Since independence in 1971, the national identity has evolved.
Islamic religious identity has become an increasingly important element in the national dialogue.
The Ganges/Padma River flows into the country from the northwest, while the Brahmaputra/ Jamuna enters from the north.
The capital city, Dhaka, is near the point where those river systems meet. In the north and the southeast the land is more hilly and dry, and tea is grown.
Life expectancy for both men and women is fifty-eight years, yet the sex ratios for cohorts above sixty years of age are skewed toward males.
The success of population control may be due to the demographic transition (decreasing birth and death rates), decreasing farm sizes, increasing urbanization, and national campaigns to control fertility (funded largely by other nations). The primary language is Bangla, called Bengali by most nonnatives, an Indo-European language spoken not just by Bangladeshis, but also by people who are culturally Bengali.
This includes about 300 million people from Bangladesh, West Bengal, and Bihar, as well as Bengali speakers in other Indian states.
Until 1947 Bangladesh was known as East Bengal province and had been part of Great Britain's India holding since the 1700s.
In 1947, Britain, in conjunction with India's leading indigenous political organizations, partitioned the Indian colony into India and Pakistan.