Bangladesh (; Bengali: বাংলাদেশ Bangladesh [ˈbaŋladeʃ] (listen), lit. "The country of Bengal"), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh (গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ Gônoprojatontri Bangladesh), is a country in South Asia. It shares land borders with India and Myanmar. Bangladesh is the 92nd-largest sovereign state in the world, with an area of 147,570 square kilometres (56,980 sq mi). It is also the world's 8th-most populous country, as well as one of its most densely-populated. Dhaka is its capital and largest city, and is also the economic, political and the cultural center of Bangladesh, followed by Chittagong, which has the country's largest port. Bangladesh forms the largest and eastern part of the Bengal region. The country's geography is dominated by the Bengal delta, the largest delta in the world. The country has many rivers and 8,046 km (5,000 mi) of inland waterways. Highlands with evergreen forests are found in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country. The country also has the longest sea beach and the largest mangrove forest in the world. The country's biodiversity includes a vast array of plants and wildlife, including the endangered Bengal tiger, the national animal.
In the ancient and classical period of the Indian subcontinent, the territory of Bangladesh was home to many principalities, including Gangaridai, Vanga, Pundra, Gauda, Samatata and Harikela. It was also a Mauryan province. The principalities were notable for their overseas trade, which involved contacts with the Roman world, the export of fine muslin and silk to the Middle East, and spreading philosophy and art to Southeast Asia. The principalities dominated the Bengal delta with powerful navies. The Pala Empire, the Chandra dynasty and the Sena dynasty were the last pre-Islamic Bengali middle kingdoms.
Islam became the largest religion in Bengal during the period spanning the Delhi Sultanate and the Bengal Sultanate. During the Mughal era, described as the "Paradise of Nations", Bengal Subah generated 12% of the world's GDP, larger than the entirety of western Europe. The province of eastern Bengal alone accounted for 40% of Dutch imports from Asia. The region was later administered by the United Kingdom as part of the Bengal Presidency (1757–1905; 1912–1947) and Eastern Bengal and Assam Province (1905–1912) in British India. During British India notable personalities of Bengal Renaissance played a pivotal role in the anti-colonial movement. Bengal had the largest GDP in the British Raj. In 1947, the Bengal Legislative Council and the Bengal Legislative Assembly voted on the Partition of Bengal, while a referendum caused the Sylhet region to join East Bengal. The area became part of the Dominion of Pakistan and was renamed East Pakistan. Beginning with the Bengali Language Movement in 1952, the pro-democracy movement in East Pakistan thrived on Bengali nationalism, resulting in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
Bangladeshis include people from a range of ethnic groups and religions. Bengalis, who speak the official Bengali language, make up 98% of the population. The politically dominant Bengali Muslims make the nation the world's third largest Muslim-majority country. While recognising Islam as the country's established religion, the constitution grants freedom of religion to non-Muslims. A middle power, Bangladesh is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional republic in the Westminster tradition. The country is divided into eight administrative divisions and sixty-four districts. It is one of the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, and is listed among the Next Eleven countries. It has one of the fastest real GDP growth rates in the world. Its gross domestic product ranks 39th largest in the world in terms of market exchange rates and 29th in purchasing power parity. Its per capita income ranks 143th and 136th in two measures. In the field of human development, it made substantial progress. The country continues to face challenging problems, including poverty, corruption, terrorism, illiteracy, and inadequate public healthcare. Bangladesh is a member of the UN, the WTO, the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, the ADB, the OIC, the IDB, the SAARC, the BIMSTEC and the IMCTC.