Bangladeshi diaspora

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Bangladeshi diaspora
Flag of Bangladesh.svg
Regions with significant populations
 Saudi Arabia 400,000 (2010)[1]
 USA 1,090,000 (2013)[2]
 UAE 2,500,000 (2009)[3]
 Malaysia 500,000 (2009)[4]
 UK 230,000 (2008)[5]
 Kuwait 200,000 (2010)[6]
 Oman 150,000 (2014)[7]
 Qatar 143,619 (2007)[8]
 [[|]] (2013)[9]
 Italy 90,000 (2007)[10]
 Bahrain 80,000 (2006)[11]
 Singapore 52,920 (2011)[12]
 Australia 40,000 (2008)[13]
 Japan 15,000 (2008)[14]
 South Korea 13,600 (2013)[15]
 Greece 11,000[16]
 Spain 7,000[16]
 Germany 5,000[16]
 Brazil 1,000[16]
Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity

The Bangladeshi diaspora consists of people of Bangladeshi descent who have immigrated to or were born in another country. First generation migrants may have moved abroad from Bangladesh for better living conditions, to escape poverty, to support their financial condition or to send money back to families in Bangladesh.

There is a large Bangladeshi diaspora population in Saudi Arabia, where there are almost 1.2 million.[17] There are also significant migrant communities in various Arab states of the Persian Gulf, particularly the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, where Bangladeshis are mainly classified as foreign workers. The United Kingdom's 2001 census found 300,000 (500,000 in 2009 census) British Bangladeshi mainly concentrated in east London boroughs (Tower Hamlets and Newham); the migration to Britain is mainly linked with chain migration from the Sylhet region (95% of the UK-Bangladeshi population are from the Sylhet region who regarded as Sylheti diaspora). Besides the UK and Middle East, Bangladeshis also have a significant presence in the United States, mainly in New York City (where many are also from Sylhet, Chittagong, and other regions) and Paterson in New Jersey, in Far Eastern countries such as Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, and in other Western countries such as Italy, Canada (mainly in Toronto), and Australia.

Middle East[edit]

A Bangladeshi family in Saudi Arabia.

Bangladeshis in the Middle East form the largest part of the worldwide Bangladeshi diaspora. Approximately 2,820,000 live within the Middle East, with half of them in Saudi Arabia, and a quarter of them in the United Arab Emirates. Bangladeshis who come to the Middle East are primarily guest workers or day labourers.

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Saudi Arabia has over two million Bangladeshis, making it the largest Bangladeshi diaspora community. Bangladesh is one of the largest labour suppliers to Saudi Arabia, in 2007 Bangladeshi workers obtained the biggest share, with 23.50 per cent of the 1.5 million Saudi Arabia visas issued.

United Arab Emirates[edit]

There are over a million Bangladeshis residing in the United Arab Emirates as of 2013.


Qatar has about 280,000 Bangladeshis as of the end of 2015.

South Asia[edit]


Main article: Bangladeshis in India


Nearly 2 Millions Bangladeshis are living illegally in Pakistan, mostly in the city of Karachi.[18]


Bangladeshis in Maldives are mostly illegal immigrants,according to Maldivian foreign ministry some 50,000 Bangladeshi are now (2011) working in this country, a nation of only around 400,000 people, with one-third having no valid documents or registration.[19]

Far East[edit]


Bangladeshis in Malaysia form a large proportion of Malaysia's foreign labour force. When both legal and illegal residents are included, their population was estimated to total 500,000 persons, roughly one-sixth of all the foreign workers in Malaysia as of 2009.[20]

South Korea[edit]

In South Korea, there are more than 13,000 Bangladeshi foreign workers in the country. A few of them include illegal immigrants. This has led to some prejudice towards Bangladeshi immigrants, an issue recently tackled by the 2009 Korean film Bandhobi, directed by Sin Dong-il.[21][22]


Main article: Bangladeshis in Japan

Bangladeshis in Japan (在日バングラデシュ人 Zainichi Banguradeshujin?) form one of the smaller populations of foreigners in Japan. As of 2005, Japan's Ministry of Justice recorded 11,055 Bangladeshi nationals among the total population of registered foreigners in Japan.[14]

Western world[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

Main article: British Bangladeshi
Further information: Sylheti diaspora and Sylhet

The British Bangladeshi community is one of the largest immigrant communities in the United Kingdom, which is also a well established throughout the communities. Bangladeshis primarily live in the city of London, mainly in the East London boroughs, of which the Tower Hamlets has the highest percentage of Bangladeshis with about 33% of the borough's total population. The national census of ethnicity and identity found over 500,000 (95% are Sylheti) people had Bangladeshi heritage in Britain. There is also a significant community in and around Westminster.

People from current Bangladesh or entire Bengal or a broader region comprising Bangladesh were first present in the United Kingdom when Sylhetis arrived as lascars on ships during the 18th century to 19th century, and throughout the years this has created connections with Sylhet. Large numbers arrived during the 1970s mainly from the Sylhet region, for the need to find work and earn a better living. The influence of Bangladeshi culture and diversity can be seen across London in boroughs such as Tower Hamlets, Newham, Camden and Southwark. The street of Brick Lane has a large history of Bangladeshis and has officially been dubbed as "Banglatown", which has hundreds of "Indian" restaurants nearly all owned by Sylheti Bangladeshis.

Outside London, Westwood, Greater Manchester has the second largest concentration of Sylheti Bangladeshi diaspora in the United Kingdom.

United States[edit]

Main article: Bangladeshi American

The census in 2000, found up to 95,300 were born in Bangladesh, therefore it is estimated there are at least 150,000 Bangladeshis in United States. It was until the 1990s when Bangladeshis started to move to the United States, and settled in urban areas such as New York, Paterson in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.. Although recent findings claim that Bangladeshis started arriving during the late 19th centuries from the southern part of current Bangladesh. In some parts of Queens and Manhattan in New York City, there are Bangladeshi restaurant owners of Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani restaurants. The Baishakhi Mela celebration of the Bengali New Year is also held by the Bangladeshi American communities in New York, Paterson, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and other cities annually. The remittance flow of received currency in 2012 was 13.9 billion dollars. as of 2012.[23]


Main article: Bangladeshis in Italy

Bangladeshis are one of the largest immigrant populations in Italy. As of 2013, there were more than 113,811 Bangladeshis living in Italy. Most of the Bangladeshis in Italy are based in Lazio, Lombardy and Veneto with large concentrations in Rome, Milan and Venice.


Main article: Bangladeshi Canadian

Bangladeshi Canadian refers to a person of Bangladeshi background born in Canada or a Bangladeshi that has migrated to Canada. It is estimated that around 1.5 million (2012)[24] Bangladeshi people live in Canada,[3] primarily in provinces like Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Alberta. They live in cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa. Bangladeshi Canadians can be found primarily in the provinces Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Alberta. The cities they live in include Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa.

Bangladeshi Canadians are distinct from other Bangladeshi diaspora groups because they are split between French-speaking and English-speaking Bangladeshi Canadians. This distinction is most obvious in eastern Canada.


Bangladeshis in Australia are one of the smallest immigrant communities living in Australia. There are around 20,000 Bangladeshis in Australia. The largest Bangladeshi communities are mainly present in the states of New South Wales and Victoria, with large concentrations in the cities of Sydney and Melbourne.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Asians in the Middle East
  2. ^ "Labor Migration in the United Arab Emirates: Challenges and Responses". Migration Information Source. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Malaysia cuts Bangladeshi visas BBC USANews (BBC) (11 March 2009). Retrieved on 12 March 2009.
  4. ^ [1] Resident Population Estimates by Ethnic Group, All Persons All Persons; All Ages; Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi (Persons)
  5. ^ Bangladeshis storm Kuwait embassy BBC News (24 April 2005).
  6. ^ Oman lifts bar on recruitment of Bangladeshi workers Dhaka, Monday, Dec 10 2007 IST.
  7. ^ Qatar´s population by nationality bq magazine (Dec 7th, 2014).
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ [2].
  11. ^ [3].
  12. ^ Australian Government - Department of Immigration and Border Protection. "Bangladeshi Australians". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Maldives to recruit Bangladeshi worker, SATURDAY, 02 AUGUST 2008.
  14. ^ a b 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 2008-04-08 
  15. ^ "체류외국인 국적별 현황", 《2013년도 출입국통계연보》, South Korea: Ministry of Justice, 2013, p. 290, retrieved 2014-06-05 
  16. ^ a b c d
  17. ^ "Bangladesh to send 2 million workers to Saudi Arabia". 5 February 2015. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Nahar, K (2011) Maldives to deport thousands of illegal Bangladeshi workers, The Financial Express Pictorial, 13 June 2011, retrieved 8 July 2013, Maldivian foreign minister Ahmed Naseem last week said some 50,000 Bangladeshi are now working in his country --- a nation of only around 400,000 people --- with one-third having no valid documents or registration. 
  20. ^ "Malaysia cuts Bangladeshi visas", BBC News, 2009-03-11, retrieved 2009-08-30 
  21. ^ Bandhobi at the Internet Movie Database
  22. ^ Admissions as of 12 July 2009. "Bandhobi (Movie - 2009)". HanCinema. Retrieved on 5 August 2009.
  23. ^ "World Banks 2012 data". 2015-05-22. Retrieved 2015-05-22. 
  24. ^