The situation of children

UNICEF in Bangladesh

Goals and commitments


Bangladesh today

overview bangladesh map
This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Situated on the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh shares large borders with India and a small southern boundary with Myanmar. The Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers meet in Bangladesh to form the world’s largest delta. Extremely fertile, yet vulnerable to floods, and cyclones, this low-lying country supports a population of around 150 million people. Nearly 40 per cent are children.

Click for a detailed map (PDF).

Rural poverty
Almost three-quarters of the population live in rural areas. Families in rural Bangladesh rely primarily on agriculture and fishing for their daily income. Over half of these families live below the poverty line. In the face of frequent natural disasters and the growing threat of climate change, rural livelihoods are now more tenuous than ever.

Urban poverty
Increasing rural poverty is causing many families to migrate to the urban centres. Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing mega-cities of the world. The pressures of rapid urbanization result in high land prices and the growth of large slums on illegal settlements.

Millennium Development Goals
Despite these difficulties, Bangladesh has made significant progress towards meeting the child-related Millennium Development Goals.

Net enrollment in Primary school primary-school-aged children has increased to 98.7 per cent in 2012, among them 99.4 per cent are girls and 97.2 per cent - are boys.
Bangladesh has achieved close to gender parity in primary and secondary education.
Between 1990 and 2011, the under-five mortality rate declined from 151 to 44 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The bottom line for development
Although human development indicators are steadily improving in Bangladesh, 43.3 per cent of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day. As food prices rise around the globe, the same income buys less and less each week. Families are working even harder to meet the basic needs of their children.

Under-eighteen population: 57.15 million
Under-five population: 15.6 million
Fertility rate: 2.3 children per woman



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