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Region in Asia
Skyline of Bengal
Continent Asia
Largest cities
 • Total 232,752 km2 (89,866 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 250 million
 • Density 1,070/km2 (2,800/sq mi)

Bengal (bɛŋgəl; Bengali: বাংলা, বেঙ্গল and বঙ্গ) is a region in Asia which is located in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Geographically, it is made up by the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta system, the largest such formation in the world; along with mountains in its north (bordering the Himalayan states) and east (bordering Northeast India and Burma).

Politically, Bengal is divided between the sovereign republic of Bangladesh, which covers two-thirds of the region, and West Bengal, which is a part of the Republic of India, in the western part of the region. In 2011, the population of Bengal was estimated to be 250 million, making it the most densely populated region in South Asia. An estimated 160 million people live in Bangladesh, while 91.3 million people live in West Bengal. The predominant ethno-linguistic group are the Bengali people, who speak the Indo-Aryan Bengali language. Bengali Muslims are the majority in Bangladesh. Bengali Hindus are the majority in West Bengal. Outside Bengal proper, the Indian territories of Tripura, the Barak Valley of Assam and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as Myanmar's Rakhine State, are also home to significant communities with Bengali heritage.

Dense woodlands, including hilly rainforests, cover Bengal's northern and eastern areas; while an elevated forested plateau covers its central area. In the littoral southwest are the Sunderbans, the world's largest mangrove forest and home of the Bengal tiger. In the coastal southeast lies Cox's Bazaar, the longest beach in the world at 125 km (78 mi). The region has a monsoon climate, which the Bengali calendar divides into six seasons.

Bangladesh India: West Bengal India: Tripura
US$223.941 billion US$120 billion US$4.0 billion
US$1,284 per person US$900 per person US$660 per person
List of major cities in Bengal
Rank City Country Population (2011) Area (in km2)
1 Dhaka Bangladesh 14,543,124 1463.6
2 Kolkata India 14,112,536 1886.67
3 Chittagong Bangladesh 4,079,862 168.07
4 Sylhet Bangladesh 2,675,346 26.50
5 Gazipur Bangladesh 1,820,374 49.32
6 Narayanganj Bangladesh 1,636,441 759.57
7 Khulna Bangladesh 1,490,835 80.01
8 Asansol India 1,243,414 340.13
9 Rajshahi Bangladesh 842,701 96.68
10 Siliguri India 705,579 640.0
11 Rangpur Bangladesh 650,000 204
12 Durgapur India 580,990 154.0
13 Bardhaman India 347,016 59.0
14 Comilla Bangladesh 346,238 153
15 Barisal Bangladesh 328,278 45
Source: World Gazetteer 2012



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