Divisions of Bangladesh

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I've added the 1974 census to the Population history.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 is dated 2011-12-15. For Bangladesh, all the division codes have been changed from numbers to letters, and a code has been assigned to Rangpur. Before this update, Barisal was 1, Chittagong 2, Dhaka 3, Khulna 4, Rajshahi 5, and Sylhet 6.

Update 1 to the U.S. standard "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" is dated 2010-08-20. It assigns a FIPS code to the new Rangpur district.

Bangladesh adopted daylight saving time for 2009, to mitigate a power shortage in the country. It has been allowed to lapse in 2010.

FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 10, affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2006-03-23. It assigns new FIPS codes to the two newest divisions, and changes the code for one old division that changed size.

Bangladesh is divided into bibhag (divisions), which are subdivided into 21 anchal (regions), then further into 64 zila (districts), then into about 493 thana or upazila (subdistricts), and finally into unions. ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-2 was published on 2002-05-21, showing Sylhet as a new division.

Country overview: 

ISO codeBD
LanguageBengali (bn)
Time zone+6


At the beginning of the 20th century, India was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire. It consisted of provinces directly under British control and Native States with feudal allegiance to the British crown. After World War II, Mahatma Gandhi's campaign of passive resistance induced Britain to grant India its independence. In an attempt to avoid ethnic conflict, the country was partitioned into a Hindu section (India) and a Muslim section (Pakistan). Pakistan became a Dominion of the British Commonwealth on 1947-08-14. It consisted of two separate areas of Muslim concentration. The eastern section corresponded to the prewar district of East Bengal, plus a small part of Assam. On 1955-08-14, the two sections became the provinces of West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The two sections suffered from mutual distrust. On 1971-03-26, East Pakistan declared its independence from Pakistan. A war ensued between India and Pakistan. On 1971-12-15, Pakistan accepted defeat, and East Pakistan became a separate country, aligned with India. The new nation was initially known as Bangla Desh.

Other names of country: 

  1. Bengali: Gana Prajatantri Bangladesh (formal)
  2. Danish: Bangladesh, Østpakistan (obsolete)
  3. Dutch: Bangladesh, Volksrepubliek Bangladesh (formal)
  4. English: People's Republic of Bangladesh (formal), East Pakistan (obsolete)
  5. Finnish: Bangladesh
  6. French: Bangladesh, République f populaire du Bangladesh m (formal)
  7. German: Bangladesch n
  8. Icelandic: Bangladess
  9. Italian: Bangladesh m
  10. Norwegian: Bangladesh, Folkerepublikken Bangladesh (formal)
  11. Portuguese: Bangladesh, República f Popular do Bangladesh m (formal), Bengala Oriental (obsolete)
  12. Russian: Народная Республика Бангладеш (formal)
  13. Spanish: Bangladés, República f Popular de Bangladés (formal), Pakistán oriental (obsolete)
  14. Swedish: Bangladesh
  15. Turkish: Bangladeş, Bangladeş Halk Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Bengali bongo: Bengali, desh: land

Primary subdivisions: 

Bangladesh is divided into seven bibhag (divisions).

Barisal BD.BAABG858,325,666 13,225 5,106
ChittagongBD.CGBBG8428,423,019 33,909 13,092
Dhaka BD.DACBG8147,424,418 31,178 12,038
Khulna BD.KHDBG8215,687,759 22,284 8,604
Rajshahi BD.RSEBG8318,484,858 18,153 7,009
Rangpur BD.RPFBG8715,787,758 16,185 6,249
Sylhet BD.SYGBG869,910,219 12,635 4,878
7 divisions 144,043,697147,56956,977
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global
    context, prefix "BD-" to the code (ex: BD-4 represents Khulna).
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Population: 2011-03-15 census (source [8])
  • Capitals: Capitals have the same name as their divisions.

Postal codes: 

Bangladesh uses four-digit postal codes. By 2005 the Bangladesh Post Office had appended "00" to all of the codes in preparation for a six-digit scheme to be implemented in the future. At present, the fifth and sixth digits are optional.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Bangladesh page.

Territorial extent: 

Sandwip Island, and other coastal islands to the south and east, down to Saint Martin's Island, are in Chittagong region. Hatia Island and South Hatia Island are in Noakhali region.

According to Brendan Whyte, an expert on the subject, Bangladesh has 92 exclaves in India's West Bengal state (Jalpaiguri and Koch Bihar districts). In 21 of these cases, the Bangladeshi exclave is surrounded by a patch of Indian territory which is itself an exclave in Bangladesh.

Origins of names: 

  1. Chittagong: Hindi chitta: white, ganv: village
  2. Dhaka: Bengali dhak: name of a papilionaceous tree

Change history: 

  1. 1983: Name of capital of country, and its division, changed from Dacca to Dhaka.
  2. ~1993: Barisal division split from Khulna.
  3. ~1998: Sylhet division split from Chittagong (former HASC code BD.CH, FIPS BG80).
  4. 2010-01-25: Rangpur division formed by taking Dinajpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Panchagarh, Rangpur, and Thakurgaon districts from Rajshahi (former HASC code BD.RJ). I computed the new populations and areas by adding up the data for the districts belonging to each division.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Barisal: Bakerganj (obsolete)
  2. Chittagong: Chattagram (Bengali); Chitagongue (Portuguese-variant)
  3. Dhaka: Daca (Portuguese); Dacca (obsolete, Spanish); Dakka (Icelandic)
  4. Rangpur: Rongpur (variant)

Population history:

Division 1974-03-011981-03-061991-03-112001-01-232011-03-15
Barisal     7,757,334 8,173,718 8,325,666
Chittagong18,636,17722,565,55621,865,850 24,290,384 28,423,019
Dhaka 21,316,06726,248,86433,939,848 39,044,716 47,424,418
Khulna 14,195,27417,149,79213,243,054 14,705,229 15,687,759
Rajshahi 17,331,55321,087,81227,499,727 30,201,873 18,484,858
Rangpur         15,787,758
Sylhet     7,149,372 7,939,343 9,910,219
Totals 71,479,07187,052,024111,455,185124,355,263144,043,697


  1. [1] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  2. [2] Bangladesh Population Census 1981. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, August, 1984.
  3. [3] Statistical Abstract of Bangladesh. SOCOM Research Bureau, Society & Commerce Publications Private Ltd., Calcutta, March, 1975.
  4. [4] Dutt, Ashok K., and M. Margaret Geib. Fully Annotated Atlas of South Asia. Westview Press, Boulder and London, 1987.
  5. [5] Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics 2001 Population Census (http://www.bbsgov.org/Population%20Census%202001.PDF, dead link, retrieved 2005-11-19).
  6. [6] Bangladesh National Data Bank 1998 provisional population data (http://home.bangla.net/ndb/data-sheet/DEMO_DATA.htm, dead link, retrieved 2001-03-22).
  7. [7] Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics  (retrieved 2011-03-10).
  8. [8] Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics  is the source for 2011 census data and area figures (retrieved 2013-09-29).
  9. [9] 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
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