Background: 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. A military-backed, emergency caretaker regime suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes and violent street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in previous years, the parliamentary elections finally held in late December 2008 were mostly peaceful and Sheikh HASINA Wajed was elected prime minister. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.
Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India
Area land: 130,168 sq km
Area water: 13,830 sq km
Coastline: 580 km
Country name conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
Country name conventional short form: Bangladesh
Country name former: East Bengal, East Pakistan
Population: 158,570,535 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 34.3% (male 27,551,594/female 26,776,647); 15-64 years: 61.1% (male 45,956,431/female 50,891,519); 65 years and over: 4.7% (male 3,616,225/female 3,778,119) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.566% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 22.98 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 5.75 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.57 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female; total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 50.73 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 53.23 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 48.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.75 years; male: 67.93 years; female: 71.65 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.6 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 6,300 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 200 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Bangladeshi(s); adjective: Bangladeshi;
Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims) (1998);
Religions: Muslim 89.5%, Hindu 9.6%, other 0.9% (2004);
Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 47.9%; male: 54%; female: 41.4% (2001 Census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $259.3 billion (2010 est.); $244.6 billion (2009 est.); $231.4 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $100.1 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2010 est.); 5.7% (2009 est.); 6% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,700 (2010 est.); $1,600 (2009 est.); $1,500 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 18.4%; industry: 28.7%; services: 52.9% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 40% (2010 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 8.8%; highest 10%: 26.6% (2008);
Labor force: 73.87 million;
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 45%; industry: 30%; services: 25% (2008);
Unemployment rate: 4.8% (2010 est.); 5.1% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $11.43 billion; expenditures: $15.9 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar;
Industrial production growth rate: 6.4% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 25.62 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 23.94 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
(24 hour news coverage), Karwan Bazar Dhaka
(Independent, daily newspaper), Dhaka
(Daily newspaper of South-Western Bangladesh), Khulna
(Left-wing daily newspaper), Dhaka
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Nationwide improvements in plant and seed conservation programs will engender food security and sustainable economic development on a local level in Bangladesh.
Human trafficking is an international problem; the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that as many as 1.2 million children are trafficked every year.
With a very small job market and barely any scope for self-employment, rural people are swelling the ranks of the city's economic migrants. And they are not just victims of Cyclone Sidr.
After deliberations at the highest policy-making levels, the Indian government has commissioned the construction of a barbed wire fencing along entire common boundary with Bangladesh.