We’re building a new UNICEF.org.
As we swap out old for new, pages will be in transition. Thanks for your patience – please keep coming back to see the improvements.



Click for a detailed map (PDF)

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

Bangladesh has a stable, growing economy, but living standards have yet to improve for the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population. About 36 per cent of the population lives on less than $1 a day. Bangladesh is vulnerable to the effects of to natural disasters, such as the catastrophic flooding that struck in late 2004.

Issues facing children in Bangladesh

  • Maternal mortality remains high. Most rural women give birth at home, without medical assistance.
  • Millions of children are malnourished. Roughly half of all children under age five are underweight.
  • Primary school enrolment is relatively high, but many children – especially those in urban slums – are still denied their right to a basic education.
  • Seven percent of Bangladeshi children under age fourteen are in the labour force.
  • Birth registration is extremely low, hindering enforcement of child protection measures.
  • The rise in sea levels predicted due to global warming has the potential to displace millions.

Activities and results for children

  • New cases of polio in early 2006 sparked a massive immunization drive that reached 96 per cent of the 22 million Bangladeshi children aged under age five.
  • Nearly 200 medical facilities have been upgraded to provide improved prenatal care and safe deliveries.
  • In 25 districts with high child mortality, thousands of health-care workers have been trained to effectively treat childhood illnesses.
  • The coverage rate of vitamin A supplements stands at 83 per cent, and more than 12 million children have received deworming treatment. Immunization campaigns have been launched to combat measles and neonatal tetanus.
  • With iodized salt now widely available, disorders related to iodine deficiency are in decline.
  • Urban development centres in the poorest neighbourhoods of major cities now offer health and nutrition programmes for mothers and children.
  • More than 2,220 community workers have made a remarkable impact in the impoverished Chittagong Hill Tracts. Each worker provides 25 to 30 families with preventive health care and early-learning programmes.
  • Sanitation coverage has almost doubled since 2003. By the end of 2006 the country had achieved 81per cent coverage, with a target of full coverage by 2010.
  • Throughout Bangladesh, 2,700 peer educators are reaching thousands of young people with vital information on HIV/AIDS prevention.
  • ‘Kishori Abhijan’ is a project that promotes the rights of teenage girls and opposes practices such as child marriage. Vocational training has improved economic opportunities for more than 25,000 girls.
  • Hundreds of learning centres in urban neighbourhoods and in the Chittagong Hill Tracts now offer preschool programmes.
  • Bangladesh has achieved gender parity in primary education, with girls’ enrolment rates at 86 per cent, compared to 82 per cent for boys.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*

Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

New enhanced search