Bangladesh: Country Profile
is a big delta formed by the two big river systems, Ganges-Padma and Brahmaputra-Jamuna.
It is situated on the Tropic of Cancer and 90 degree east longitude with
an area of 147 thousand square kilometres and inhabited by 143.4 million
people. By the year 2025 the population of Bangladesh is projected to
increase to 178.8 million. Bangladesh is the 9th most populous country
and perhaps the world's most densely populated area (density 897/sq km).
The population is mostly rural; urban population amounts to only 18%.
About 8 million people live in the capital city Dhaka, although most of
them live below the absolute poverty line. Bangladesh gained independence
after a war with Pakistan in 1971. It is a secular country with different
religious groups such as Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Buddhists; although
85% of the populationare Muslims and 98% are ethnically Bengali.
The economy of Bangladesh mainly depends on primary activities. Major
agriculture products are rice, jute, sugar cane, tobacco and tea. Agricultural
productivity heavily depends on the monsoon climate. About 18% of the
GNP come from industrial/secondary sectors and about 50% from service/tertiary
sectors. Major industries are jute, textile, cement, ceramic and garments
manufacturing. Presently the garment industry is the major source of foreign
currency earning and has created huge opportunities for the employment
of women. It increased the female labour force to a level now standing
at 25 million (while male labour force is at 35 million (1995).
Bangladesh has huge reserves of natural gases and some coal, mud stone
and petroleum. Gases are mainly used for generating electricity, producing
fertilisers, industrial use and household purposes.