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Total population
166 million approx.
2.28% of the world's population
Regions with significant populations
 Saudi Arabia 1,200,000 (2010)[1][2]
 UAE 700,000 (2013)[3]
 Malaysia 500,000 (2009)[4]
 UK 500,000 (2009)[5]
 Kuwait 230,000 (2008)[6]
 Oman 200,000 (2010)[7]
 Qatar 150,000 (2014)[8]
 USA 143,619 (2007)[9]
 Italy 113,811 (2013)[10]
 Bahrain 90,000 (2007)[11]
 Singapore 80,000 (2006)[12]
 Australia 52,920 (2011)[13]
 Maldives 40,000 (2008)[14]
 Canada 24,600 (2006)[15]
 Japan 15,000 (2008)[16]
 South Korea 13,600 (2013)[17]
 Greece 11,000[18]
 Spain 7,000[18]
 Germany 5,000[18]
 Brazil 1,000[18]
Bengali and Indigenous minority languages[19]
Islam 86% (incl. Cultural Muslims)[20]
Om symbol.svg Hinduism 12%
Dharma Wheel.svg Buddhism 1%
Christianity[21] and others (such as Animists and non-religious) 0.4%.[22]

Bangladeshis (also spelled Bangladeshies[a] Bengali: বাংলাদেশী[24] [baŋlad̪eʃi]), or Bangladeshi people, are citizens of Bangladesh, regardless of origin or country of residence.[23] Bangladesh is largely ethnically homogeneous with about 98% of the country's population being Bengali. The Chittagong Hill Tracts are home to more diverse indigenous peoples while few ethnic groups inhabiting in other regions. Today substantial populations with Bangladeshi ancestry exist in many different parts of the world as a result of emigration, notably in the Middle East, Japan, Malaysia, United Kingdom and United States.

Ethnic groups[edit]

The vast majority (about 98.5%) of Bangladeshis are of the Bengali ethno-linguistic group. Bengalis (বাঙালি Bangali) are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group[citation needed]native to the region of Bengal. They speak the Bengali language. This group also spans the neighbouring Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura.Remnants of civilisation in the greater Bengal region date back 4,000 years,[25][26] when the region was settled by Dravidian, Tibeto-Burman and Austroasiatic peoples. The origin of the word Bangla ~ Bengal is unknown, though it is believed to be derived from the Dravidian-speaking tribe Bang that settled in the area around the year 1000 BCE.[27]

Minority ethnic groups include Meitei, Khasi, Santhals, Chakma, Garo (tribe), Biharis, Oraons, Mundas and Rohingyas. Bangladesh's tribal population was enumerated at 897,828 in the 1981 census.[28] These tribes are concentrated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and around Mymensingh, Sylhet, and Rajshahi. They are of Sino-Tibetan descent and differ markedly in their social customs, religion, language and level of development. They speak Tibeto-Burman languages and most are Buddhist or Hindu.[28] The four largest tribes are Chakmas, Marmas, Tipperas and Mros. Smaller groups include the Santals in Rajshahi and Dinajpur, and Khasis, Garos, and Khajons in Mymensingh and Sylhet regions. There are small communities of Meitei people in the Sylhet district, which is close to the Meitei homeland across the border in Manipur, India.


Although Bangladesh is home to 38 different languages, Bengali (Bangla) serves as the lingua franca of the nation, with 98% of Bangladeshis fluent in Standard Bengali or Bengali dialects as their first language. English, though not having official status, is prevalent across government, law, business, media and education, and can be regarded as the de facto co-official language of Bangladesh.[29][30]

The indigenous people of northern and southeastern Bangladesh speak a variety of native languages, notably Chakma and Shantali. The languages of those region are members of the Tibeto-Burman, Austroasiatic, and Dravidian families.


The majority of Bangladeshis are Muslims and constitute about 89% of the population. Most Muslims in Bangladesh are Sunnis, but there is a small Shia community and an even smaller Ahmadiyya. Most of those who are Shia reside in urban areas. Although these Shias are few in number, Shia observance commemorating the martyrdom of Muhammad's grandson, Husain ibn Ali, is widely observed by the nation's Sunnis.[31]

The Hindus, constitute about 10%; In terms of population, Bangladesh is the third largest Hindu state of the world, after India and Nepal.[32]

Buddhists, Christians, those who practice other religions and those who do not constitute only 1% of the total population.[33] Religion has always been a strong part of identity, but this has varied at different times. A survey in late 2003 confirmed that religion is the first choice by a citizen for self-identification. According to a government-published article, atheism is extremely rare.[34]


Main article: Culture of Bangladesh


Main article: Bangladeshi diaspora

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ The Constitution of Bangladesh use the spelling Bangladeshies,[23] while Bangladeshi is the more popularly used spelling.


  1. ^ Asians in the Middle East
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Labor Migration in the United Arab Emirates: Challenges and Responses". Migration Information Source. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Malaysia cuts Bangladeshi visas BBC News (BBC) (11 March 2009). Retrieved on 12 March 2009.
  5. ^ Resident Population Estimates by Ethnic Group.
  6. ^ Bangladeshis storm Kuwait embassy BBC News (24 April 2005).
  7. ^ Oman lifts bar on recruitment of Bangladeshi workers Dhaka, Monday, Dec 10 2007 IST.
  8. ^ Qatar´s population by nationality bq magazine (7 December 2014).
  9. ^
  10. ^ In pursuit of happiness. Korea Herald (8 October 2012). Retrieved on 2015-04-27.
  11. ^ Bangladesh–Bahrain Bilateral Relations.
  12. ^ Bangladeshis in Singapore. High Commission of Bangladesh in Singapore
  13. ^ Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection. "Bangladeshi Australians". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Maldives to recruit Bangladeshi worker, SATURDAY, 02 AUGUST 2008.
  15. ^ 2006 Census Topic-based tabulations Ethnic Origin (247), Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses (3) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census – 20% Sample Data – Statistics Canada.
  16. ^ 国籍別外国人登録者数の推移 (Change in number of registered foreigners by nationality), Japan: National Women's Education Centre, 2005, retrieved 8 April 2008 
  17. ^ "체류외국인 국적별 현황", 《2013년도 출입국통계연보》, South Korea: Ministry of Justice, 2013, p. 290, retrieved 5 June 2014 
  18. ^ a b c d IRIN Asia | BANGLADESH: Migrants fare badly in Italy | Bangladesh | Economy | Migration. (29 October 2010). Retrieved on 2015-04-27.
  19. ^ Ethnologue. "Bangladesh". Ethnologue. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Chapter 1: Religious Affiliation". The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity. Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 9 August 2012.
  21. ^ Bangladesh. Retrieved on 27 April 2015.
  22. ^ Bangladesh: Country Profile. Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (BANBEIS)
  23. ^ a b "The Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh: 6. Citizenship". Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "৬। নাগরিকত্ব -- গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশের সংবিধান". Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  25. ^ "History of Bangladesh". Bangladesh Student Association @ TTU. Archived from the original on 26 December 2005. Retrieved 26 October 2006. 
  26. ^ "4000-year old settlement unearthed in Bangladesh". Xinhua. 12 March 2006. 
  27. ^ James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, ed. (1989). "Early History, 1000 B.C.-A.D. 1202". Bangladesh: A country study. Library of Congress. 
  28. ^ a b Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity, Bangladesh: A Country Study, Edited by James Heitzman and Robert Worden, Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1989.
  29. ^ Ethnologue.
  30. ^ Success of English language in Bangladesh rec. Retrieved on 27 April 2015.
  31. ^ [1][dead link]
  32. ^ "[Analysis] Are there any takeaways for Muslims from the Narendra Modi government?". DNA. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  33. ^ "The World Factbook". Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  34. ^ "Bangladesh". Retrieved 16 August 2013.