Dhulian has been mentioned as an inland water transport (IWT) trading point between Murshidabad and the city of Rajshahi in Bangladesh. Low-cost barges could potentially ply the Ganges river, called Padma in downstream Bangladesh, exchanging goods and reducing smuggling. This proposal has not been agreed to yet by the two countries.
In the 2011 census, Dhulian Urban Agglomeration had a population of 239,022, out of which 119,151 were males and 119,871 were females. The 0–6 years population was 45,483. Effective literacy rate for the 7+ population was 60.06 per cent.
As of 2001[update] India census, Dhulian had a population of 72,906. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Dhulian has an average literacy rate of 39%, lower than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 48% and, female literacy is 31%. In Dhulian, 20% of the population is under 6 years of age.