Area: 143,998 sq. km. (55,813 sq. mi.); about the size of Wisconsin.
Cities: Capital--Dhaka (pop. 10 million). Other cities--Chittagong (2.8 million), Khulna (1.8 million), Rajshahi (1 million).
Terrain: Mainly flat alluvial plain, with hills in the northeast and southeast.
Climate: Semitropical, monsoonal.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Bangladeshi(s).
Population: Approximately 128 million.
Annual growth rate: 1.6%.
Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims.
Religions: Muslim 88%; Hindu 11%; Christian, Buddhist, others 1%.
Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English.
Education: Attendance--75.1% (primary school), 21.6% (secondary school).
Literacy: 50% for males; 27% for females, a total of 38.9% literacy.
Health: Infant mortality rate--81/1,000. Life expectancy--58 years (male), 58 years (female).
Work force: (54.6 million): Agriculture--63%; industry--12%; services--25%.
Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 1971, from Pakistan.
Constitution: 1972; amended 1974, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1996.
Executive--president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet.
Legislative--unicameral Parliament (330 members).
Judicial--civil court system based on British model.
Administrative subdivisions: Divisions, districts, subdistricts, unions, villages.
Political parties: 30-40 active political parties.
Suffrage: Universal at age 18.
Annual GDP growth rate (1998-99): 4.2%.
Per capita GDP (2000 projected): $354.
Natural resources: Natural gas, fertile soil, water.
Agriculture (30% of GDP): Products--rice, jute, tea, sugar, wheat. Land--cultivable area cropped at rate of 176% in 1997; largely subsistence farming dependent on monsoonal rainfall, but growing commercial farming and increasing use of irrigation.
Industry (20% of GDP): Types--garments and knitwear, jute goods, frozen fish and seafood, textiles, fertilizer, sugar, tea, leather, shipbreaking for scrap, pharmaceuticals, ceramic tableware, newsprint.
Trade (1999): Merchandise exports--$5.4 billion: garments and knitwear, frozen fish, jute and jute goods, leather and leather products, tea, urea fertilizer, ceramic tableware.
Exports to U.S. (1999): $1.918. Merchandise imports--$8.6 billion: capital goods, foodgrains, petroleum, textiles, chemicals, vegetable oils. Imports from U.S. (1999)--$275 million.
Sources: U.S. Department of State, March 2000
Bureau of South Asian Affairs