Population: 161.4 Million
Development Context: Hosts largest refugee camp in the world.
Hidden (undercounted) urbanization
Recurring Disasters: Floods, landslides, epidemic outbreak


Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with more than 1000 people per square kilometer.[1] Bangladesh adds two million youth to the labor force every year.[2]

Key Issues

  • Bangladesh has made substantial progress in reducing poverty, supported by sustained economic growth. However, the country has considerable hidden urbanization[3] that is not captured on official definitions and statistics. An undercounted rural-but-urbanizing dense population as such poses significant risk of epidemic outbreaks.
  • More than 900,000 Rohingya refugees are in the Cox’s Bazar area in Bangladesh’s southern tip[4] – adding to an already displaced population to make it the largest refugee camp in the world.

UMR Engagement

  • UMR Bangladesh envisions future refugees and native communities in Bangladesh are able to live with dignity and to be resilient/self-reliant through three country-specific priorities: (a) disease prevention in high-density populations with high risk of epidemic, (b) overcoming barriers to access in remote and rural populations, and (c) rapid but sustainable interventions for vulnerable refugee populations.
[2] World Bank (2015) Bangladesh Country Brief.

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