Bengali Muslims are the predominant ethnoreligious group of Bangladesh with a population of 150.36 million, which makes up 91.04% of the country's population as of 2022. The minority Bengali Hindu population made up approximately 7.95% of the population of the country according to the 2022 Census Non-Bengali Muslims make up the largest immigrant community; while the Tibeto-BurmanChakmas, who speak the Indo-Aryan Chakma language, are the largest indigenous ethnic group after Indo-Aryan Bengalis. The AustroasiaticSanthals are the largest aboriginal community.
After Independence of Bangladesh in 1971, Bangladeshis, as a nationality, have been referred to by various terms:
Bangladeshis, the most widely used term to refer to the citizens of Bangladesh, comes from Bangladesh (meaning "Country of Bengal"), and can be traced to the early 20th century. Then, the term was used by Bengali patriotic songs like Namo Namo Namo Bangladesh Momo, by Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Aaji Bangladesher Hridoy, by Rabindranath Tagore.
Bangalees, an exonym for Bengalis, was used between 1972 and 1978 by the Constitution of Bangladesh for all citizens of Bangladesh, despite 2% of the population being indigenous and immigrant non-Bengalis. Under President Ziaur Rahman, the constitutional term was changed to Bangladeshi, as part of efforts to promote Bangladeshi nationalism. The term "Bangalee" is still used to denote people of Bangladesh as a nation.
None of these terms should be conflated with Bengalis, the name of the predominant ethnic group in the country who make up the bulk of all Bangladeshis.
Bangladesh has a population of 166,303,498 as per 2021, January official projections. As per as 2020 estimation research, around 13 million Bangladeshis lives abroad in the various foreign nation's. The estimated total population of all Bangladeshis including the ones who are living in their country and abroad is about 180 million as per 2020-21 estimation.
Bangladesh religious diversity as per 2022 census
Approximately 98% of the Bangladeshi population are Bengalis. East Bengal was a prosperous melting pot for centuries. It witnessed a synthesis of Islamic, North Indian and indigenous Bengali cultures. Today, Bengalis enjoy strong cultural homogeneity with a common standardized language and a variety of dialects.
The Bengali population is concentrated in Bengal delta, the coastal areas of Chittagong Division and the river valleys of Sylhet-Division.
An estimated 3 million Bangladeshi citizens are non-Bengali Muslim immigrants from different parts of South Asia. They include affluent sections of the country's merchant and business class, particularly Nizari Ismailism adherents. They also include former Stranded Pakistanis and their descendants. Bangladesh's non-Bengali Muslims are usually fluent in both Bengali and Hindustani. Also there are over 1 million Rohingya Muslim refugees living in Bangladesh who have came here during the period of (2016–17) crisis. On 28 September 2018, at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said there are 1.1-1.3 million Rohingya refugees now in Bangladesh.
Tribes of the Chittagong Hill Tracts
In southeastern Bangladesh, the Chittagong Hill Tracts frontier has a district history. It was an exclusive zone for Tibeto-Burman tribes in Bengal during the British Raj. Today, the area makes up 10% of Bangladesh's territory. It is home to several indigenous ethnic groups in the three hill districts of Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachari. The three largest communities in the region have a Raja as their tribal chief who is recognized by the Government of Bangladesh.
The Marma people are second largest community in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. They have a Raja and are concentrated in the districts of Bandarban and Khagrachari. The Marmas are originally Arakanese people who moved to the territory in the 17th century in order to escape Burmese persecution.
The Santhal people are the largest aboriginal community of the country. They speak the Austroasiatic Santhali language. Their culture is noted for martial dance traditions. Their population is most concentrated in Rajshahi Division and Rangpur Division. The Santhals have been the focal point of land rights controversies as the Bangladeshi government seeks to develop open pit coal mining in their tribal hinterlands.
A negligible small minority of Marwari people live in various cities and towns of the country such as Dinajpur, Kushtia and Narayanganj. Although many of them have been assimilated into the larger Hindu Bengali demographics, they still use the marwari surnames such as Agarwal, Singhania etc. They are among the affluent sections of the country's merchant and business class.
Tribes of Southern Bangladesh
An Arakanese Rakhine community has resided in Barisal Division for three centuries. They arrived by the sea after escaping Burmese conquests in the 17th century.
The basic social unit in a village is the family (poribar or gushti), generally consisting of a complete or incomplete patrilineally extended household (chula) and residing in a homestead (bari). The individual nuclear family often is submerged in the larger unit and might be known as the house (ghor). Above the bari level, patrilineal kin ties are linked into sequentially larger groups based on real, fictional, or assumed relationships.
A significant unit larger than that of close kin is the voluntary religious and mutual benefit association known as "the society" (shomaj or milat). Among the functions of a shomaj might be the maintenance of a Mosque and support of a mullah. An informal council of shomaj elders (matabdars or shordars) settles village disputes. Factional competition between the motobdars is a major dynamic of social and political interaction.
Groups of homes in a village are called Paras, and each para has its own name. Several paras constitute a mauza, the basic revenue and census survey unit. The traditional character of rural villages was changing in the latter half of the 20th century with the addition of brick structures of one or more stories scattered among the more common thatchedbamboo huts.
Although farming has traditionally ranked among the most desirable occupations, villagers in the 1980s began to encourage their children to leave the increasingly overcrowded countryside to seek more secure employment in the towns. Traditional sources of prestige, such as landholding, distinguished lineage, and religious piety were beginning to be replaced by modern education, higher income, and steadier work. These changes, however, did not prevent rural poverty from increasing greatly.
View of downtown Dhaka, the largest city in Bangladesh and one of the world's most populated cities
Bangladesh is noted for cultural pluralism within a Bengali Muslim majority. Traditional Bengali secularism has been an important contributor to the nation's society and ethos. The Bengali language is a fundamental element of Bangladeshi identity. It is a secular language which evolved between the 7th and 10th centuries, with an indigenous alphabet, and unites people of different faiths and regions. The Bengali Language Movement sowed the seeds of East Pakistani nationalism, ultimately culminating in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Since independence, the relationship between religion and the state has been controversial. Between 1972 and 1975, Bangladesh experienced socialism under a secular parliamentary system. Military coups ushered a sixteen-year presidential regime, which restored the free market and promoted moderate Islamism. In 1988, Islam was made the state religion. In 2010, the Bangladesh Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle of separation of mosque and state in the constitution. The government generally respects freedom of religion and ensures protection for minorities. Another debate on national identity concerns attitudes towards the Chittagong Hill Tracts. A low-level insurgency took place in the region to demand constitutional autonomy against Bengali settlements. Despite a peace treaty in 1997, the Bangladeshi government is yet to implement many of its commitments to protect adivasi land rights. However, the deletion in 1977 of Bangalee as the nationality term for the country's citizens, in order to be inclusive of non-Bengali minorities, also reflects attempts to build a more cosmopolitan Bangladeshi society.
The official language of Bangladesh is Bengali, which is shared with the neighboring Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura. Bengali dialects vary between different regions of Bangladesh but Standard Bengali is the most widely used.
Bangladeshi Muslims typically but not exclusively carry surnames that have Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit origins. Bangladeshi Hindus have Sanskritized Bengali surnames. Many Bangladeshi Christians have Portuguese surnames. Buddhists have a mixture of Bengali and Tibeto-Burman surnames.