Bangladesh is a small country, but it is one of the most densly-populated nations in the world-3,276 people per square mile. That’s like squeezing half the population of the entire United Statees into the State of Washington. Overpopulation contributes to widespread poverty and the poverty is worsened by recurrent natural disasters, monsoons being the most frequent. Flooding destorys crops, homes, and lives. Some years two-thirds of the land is under water.
Travel is slow and rough. City streets are crowded with rickshaws, taxis, buses, trucks, animals, and people. About 60% of the roads are paved, but traveling on many of them is still a jarring experience.
Other transportation available includes rail and water. Navigable waterways vary between 5,202 miles during the monsoons and 3,231 miles during the dry season.
The most prevalent religion is Muslim – estimates vary between 83 to 88 percent. Christian and Animists make up about 1% with the remainder being Hindus.
Many people in the villages speak their own dialects. When the children go to school, they learn Bangla, the official language of Bangladesh, and English.