Bangladesh Social Condition Facts

Social conditions

Bangladesh was long seen as the pure image of a developing country where a large part of the population lived in misery. Poverty is still widespread, but great progress has been made. Life expectancy has increased and child mortality has decreased significantly. More women survive pregnancy and childbirth, more children are vaccinated against deadly diseases, and more people have access to clean drinking water.

But still millions of Bangladeshi live in misery. In 2016, 15 percent of residents lived on less than two dollars a day, according to the World Bank. Almost half of all children under the age of five are inhibited in the plant. It is due to malnutrition and provides physical and mental but for life – the children are less equipped to withstand illnesses, finish school and do physically demanding work. The problem often starts already in the womb. The mothers are usually malnourished and, in addition, hardly adults themselves.

Many still lack access to clean water and are referred to substandard sanitary facilities. In the growing slums of the cities there is neither water nor sewage and the rivers become open sewers. Particularly during the regular floods, diarrhea, cholera and other diseases ravage.

bangladesh population

Health care is poorly developed. Family planning and vaccination programs have reached a majority of the population, but many others have no access to modern healthcare.

Social structure

Society is hierarchical, although a regular caste system, like it does in India, does not exist (exceptions apply within the Hindu minority). The social and economic class divisions are wide and clearly visible, for example in the way a well-ordered person treats servants. But unlike the Indian caste system, in Bangladesh it is possible for a person to change class during his or her lifetime through, for example, education, increased wealth or political influence. Middle-class and upper-class young people usually have high demands on obtaining an academic education.

People gain respect through age and community position. Elderly people are generally considered wise and wise. The oldest / tallest man in a context, for example in the village or in a workplace, is expected to make decisions that benefit the group as a whole. Well-educated women are also accepted as leaders.

The Muslim community, Samai or Millat, is an important social entity. Its task may be to preserve a mosque or support a certain mullah (Muslim leader). The elders of the congregation often gather together in a council to resolve disputes in the village.

Family life

The basis of social life is the large family, although nuclear families become more common. A basic assessment is that the needs of the family go before the individual’s will. The head of the grand family (usually an older man) is responsible for the care of children and parents as well as the support of other relatives. Members of the extended family often live in the same household.

A son is generally valued higher than a daughter. In rural areas, it is common for girls to be given away as teenagers and they often become mothers before they are fully grown themselves.

Marriage is almost always arranged. It is the parents who decide who the child should marry. A son often has some influence over the decision, but rarely a daughter. After the marriage, the woman moves to her husband’s family and her duties are determined by the mother-in-law. The exceptions are found in the larger cities where the development towards a life in the nuclear family has gone far within the middle class, especially among the younger ones. Divorce and sex outside of marriage are not socially accepted. Same-sex relationships are illegal.

The woman’s situation

The woman’s situation differs depending on the class of society she belongs to. In the urban middle and upper classes, where the Western ideal of education often prevails, the woman is relatively liberated. But in lower classes, especially in the countryside, women are subordinate to the man. In conservative strata of society, mainly in the lower and middle classes, the tradition of purdah lives on. It means that the woman should live in seclusion from work and social life. She should preferably not leave the neighborhood without the company of her husband or a male relative. The woman does not attend the mosque either, but practices her religion at home. Abuse and abuse in marriage are common. In the countryside, women have been stoned since being accused of violating Islamic moral code.

Under Islamic inheritance law, a daughter should inherit half of what a son inherits, but in reality, daughters rarely get anything at all. The inheritance is divided between the sons. Widows can sometimes inherit a small part from their spouse, but usually they receive nothing. However, the sons are obliged to provide for their mothers life. In the Hindu minority, the woman is not entitled to either divorce or inheritance.


A particularly cruel manifestation of the abuse against women is the attack with corrosive acids. Often it is young women who did not want to enter into arranged marriages or have otherwise shown that they want to live an independent life, which gets their faces disfigured by acid. It also sometimes affects men and is often about conflicts of property. Previously, several hundred attacks with acid were recorded each year but the problem has decreased and in 2013 fewer than 100 attacks were reported. Domestic violence due to disputes over marriages is also common.

In the cities, prostitution is widespread and well organized with state-approved brothels where several thousand women can be housed. The number of AIDS cases in the country is still low, but the risk of an epidemic is imminent because condoms are uncommon in the sex industry.


Infant Mortality: 25 per 1000 births (2018)

Percentage of HIV infected: 0.1 percent (2018)

Proportion of HIV infected among young women

0.1 percent (2018)

Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.1 percent (2018)

Proportion of population with access to clean water: 97.3 percent (2015)

Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 48.2 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 2.6 percent (2015)

Public expenditure on health care per person: $ 34 (2016)

Proportion of women in parliament: 20 percent (2018)



Thousands dead in cyclone

The cyclone Sidr advances across Bangladesh and demands the lives of thousands of people.


The GDP leader is also arrested

Like one of her sons, Khaleda Zia is arrested for corruption.


Student riots in the cities

An emergency permit is announced in Dhaka and five other cities due to violent clashes between police and students demanding that the emergency permit be revoked.


Sheikh Hasina grips

Opposition Awami League leader Sheikh Haina is arrested, suspected of blackmail.


Islamists are executed

Six militant Islamists convicted of a series of explosions in 2005 are executed by hanging.


The choice is postponed

The unrest is increasing and the state of emergency is announced. Election day is pushed forward and the transitional government remains in place for the time being.