Bangladesh’s population declined steadily for a few years around 2009, but has shown a gradual growth from 2010 on again. The country has made great efforts in spreading birth control, results of which can be observed in the reduction of the fertility rate, bringing it down to an average of about 2 children per woman in 2015. The improvement in healthcare is also reflected in the steady increase in life expectancy, and an increase in the average age of the population.
After India gained independence from British rule in 1947, current Bangladesh was partitioned as a part of Pakistan and referred to as West Pakistan. In 1971, Bangladesh became an independent nation. A parliamentary democracy system of governance was adopted. Bangladesh is a founding member of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation), formed in 1985 by the eight countries of the Indian subcontinent. Nowadays, the country's capital Dhaka is also its largest city with over 7 million inhabitants.
Bangladesh has a growing economy, having maintained a steady GDP growth averaging above 6 percent since 2010. As in most growing economies, contribution of the agricultural sector to GDP has been on a steady decline, with services making up most of GDP, followed by the industries sector.
Although the agriculture sector contributes the least to national GDP, it provides employment to almost half of Bangladesh’s workforce. Bangladesh operates a thriving textile and clothing export industry and is one of the world’s largest garment exporters. Garments account for almost 80 percent of its total exports. The country has managed to keep its inflation rate under 8 percent since 2012. The national debt is predicted to remain steady in the years to come, currently standing at about 34 percent of GDP.