Dhaka, Bangladesh Population

Population in Urban Area, now

21,295,267
  • World: 6th
  • Asia: 4th
  • Bangladesh: 1st

Population in City Area, 2020-03-18

10,356,500
  • 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.

Review Updated: October 2, 2020

Dhaka Urban Area Population History

1950 336,000
1951 344,000
1952 359,000
1953 375,000
1954 392,000
1955 409,000
1956 427,000
1957 446,000
1958 466,000
1959 486,000
1960 508,000
1961 544,000
1962 603,000
1963 668,000
1964 741,000
1965 821,000
1966 910,000
1967 1,009,000
1968 1,118,000
1969 1,239,000
1970 1,374,000
1971 1,523,000
1972 1,688,000
1973 1,871,000
1974 2,056,000
1975 2,221,000
1976 2,399,000
1977 2,591,000
1978 2,799,000
1979 3,023,000
1980 3,266,000
1981 3,519,000
1982 3,775,000
1983 4,050,000
1984 4,345,000
1985 4,660,000
1986 4,999,000
1987 5,363,000
1988 5,754,000
1989 6,172,000
1990 6,621,000
1991 7,041,000
1992 7,344,000
1993 7,660,000
1994 7,989,000
1995 8,332,000
1996 8,691,000
1997 9,064,000
1998 9,454,000
1999 9,860,000
2000 10,285,000
2001 10,696,000
2002 11,083,000
2003 11,484,000
2004 11,901,000
2005 12,331,000
2006 12,777,000
2007 13,240,000
2008 13,720,000
2009 14,216,000
2010 14,731,000
2011 15,264,000
2012 15,816,000
2013 16,389,000
2014 16,982,000
2015 17,597,000
2016 18,234,000
2017 18,894,000
2018 19,578,000
2019 20,284,000
2020 21,006,000

Dhaka Urban Area Population Projections

2021 21,741,000
2022 22,478,000
2023 23,210,000
2024 23,936,000
2025 24,653,000
2026 25,359,000
2027 26,054,000
2028 26,738,000
2029 27,412,000
2030 28,076,000
2031 28,730,000
2032 29,373,000
2033 30,006,000
2034 30,627,000
2035 31,234,000

Map of Dhaka, Bangladesh

All Biggest Cities in Bangladesh