Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 6th
- Asia: 4th
- Bangladesh: 1st
Population in City Area, 2020-03-18
- World: 13th
- Asia: 10th
- Bangladesh: 1st
Dhaka Urban Area Population Graph
Dhaka Population Review
Dhaka is the capital city of the country of Bangladesh, located in South Asia. With a population of 21.1 million people in the urban area and 10.3 million in the city, Dhaka is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with 47,400 people per square kilometer. This makes it the sixth–most densely populated city in the world and the ninth-largest city in the world.
Dhaka is the economic, political and cultural center of Bangladesh. The city is a major beta-global city whose meteoric population growth is predicted to continue at a staggering pace. Since 1950, Dhaka has grown from a tiny city of only 336,000 people to the monolithic metropolitan it is today—with predictions that it will only continue growing and will reach 31.2 million residents by 2035.
Too many people, too few resources
Dhaka’s astounding growth has ended up with a city that has grown beyond what it can manage. The city’s sewer system is vastly undersized and experiences flooding on a regular basis when the monsoon season comes and overwhelms the sewer system. The city’s transportation infrastructure, waste management, and drainage system are on the brink of collapse. The underlying issue is directly related to climate-induced displacement and migration and the city’s rapid, unplanned urbanization.
Issues with poverty
Dhaka’s poverty rate has dropped in recent years but remains high. There are an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 people in Dhaka that are living under extreme poverty. The average wage in Dhaka is less than $5 a day and one in five people live under the poverty line. There are an estimated 3.4 million people who live without gas or electricity in slums known as bosti.
A growing economy
Despite its issues with poverty and overpopulation, Dhaka remains the largest and most powerful economy in Bangladesh, contribution $162 billion in gross state product and $225 billion in purchasing power. It contributes 40% of the country’s GDP and is home to the country’s monetary authority, the Bangladesh Bank
The city continues to attract many migrant workers who make their living as hawkers, peddlers, rickshaw drivers, and roadside and stall vendors. There are 400,000 rickshaw migrant drivers alone working in the city and 800,000 working in the textile industry.
People from virtually every region of Bangladesh
The city’s explosive urban growth has attracted people from all over the country. People from rural areas in the country come to the city for a chance at a better life. In the 1960s, migration from rural areas accounted for 60% of the city’s growth.
The city’s inhabitants are known as Dhakaite and they have a distinct dialect and culture. There are also many Bihari refugees that now call the city home. They are descendants of Muslims that fled India during the late 1940s and settled in East Pakistan. Much of these people reside in old Dhaka and in the refugee camps in the city. There are also between 15,000 and 20,000 people from the Rohingya, Garo, Khasi, Mandi, Santal, and Chakma tribes living in Dhaka.
Religions of Dhaka
For the most part, Dhaka is a Muslim city, with 91% of the population identifying as such, the majority of who belong to the Sunni sect. There is also a smaller Shia sect and an Ahmadiya community. 8.2% of the population are Hindu, the second largest religious group in the city, and the rest of the population is split between Christianity, no religion, and Buddhism. Bangladesh is a secular, Muslim-majority nation, so people are not punished for converting from one religion to another, or for not practicing.