After the end of British colonial rule, British India was divided. West Bengal became part of India, East Bengal a part of the new Pakistani state. East Bengal declared independence in 1971 under the name of Bangladesh.
It borders India to the north, west and east. The heartland forms the fertile Ganges and Brahmaputradelta with the highest proportion of the population in the country. The country is the most densely populated country in the world. The high population density together with the natural disasters caused by the monsoons, such as floods and drought, prevent the development of an efficient economy. The country is one of the poorest in the world. The food grown is insufficient for self-sufficiency. Food has to be imported. Bangladesh is also failing to calm down due to internal political tensions.
Short for BD on ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, Bangladesh is the name for East Pakistan, which declared independence in 1971. The country name means land of the Bengal. The state is in South Asia. It mainly includes the huge delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. It borders India to the west, north and east and Burma (Myanmar) to the southeast. Its southern border is formed by the Bay of Bengal (Fig. 1).
Important data about the country
|Surface:||143 998 km²|
|Population density:||1014 residents / km²|
|Growth of population:||2 years|
|Life expectancy:||62 years|
|Form of government:||Parliamentary republic|
|Languages:||Bengali, Indo-Aryan and Tibetan Burman languages, English, Munda languages, Mhon-Khmer language|
|Religions:||Muslims 87%, Hindus 12%, Buddhist and Christian minorities|
|Climate:||Monsoon climate with high temperatures all year round|
|Land use:||Arable land 68.2%, forest 16%, pasture land 4.5%|
|Economic sectors (share of employees):||Agriculture 64.8%, industry 10.7%, services 24.5%|
|Export goods:||Textile goods, shrimp, fish, hides, hides, tea, jute|
|Gross domestic product:||US $ 51,914 million (2003)|
|Gross National Product:||US $ 400 / residents (2003)|
The state of Bangladesh comprises the eastern part of the lowlands of Bengal. The heartland is the delta made up of fertile sediments of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, or their Padma and Jamuna estuaries, which are dissolved into innumerable estuaries and slowly silting oxbow lakes. The estuary covers around 56,000 km². 70% of the entire population of Bangladesh live here. The delta is closed to the sea by the mangrove swamps of the Sundarbans. This is a landscape formed by countless islands and inlets. The southeast, east, and northwest of the country consist of hill and mountainous lands.
Low mountain ranges rise up on the borders with India and Burma (Myanmar). The highest point is the Keokradong with 1230 m.
The Ganges and the Brahmaputra are the life givers of the country. They flow from the Indian Himalayas with huge amounts of water through northern India and then flow from the northwest or northeast into Bangladesh. They fan out into a variety of watercourses. The main estuaries of the Ganges are the Padma and the Bhagirathi, those of the Brahmaputra the Jamuna and the Meghra.
Climate and vegetation
The temperatures are tropical and the amplitude of the day is large. In the course of the year, the pre-monsoon months of April and May are the warmest, while the winter monsoon months of December and January are the coolest. All year round there is high humidity and a great deal of humidity. The southwest monsoon blows between May and September. It brings the country four fifths of the annual rainfall. This lies at values of 1500 mm in the west, in the rest of the country between 3000 and 5000 mm (Fig. 3). The coincidence of the monsoon rains from May to September with the swelling of the rivers, which transport the enormous meltwater from the Himalayas down into the valley at this time of year, and tropical cyclones in the coastal region often lead to catastrophic floods.Thousands of people are killed, crops are destroyed and land is torn away. If the monsoon occurs late, it causes severe drought damage.
The natural vegetation has disappeared almost everywhere. Only 15% of the country is forested. The rainforests of the East Bengal lowlands, the trees of which shed their leaves in the dry season, have been almost completely cut down. Part of the mountainous area in the southeast is covered with tropical rainforests. There are still some dry forests in the lowlands.
In contrast, the Ganges and Brahmaputra delta areas are covered by extensive mangrove forests. Especially in the Sundarbans, the southwest part of the delta with its countless water arms and islands, they occupy large areas. The up to 25 m high sundari trees have given this part of the delta its name.
The standard of living is very low. Almost half of the population suffers from malnutrition. Health care and social facilities are poorly developed. Two thirds of the people are illiterate. There is no general compulsory schooling and only around 50% of all children receive primary school education.
The Islam is the state religion, 87% of the population are Muslims. Freedom of belief is guaranteed by the constitution. The Hindus are the largest religious minority.
Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. The problems caused by the climate and the nature of the country stand in the way of positive economic development.
The dense population is the result of lack of space. The lack of mineral resources and the absolutely underdeveloped infrastructure of the country, together with the frequent natural disasters, hamper the development of an efficient economy.
The floods alone thwart the establishment of a transport network. The main modes of transport are ships and boats on inland waterways. The first east-west land connection over the Brahmaputra by building a bridge was started in 1994 and has now been completed.
Only 10% of electrical energy can be generated by hydropower plants, wood is still the most important fuel for the population.
With 80%, rice fields have a high proportion of the agricultural area. Despite intensive use of the land, Bangladesh cannot feed its residents on its own. It depends on imports. In addition to rice, wheat, pulses and oil fruits are grown, as well as sugar cane, tea, tobacco and types of fruit. Jute is an important raw material in the processing industry. Bangladesh has the world monopoly, with a quarter of world production. Jute and jute products represent 20% of the export volume.
The industry has shown little further development since independence in 1971. The food and textile industries are the most important industries. Small businesses work and child labor is widespread.
Chittagong is the country’s leading industrial city with a steelworks, oil refinery and shipbuilding industry.
Bangladesh’s most important import partners are Japan, the USA, Singapore, India and China. The export partners are the USA and the EU countries, especially Great Britain, Italy and Belgium.
There is an imbalance between import and export, so Bangladesh has a large trade deficit.
Since 1000 BC Chr.: Bengal colonize the Ganges-Brahmaputra basin.
From the 3rd century BC. BC to 17th century: The Bengal landscape is under the influence of Indian empires.
From 17th century to 1947: British rule.
15th August 1947: End of British colonial rule. Division of British India. West Bengal became part of India, East Bengal became East Pakistan, part of the new Pakistani state. West and East Pakistan were 1,600 km apart. The only unifying bond was Islam.
1962: Both parts of the country receive their own parliaments after major internal political tensions.
March 26, 1971: East Pakistan’s declaration of independence under the name of Bangladesh
December 1971:Civil War and Indo-Pakistani War. The West Pakistani Armed Forces are forced to evacuate the country.
September 1991: parliamentary democracy