Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely populated
countries (1,094 residents per km2). The
urbanization rate is low for South Asian conditions (37
Countryaah, the largest cities are Dhaka (7 million residents, 2012), Chittagong (2.6 million) and Khulna (663,000). It is
estimated that the country has 85,000 villages. Especially
densely populated are the river plains in the south.
The majority (98 percent) of the population is Bengali.
They are predominantly Muslims, but a significant minority
are Hindus. Although there are often both Muslims and Hindus
in the same village, the cultural differences between the
two groups are evident and expressed, except in the practice
of religion itself, i.a. in the attire, in the way of
health, in the choice of personal names and in food rules.
In practice, marriage between Muslims and Hindus never
occurs. Recently, Hindu Bengalis have agitated for their own
state within Bangladesh. The majority of Muslims (88%
according to the 2002 census) are Sunni, but there are also
small groups and ahmaddiya (100,000). In addition, there is
a small group of Shi'ites (3 percent), mainly Bihar,
who immigrated from the Indian state of Bihar.
Only a fraction of the population is made up of dozens of
tribes of Tibetan-Burmese origin, mostly living in the
Chittagong Hill Tract's hill region in the southeastern part
of the country. They are mostly Buddhists and burners. The
largest groups are chakma, marma and mro. Due to population
pressure, the government has encouraged Bengalis to settle
in the sparsely populated mountain areas, where many Chakma
and other tribal people have been expelled from their
villages. Thousands have been killed, and now there are tens
of thousands of chakma in refugee camps in the Indian state
Bangladesh is severely affected by natural disasters,
which is mainly due to the over-exploitation of resources.
In flood-affected areas, the rural development lies on
natural or artificial elevations, often along roads, making
it difficult to distinguish bounded villages. In more upland
terrain, the villages are more concentrated.
The majority of the population speak Indigenous languages
and dialects, mainly the official language of Bengali
(Bangla). Smaller groups speak Tibetan Burmese and
Austro-Asian languages. Many well educated are bilingual
with Bengali and English.
Bangladesh is a Muslim country with about 85% Muslims and
13% Hindus (compare above, Population and Ethnography); a
small minority are theravada Buddhists. The Bengals are
mainly Sunni Muslims in the Hanafite law school. Islam was
fortified in Bengal in the 13th century, and during the
moguls there were mass conversions of mainly Hindus and
Buddhists to Islam from the 16th century. Arab merchants in
the Chittagong area and Sufi missionaries also contributed
to the conversions. Islam is part of the national character.
After 1947, some 700,000 Muslims came from Indian