|166 million approx.
2.28% of the world's population
|Regions with significant populations|
|Saudi Arabia||1,200,000 (2010)|
|Bengali and Indigenous minority languages|
|Islam 86% (incl. Cultural Muslims)
Christianity and others (such as Animists and non-religious) 0.4%.
|Part of a series on the|
Bangladeshis (also spelled Bangladeshies[a] Bengali: বাংলাদেশী [baŋlad̪eʃi]), or Bangladeshi people, are citizens of Bangladesh, regardless of origin or country of residence. 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, Pakistan, Japan, Malaysia, United Kingdom and United States.
The vast majority (about 98.5%) of Bangladeshis are of the Bengali ethno-linguistic group. Bengalis (বাঙালি Bangali) are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group 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, 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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
Buddhists, Christians, those who practice other religions and those who do not constitute only 1% of the total population. 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.
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