teachers warmly.

Children usually return home directly after school, unless there is a school trip arranged. In city schools, some children go to private tutors/coaching centers after school ends. This practice is prevalent mostly because of the high teacher-student ratio which does not allow for individual attention for each student in the classroom. Some students go to cultural institutions after school hours as well.

Bangladesh Population Comparison

Bangladesh Health Information

What are the health conditions in Bangladesh?

Life Expectancy at Birth 70.360000
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 5.67
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 47.300000
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 3.7%
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .36
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population .6
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk High
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 85.800000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 240
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth (age 25-49) 18.1
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 12-49 61.2%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 2.5
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 1.1%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 55.200000
Underweight - percent of children under five years 36.8%

Bangladesh Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Bangladesh?

Life Expectancy at Birth 70.360000
Median Age 23.900000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 61.2%
Infant Mortality Rate 47.300000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 240
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 2.5

Bangladesh median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 22
Median Age 23.900000
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -0.52
Population Growth Rate 1.59%
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.040000
Age Structure 28.270000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 61.2%
Infant Mortality Rate 47.300000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 240
Mother's mean age at first birth 18.1
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 2.5

Bangladesh Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Bangladesh?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

The general level of sanitation and health care in Bangladesh is far below U.S. and European standards. There is limited ambulance service in Bangladesh and attendants seldom are trained to provide the level of care seen in the United States. Traffic congestion and lack of a modern centralized emergency services system (on par with 911 in the U.S.) make patient transport slow and inefficient. Several hospitals in Dhaka (e.g., United, Apollo, and Square Hospitals) have emergency rooms that are equipped at the level of a community hospital, but most expatriates leave the country for all but the simplest medical procedures. Hospitals in the provinces are less well-equipped and supplied. Psychological and psychiatric services are limited throughout Bangladesh. There have been reports of counterfeit medications within the country, but medication from major pharmacies and hospitals is generally reliable. Medical evacuations to Bangkok or Singapore are often necessary for serious conditions or surgical procedures and can cost thousands of dollars. See the Medical Insurance section below for useful information.

Despite government efforts, community sanitation and public health programs are inadequate in Bangladesh. Water supplies in Bangladesh are generally not potable. Typhoid fever, cholera, infectious hepatitis, giardia, cyclospora, and bacillary and amebic dysentery are only a few of the serious diseases transmitted by impure drinking water. Bottled drinking water, especially in major brands, is generally safe for consumption. Fecal-oral contamination is common; improperly prepared meat and improperly cleaned vegetables can lead to food-borne illnesses such as cysticercosis, neurocysticercosis, and campylobacteriosis plus hepatitis A, B, C, and E. Press reports indicate that fish and other raw foods are frequently treated with formalin to slow decomposition, that fruits, particularly bananas, are generally treated with chemicals to speed ripening, that milk products are adulterated with melamine, and vegetables tend to show elevated levels of arsenic due to contaminated groundwater. Washing, soaking, peeling, and thoroughly cooking food are mandatory procedures to minimize chemical, insecticide, bacterial, and parasitic contamination.

Multiple strains of influenza continue to circulate annually in Bangladesh including the H1N1 influenza A pandemic strain. Peak influenza circulation occurs during the rainy season, approximately May through October. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the most common influenza viruses (seasonal flu). For more information about seasonal influenza, please refer to the CDC’s Seasonal Flu website.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus H5N1 (Bird flu) has been circulating among poultry in the country since 2007 and outbreaks continue to occur nationwide. The most recent outbreak occurred in October 2012. In response to the ongoing circulation of H5N1 in the country, the government has planned to start a pilot H5N1 vaccination program among domestic poultry. There are concerns from a human health perspective about the use of poultry vaccine which minimizes signs of illness in the birds but does not confer sterilizing immunity, as we could have the silent circulation of the virus in the birds, with continued human exposure. The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) is reviewing its current surveillance platforms with a plan to increase its monitoring of H5N1 circulation among healthy-looking birds sold in markets. Although avian influenza A viruses usually do not infect humans, rare cases of human infection with avian influenza A viruses have been reported, most often following direct or close contact with infected poultry. As Bangladesh continues to be affected by H5N1, it is recommended to avoid poultry farms, contact with birds in live food markets, and to avoid consumption of poultry products that are not thoroughly cooked. For information on avian influenza (bird flu), please refer to the Department of State's Avian Influenza Fact Sheet.

Any questions or concerns about influenza or other illnesses should be directed to a medical professional. Although the Embassy cannot provide medical advice or provide medical services to the public, a list of hospitals and doctors in Dhaka can be found on the Embassy website.

Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness, is prevalent in Dhaka and surrounding areas, in particular from October through March, but can happen at any time of year. Prevention is key, as there is no vaccine or treatment once infected. Malaria is a problem in the surrounding areas outside Dhaka. If you are planning to travel outside Dhaka, consider starting prophylaxis medication prior to travel. Japanese B encephalitis, also a mosquito-borne disease, is a problem throughout Bangladesh, although less so in Dhaka. While there is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis, there is a recommended vaccine available. Chikungunya was found in Bangladesh in 2008, and this mosquito-borne illness is slowly making headway throughout the country, including in Dhaka. No vaccine or specific treatment exists for Chikungunya. In all areas, the use of mosquito repellent and bed nets are strongly recommended to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

In 2009 and 2010, there were multiple outbreaks of anthrax in rural communities in Bangladesh among persons who slaughtered sick animals. Individuals who avoid this activity are not at risk. Though a small risk still exists of consuming anthrax-infected meat, human vaccination against anthrax is not recommended. Rabies is a more serious problem, with several thousand dying yearly in Bangladesh from this endemic disease, generally passed on via bites from infected dogs. Seek prophylactic advice from your healthcare practitioner before coming to Bangladesh, and seek immediate medical attention if bitten by any animal.

According to the World Health Organization, Bangladesh has also seen cases of polio, Nipah virus, and Kala-Azar, (visceral leishmaniasis). Kala-Azar is a deadly disease caused by a parasitic protozoan, leishmaniadonovani, transmitted to humans by the bite of infected female sandflies, phlebotomusargentipes, which lowers immunity, causes persistent fever, anemia, liver and spleen enlargement, loss of body weight and if left untreated, kills.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem and is endemic in Bangladesh. In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked Bangladesh seventh among the world’s 22 high-burden TB countries. The prevalence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is relatively low, but a recent WHO report suggests the rate of MDR-TB is increasing in the country.

Health Expenditures - percent of GDP


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Bangladesh Education

What is school like in Bangladesh?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 2.2%
Literacy - female 31.8%
Literacy - male 53.9%
Literacy - total population 47.9%
Literacy Definition Age 15 and over can read and write
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 10.000000

Bangladesh Literacy

Can people in Bangladesh read?

Literacy - female 31.8%
Literacy - male 53.9%
Literacy - total population 47.9%
Literacy Definition Age 15 and over can read and write

Bangladesh Crime

Is Bangladesh a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

The Department of State rates Dhaka as having a high crime rate; the types of crime are comparable to any other world capital or large city. Always take precautions such as being alert and aware, locking home and vehicle doors, varying routes, and schedules, traveling in groups, never walking alone at night, and parking near entrances or security lamps. Hiring a 24-hour guard is highly recommended due to the possibility of trespassing and break-ins. In general, crime dramatically increases in the hours of darkness; this includes dusk and dawn. Urban crime can be organized or opportunistic, conducted by individuals or groups, and commonly encompasses fraud, theft (larceny, pick-pocketing, and snatch-and-grab), robbery (armed and unarmed), carjacking, rape, assault, and burglary (home and auto). Incidents of crime and levels of violence are higher in low-income residential and congested commercial areas but are seen in wealthier areas as well, including the Diplomatic Enclave in Dhaka. Many of the reported attacks occurred while the victims were riding in rickshaws; other incidents involved the targeting of small groups of foreigners on foot.

To reduce your risk while riding in a rickshaw, keep your bags or valuables under your legs, away from passing vehicle traffic, and ensure that your bag’s carrying straps are not visible. For security reasons, Embassy personnel are prohibited from riding in taxis, buses, rickshaws in Dhaka (outside of Dhaka’s Diplomatic Enclave), and engine-powered rickshaws (also known as CNGs or auto-rickshaws) and recommends that U.S. citizens exercise similar caution. Although U.S. embassy personnel may use trains in Bangladesh, travelers are warned to use extreme caution as trains in Bangladesh are known to be boarded by robbers at all hours of the day on all routes, and larceny commonly occurs. Avoid carrying or displaying large sums of money or wearing expensive jewelry and be aware of your surroundings when you use ATMs. Valuables should be stored in hotel safety deposit boxes and should not be left unattended in hotel rooms.

Taxis, if available at all, are unsafe and unreliable. Long-term visitors typically hire a car and driver; short-term visitors should hire a car through their hotel and arrange in advance with their hotel or another reliable party for pickup by hotel vehicle or similar transportation.

Women should observe stringent security precautions, including avoiding the use of public transport after dark without the company of known and trustworthy companions, restricting evening entertainment to well-known venues, and avoiding isolated areas when alone at any time of day. Keep your hotel room number confidential and make sure hotel room doors have chains, deadlocks, and spy holes. Hire only reliable cars and drivers and avoid traveling in vehicles hailed on the street.

Police are generally responsive to reports of crimes against U.S. citizens. However, crimes often go unsolved or unprosecuted.

If you are assaulted, the Embassy recommends that you not fight with your attacker. Flee to a safe area and report the situation to the local authorities. Let go of your purse or backpack rather than fight to retain possession of it. Use hotel safes or lock-boxes for valuables. We encourage all U.S. citizens to carry their mobile phones with them at all times and to travel in pairs or groups. It is also a good idea to travel with a native Bangla speaker if you intend to travel outside urban areas.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only is it illegal in the United States, you may be breaking local law too.

Bangladesh Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in another country, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods, engage in sexual conduct with children, or use or disseminate child pornography in a foreign country. If you break local laws in Bangladesh, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

Persons violating Bangladeshi laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. The death penalty exists in Bangladesh. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs in Bangladesh are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. While the Bangladesh Constitution enshrines a right to a speedy trial, the interpretation of “speedy” is broad by international standards, and protracted judicial proceedings are common in Bangladesh.

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