Bangladesh Demography and Culture


With an area of 142,000 square kilometers, the population density is remarkable. To put it in perspective, the Russian population is slightly smaller despite the fact that Russia covers an area of 17.5 million square kilometers, at least 120 times the size of Bangladesh. The country has the highest population density in the world, not counting some city-states and some small countries like Bahrain.

In the 1960s and 1970s, its population growth was one of the highest in the world, as the country went from 50 to 90 million residents, but with the promotion of family planning in the 1980s, the rate growth decreased.

The population is relatively young, with 60% of Bangladeshis between the ages of 0 and 25, while only 3% are over 65. Life expectancy is 63 years for men and women.

The majority ethnic group is the Bengali people, who comprise 98% of the population. The rest are mainly made up of bihari migrants and indigenous tribal groups. There are thirteen of these tribal groups, located in the Chittagong Hills, the most populous tribe being the Chakmas. This region has been a source of constant ethnic conflict since the country’s independence.

The largest tribal groups outside this area are the Santhals and the Garos (Achiks). There are also the ethnic groups of Kaibartta, Meitei, Mundas, Oraons and Zomi. Human trafficking has been a persistent problem and illegal immigration has generated friction with Myanmar and India.

The official and most widely used language in Bangladesh, as well as in West Bengal, is Bengali or Bangla, an Indo-Aryan language of Sanskrit origin that has its own alphabet.

According to andyeducation, English is used as a second language among the middle and upper classes and in higher education. Since an order from the president in 1987, Bengali has been used for all official correspondence except those addressed to foreign recipients. Baitul Mukarram, the national mosque of Bangladesh.

Recently, health and education levels improved, while poverty levels decreased. Most Bangladeshis live in rural communities, engaging in subsistence farming. Health problems abound, ranging from arsenic contamination of groundwater to diseases such as malaria, leptospirosis and dengue. The literacy rate is approximately 48%.

Currently there is no longer a gender disparity, as literacy rates have leveled off at 71% among men and 73% among women. Literacy has become a priority thanks to many programs run by the local government.

Among the most successful are the Food for Education (FFE) program, introduced in 1993, and a scholarship program for women studying at the primary and secondary levels.


The Bengali language has a rich literary heritage, which is shared with the Indian state of West Bengal. The first literary text in Bengali dates from the 8th century, the work Charyapada. Medieval Bengali literature was often religious (eg Chandidas), or adapted from other languages (eg Alaol).

Bengali literature reached its full expression in the 19th century, among its greatest icons the poets Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam stand out. Bangladesh also has a long tradition in popular literature, with works such as Maimansingha Gitika, Thakurmar Jhuli, and other stories related to Gopal Bhar.

The Bangladeshi musical tradition is based on lyrics, with minimal instrumental accompaniment (Baniprodhan). The Baul tradition is a unique heritage of Bengal folk music, in addition to there are numerous other musical traditions that vary from region to region: Gombhira, Bhatiali and Bhawaiya are some of the best known musical genres.

Bengal folk music is often accompanied by the ek tara, a single-stringed musical instrument, the dotara, the dhol, the flute, and the tabla. Bangladesh also has an active heritage in Hindustani classical music. Similarly, dance forms come from popular traditions, especially those of tribal groups, as well as from the broad Indian dance tradition.

Around eighty films are produced in the country a year, in addition to the major Indian films being very popular as well. About 200 newspapers are also published, along with more than 1,800 publications of other types. However, there are few regular readers, who make up less than 15% of the population.

Bangladeshis listen to a wide variety of local and national Bangladesh Betar radio programs, as well as four private FM radio stations (Radio Foorti, ABC Radio, Radio Today, Radio Amar) whose popularity among younger generations is growing rapidly in cities. more important. There are also radio services for the BBC and Voice of America in Bengali.

The dominant television channel is the parastatal Bangladesh Television, but in recent years private initiative channels have developed considerably. The culinary tradition is closely related to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, but it also has its own unique characteristics. Rice and curry are the most traditional ingredients.

Several very distinctive milk sweets are produced in Bangladesh, some of the most common are rôshogolla, chômchôm and kalojam.

The sari (shari) is the most worn clothing among Bangladeshi women. Dhaka, in particular, is famous for the production of exquisite Jamdani muslin saris. Salwar kameez (shaloar kamiz) is also very popular, while in urban areas some women wear Western dress.

Among men, the latter is the most used. However, men also wear the kurta-pajama combination, often on religious occasions, and the lungi, a kind of long skirt.

Bangladesh Culture