Bangladesh (/bɑːŋlɑːdɛʃ/; i/ˌbæŋɡləˈdæʃ/; বাংলাদেশ, pronounced: [ˈbaŋlad̪eʃ] ( listen), lit. ”The land of Bengal”), officially the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ Gônôprôjatôntri Bangladesh), is a country in South Asia, bordered by India and Myanmar, at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. It is separated from Nepal and Bhutan by the narrow Siliguri Corridor. It is the world’s eighth most populous country and the ninety-second largest country by area, making it one of the most densely populated nations on Earth. The majority of the population are Muslims, followed by Hindus, with diverse Buddhist and Christian communities. The official language is Bengali, which is also spoken in the neighboring Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura. Dominated by the fertile Bengal delta, Bangladesh is rich in biodiversity and is home to the world’s largest mangrove forest, a mountainous east and a 600 km (370 mi) coastline that has one of the world’s longest beaches.
The region was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Gangaridai. The mighty Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers connected Bengal to India and China, making the region a central entrepot of the historic Silk Road. During the Pala and Sena periods, the people of the land developed their own language, script, literature, music, art and architecture. Islam was established in the second millennium CE under the Delhi Sultanate, the Bengal Sultanate and the Mughal Empire. Annexed by the British East India Company in 1765, the region was a part of British-ruled India until the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
The present-day borders of Bangladesh took shape during the Partition of Bengal and the British India in 1947, when the region came to be known as East Pakistan, as a part of the newly formed state of Pakistan. It was separated from West Pakistan by 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) of Indian territory. Because of political exclusion, ethnic and linguistic discrimination and economic neglect by the politically dominant western wing, nationalism, popular agitation and civil disobedience led to the Bangladesh Liberation War and independence in 1971. After independence, the new state endured poverty, famine, political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and economic progress. In 2014, the Bangladeshi general election was boycotted by major opposition parties, resulting in a parliament and government dominated by the Awami League and its smaller coalition partners.
Bangladesh is a unitary parliamentary republic with an elected parliament called the Jatiyo Sangshad. The native Bengalis form the country’s largest ethnic group, along with indigenous peoples in northern and southeastern districts. Geographically, the country is dominated by the fertile Bengal delta, the world’s largest delta. This also gives Bangladesh a unique name tag as “the land of rivers”. Bangladesh has a rich heritage of ancient civilization. Bangladesh’s documented history spans 4,000 years. Bangladesh human history has lasted for more than 20,000 years.
Bangladesh is a Next Eleven emerging economy. It has achieved significant strides in human and social development since independence, including progress in gender equality, universal primary education, food production, health, and population control. However, Bangladesh continues to face numerous political, economic, social and environmental challenges, including political instability, corruption, poverty, overpopulation, and global warming.
The country is a founding member of SAARC, the Developing 8 Countries and BIMSTEC. It contributes one of the largest peacekeeping forces to the United Nations. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement.