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Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh , is a country in South Asia. Straddling the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, it is part of the historic ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "Country of Bengal" in the official Bengali language. It faces the Bay of Bengal to its south, and is bordered by India on the north, west and east, as well as Burma (Myanmar) on the southeast. It is separated from the Himalayan nations of Nepal and Bhutan by India’s narrow Siliguri corridor, and is in geographical proximity to China.
The present-day borders of Bangladesh were established during the British partition of Bengal in 1947, when the region became East Bengal (later East Pakistan), part of the newly formed nation of Pakistan. However, it was separated from West Pakistan by nearly 1,500 km (about 900 mi) of Indian territory. Due to political exclusion, ethnic and linguistic discrimination and economic neglect by the politically dominant western wing, popular agitation grew and gave rise to a secular cultural nationalist movement, leading to the declaration of independence and Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. In the aftermath of war and independence, the new state endured poverty, famine, political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and economic progress. Today, Bangladesh is a secular, unitary, constitutional republic.
Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy, with an elected parliament called the Jatiyo Sangshad. It is the world's eighth most populous country and has one of the highest population densities in the world. The country is identified as a Next Eleven economy. A pioneer of regional engagement in South Asia, Bangladesh is a founding member of SAARC and BIMSTEC. It is also member of the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the OIC, the Developing 8 Countries and BIMSTEC.
The country faces a number of major challenges, including poverty, corruption, political instability, overpopulation and vulnerability to climate change. However, it has been praised by the international community for its significant progress on the Human Development Index. Through various acclaimed Bangladeshi public and NGO-led social programs, the country is improving living standards and life expectancy, promoting literacy and women empowerment, stemming population growth and building healthcare infrastructure. Bangladesh is also undergoing rapid industrialization, with globally competitive industries in textiles, shipbuilding and pharmaceuticals. Dhaka and Chittagong, the country's two largest cities, have been the driving force behind much of the recent growth.