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Flag of Bangladesh.svg
Total population
c. 169 million
Regions with significant populations
 Bangladesh 168,957,745 (2015)[1]
 Saudi Arabia 1,309,004 (2013)[2]
 UAE 1,089,917 (2013)[3]
 UK 451,529 (2011)[4]
 Malaysia 352,005 (2013)[5]
 Kuwait 279,169 (2013)[6]
 Qatar 220,403 (2013)[7]
 Singapore 150,000 (2015)[8]
 Oman 148,314 (2013)[9]
 Italy 113,811 (2011)[10]
 Bahrain 100,444 (2013)[11]
 Maldives 47,951 (2013)[12]
 Australia 27,809 (2011)[13]
 Canada 24,600 (2006)[14]
 USA 1,012,099 (2016)[15]
 Japan 9,641 (2014)[16]
 South Korea 8,514 (2014)[17]
 Greece 11,000[18]
 Spain 7,000[18]
 Brazil 500 - 1,000
 Russia 392[19]
Bengali and Indigenous minority languages[20]
Allah-green.svg Islam 90% (incl. Cultural Muslims)[21]
Om.svg Hinduism 8%
Dharma Wheel.svg Buddhism 1%
Christian cross.svg Christianity[22] and others (such as Animists and non-religious) 1%.[23]

Bangladeshis (also spelled Bangladeshies[a] Bengali: বাংলাদেশী[25] [baŋlad̪eʃi]), or Bangladeshi people.[24] 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 parts of the world as a result of emigration, notably in the Middle East, Japan, Malaysia, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Ethnic groups[edit]

The vast majority (about 98.5%) of Bangladeshies are of the Bengali ethno-linguistic group. Bengalis (বাঙালি Bangali) are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group [26] 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,[27][28] 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.[29]

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.[30] 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.[30] 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 Bangladeshies 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.[31][32]

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


The majority of Bangladeshies 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.[33]

Hindus constitute about 10%; In terms of population, Bangladesh is the third largest Hindu state of the world, after India and Nepal.[34]

Buddhists, Christians, those who practice other religions and those who do not constitute only 1% of the total population.[22] 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.[35]


Main article: Culture of Bangladesh


Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ The Constitution of Bangladesh use the spelling Bangladeshies,[24] while Bangladeshi is the more popularly used spelling.


  1. ^ "U.S. and World Population Clock". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ Migration Profile - Saudi Arabia
  3. ^ Migration Profile - UAE
  4. ^ 2011 Census: KS201UK Ethnic group, local authorities in the United Kingdom ONS, Retrieved 21 October 2013
  5. ^ Migration Profile - Malaysia
  6. ^ Migration Profile - Kuwait
  7. ^ Migration Profile - Qatar
  8. ^ "Bangladesh-Singapore Bilateral Relations". High Commission of Bangladesh, Singapore. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  9. ^ Migration Profile - Oman
  10. ^ "Amministrazione Centrale". Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Migration Profile - Bahrain
  12. ^ Migration Profile - Maldives
  13. ^ Australian Government - Department of Immigration and Border Protection. "The Bangladesh-born Community". Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  14. ^ [1] 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.
  15. ^ "Profiles on Lawful Permanent Residents: 2013 Country". Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  16. ^ 【在留外国人統計(旧登録外国人統計)統計表】 (Foreigners statistics by nationality), Japan: Ministry of Justice, 2014, retrieved 15 October 2015 
  17. ^ "체류외국인 국적별 현황", 《통계연보(글내용) < 통계자료실 < 출입국·외국인정책본부》, South Korea: Ministry of Justice, 2014, p. 290, retrieved 15 October 2015 
  18. ^ a b "IRIN Asia - BANGLADESH: Migrants fare badly in Italy - Bangladesh - Economy - Migration". IRINnews. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  19. ^ Состав группы населения «Указавшие другие ответы о национальной принадлежности» -ВПН-2010
  20. ^ Ethnologue. "Bangladesh". Ethnologue. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Chapter 1: Religious Affiliation". The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity. Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 9 August 2012.
  22. ^ a b "Bangladesh". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  23. ^ Bangladesh: Country Profile. Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (BANBEIS)
  24. ^ a b "The Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh: 6. Citizenship". Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  25. ^ "৬। নাগরিকত্ব -- গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশের সংবিধান". Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  26. ^ The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Bengali". Britannica. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  27. ^ "History of Bangladesh". Bangladesh Student Association @ TTU. Archived from the original on 26 December 2005. Retrieved 26 October 2006. 
  28. ^ "4000-year old settlement unearthed in Bangladesh". Xinhua. 12 March 2006. 
  29. ^ James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, ed. (1989). "Early History, 1000 B.C.-A.D. 1202". Bangladesh: A country study. Library of Congress. 
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Ethnologue.
  32. ^ Success of English language in Bangladesh rec. Retrieved on 27 April 2015.
  33. ^ "Islam In Bangladesh". OurBangla. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. [self-published source]
  34. ^ "[Analysis] Are there any takeaways for Muslims from the Narendra Modi government?". DNA. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  35. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report 2005: Bangladesh". U.S. Department of State. 2005. Retrieved 16 August 2013.