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Area: 147, 570 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: 144 million.
Annual growth rate: 2.09%.
Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims.
Religions: Muslim 88.3%; Hindu 10.5%; Christian 0.3%, Buddhist 0.6%, others 0.3%.
Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English.
Education: Attendance--55.9%. Literacy--53.9% for males; 31.8% for females; a total of 43.1% literacy.
Health: Infant mortality rate--62.6/1,000. Life expectancy--62.13 years (male), 62.02 years (female).
Work force (60.3 million): Agriculture--60%; manufacturing and mining--7.8%; others--28.5%.

Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 1971 (from Pakistan).
Constitution: 1972; amended 1974, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1996, 2004.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. Legislative--unicameral parliament (300 members). Judicial--civil court system based on British model.
Administrative subdivisions: Divisions, districts, subdistricts, unions, villages.
Political parties: 30-40 active political parties: largest ones include Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the Awami League (AL), the Jatiya Party, and the Jamaat-e-Islami Party.
Suffrage: Universal at age 18.

Fiscal year: July 1 to June 30.
Annual GDP growth rate (2004 est.): 6%.
Inflation (April 2004): 5.83%.
Per capita GDP (2003): $421.
Natural resources: Natural gas, fertile soil, water.
Agriculture (25% of GDP): Products--rice, jute, tea, sugar, wheat. Land--cultivable area cropped at rate of 176% in 1997; 175% in 2000; largely subsistence farming dependent on monsoon rainfall, but growing commercial farming and increasing use of irrigation.
Industry (Manufacturing; 16% of GDP): Types--garments and knitwear, jute goods, frozen fish and seafood, textiles, fertilizer, sugar, tea, leather, ship-breaking for scrap, pharmaceuticals, ceramic tableware, newsprint.
Trade (2003): Merchandise exports--$6.5 billion: garments and knitwear, frozen fish, jute and jute goods, leather and leather products, tea, urea fertilizer, ceramic tableware. Exports to U.S. (2003)--$2.074 billion. Merchandise imports (2003)--$9.7 billion: capital goods, food grains, petroleum, textiles, chemicals, vegetable oils. Imports from U.S. (2003)--$226 million.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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