– Bangladesh
Capital city Dhaka
Surface 147,570 km²
Population 168,958,000
Road network length 22,726 km
Length of highway network 55 km
First highway 2020
Motorway name / Expressway
Traffic drives Left
License plate code BD

Bangladesh (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ) is a country in South Asia. The country is about 3.5 times the size of the Netherlands and has 169 million inhabitants, and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The capital is Dhaka.


According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Bangladesh is located on the Bay of Bengal, in the delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. The country is largely enclosed by India, with a small land border with Myanmar to the southeast. Most of Bangladesh consists of densely populated lowlands. The east is a slightly mountainous area called the Chittagong Hills. The 1052 meter high Saka Haphong is located here and is the highest point in Bangladesh.

Much of Bangladesh consists of flat and agricultural lowlands, with a very high population density. Forests are mainly found in the Chittagong Hills in the east. The Brahmaputra and Ganges together form the Padma River, which is very wide and contains larger islands. The coastal region also has many large and small islands. In the southwest, the coastal region is partly untouched wilderness, elsewhere the land is mostly cultivated.

The country has a tropical climate with a mild winter. The average maximum temperature in Dhaka ranges from 25°C in January to 34°C in April. The precipitation amounts to more than 2,100 mm per year, making it a very wet country. Precipitation falls largely in the period from April to October, the winter is relatively dry.

Bangladesh is prone to natural disasters, especially floods, tropical cyclones and tornadoes. Every year, an average of 28,000 km² of land, approximately 18% of the land area, is flooded. In extreme cases, more than half of the country could be flooded. In 1998, 75% of Bangladesh was under water during major floods.


In the 1901 census, 28.9 million inhabitants were counted. In 1960 the limit of 50 million inhabitants was exceeded, in the 1980s the limit of 100 million inhabitants was already exceeded. The population was estimated at more than 162 million in 2016. This makes Bangladesh the most densely populated larger country in the world. See Bangladesh population density.

By far the largest city is the capital Dhaka with 8.9 million inhabitants. However, the agglomeration is much larger and is estimated to have approximately 20 million inhabitants. In Bangladesh, the countryside is very densely populated and it is difficult to draw a boundary between urban and rural areas. The second largest city in Bangladesh is the port city of Chattogram (Chittagong) with a population of 2.6 million. In total there are 17 cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants.

Bengali is spoken in Bangladesh, which has its own script. In addition, English is widely spoken in the middle and upper class of the population.


Bangladesh is a developing country and one of the poorest countries in the world. The high population density puts great pressure on the available space for agriculture and cities are densely populated. Cyclones and large-scale flooding are problematic for the economy. The very underdeveloped infrastructure also limits economic growth. The manufacturing industry in Bangladesh is large, especially the textile industry. The pharmaceutical industry is also large. Old ships are also being dismantled in Bangladesh.


In the late Middle Ages, Islam was introduced to the region. The Bengal Sultanate existed between 1352 and 1576, after which it became part of the Mughal Empire, which encompassed almost the entire Indian subcontinent. From the mid-19th century the area was part of the British Raj. In 1947, the British Raj was divided into Indian and Pakistani sections. The area was thereafter known as East Pakistan. In 1971 a war of independence followed, after which a parliamentary republic was established. The country is considered a regional power because of its large population, but the low standard of living leaves Bangladesh with many problems.

Road Network

The Padma Bridge, which will open in 2022.

A major obstacle in domestic road transport is the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, where the number of bridges is very limited. These rivers have extensive branches and meanders, which means that they often cannot be crossed with one span. In the center of the country, the rivers are often more than 2 kilometers wide. For the same reason, there are virtually no through east-west roads in the broad coastal strip. The first bridge inland across the Ganges was almost in India for decades, and is the Lalon Shah Bridge, a 2×2 toll bridge. However, since 2022, the mighty Padma Bridge spansthe most downstream part of the Ganges. Only 300 kilometers inland is the first bridge over the Brahmaputra, the Jamuna Bridge which is almost 5 kilometers long, and over which the N405 with 2×2 lanes runs. This is also a toll bridge. There are no bridges over the Brahmaputra in Bangladesh further north.

The whole country is thus dependent on these two bridges over the mighty Ganges and Brahmaputra. There are no highways in Bangladesh, and the urban road network is also severely underdeveloped, which prevents large-scale congestion. The road network is disorganized and roads run in an illogical pattern, for example through Dhaka. Many roads in Dhaka are multi-lane, but lack medians or even markings. The best developed road is that from the airport to the center of Dhaka, which is partly grade separated with six or eight lanes and a central reservation. There are several bridges over the rivers around Dhaka, which are less wide than the Ganges. Traffic in the big cities is very chaotic. Some major roads bypass larger towns. The country’s first proper highway was theDhaka-Bhanga Expressway. Work is also underway on the Dhaka Elevated Expressway and the Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway.

Road numbering

The National Highways form the main road network and have the prefix “N”. The single-digit roads form a radial system from Dhaka. The three-digit numbers are in principle secondary main roads, but often also fulfill an important function, and are often bypasses. The first number is determined by the road with the one-digit number. For example, the N701 to N710 are all zoned around the N7.

  • N1 Dhaka – Chattogram (Chittagong) – Teknaf
  • N2 Dhaka – Sylhet
  • N3 Dhaka – Tongi – Mymensingh
  • N4 Joydephur (N3) – Jamalpur
  • N5 Dhaka – Bogra – Rangpur – Indian Border (Siliguri)
  • N6 Kashinatpur (N5) – Pabna – Rajshahi
  • N7 Mongla – Khulna – Jessore – N5
  • N8 Dhaka – Barisal

In addition, there is a second road class, the Regional Highways with the prefix “R”. These roads are zoned and the numbering increases as one gets further from Dhaka. A third class is the Zila Highways, a road class that falls under the Upazila sub-district.

National Highways in Bangladesh
Dhaka – Banga Expressway

Asian Highways

Asian Highways in Bangladesh
AH1 • AH2 • AH41


The signage in Bangladesh is bilingual, English and Bengali. The signage somewhat follows the British system. The signposts are green with white lettering, except for local signage which is white with black lettering.

In terms of road signs, the same road signs as in Europe are often used, with some local additions.

Bangladesh Location Map