Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, is smaller than the states of Illinois or Washington. Its estimated population, however, is close to half that of the entire United States.
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Generally about one-third of the land is flooded annually, some years as much as two-thirds is under water during the rainy season. Dense population, flooding, and water-born diseases combine to make life miserable for thousands.
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 to 3,231 miles during the dry season.
The most prevalent religion is Muslim--estimates vary between 83 to
88 per cent. Christian and Animists make up about 1% with the remainder
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.
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