Hindus become the largest religious minority in Muslim nation

BANGLADESH’S Hindu community has grown grown by 1 per cent to 17 million in one year, accounting for 10.7 per cent of the population as of the end of 2015, an official report said last Thursday (23).

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) said its latest statistics found the country’s total population to be 158.9 million by the end of 2015 with the number of Hindus at 17 million.

Previous BBS studies showed Bangladesh’s Hindu population size was 15.5 million in 2014, suggesting that the numbers of the country’s largest minority community in- creased by 1.5 million in one year. Hindus are the second largest population group in terms of religion.

The statistics come as Hindu community leaders expressed fears that their number was decreasing gradually as a sense of insecurity forced many Hindus to leave the country for India over the decades.

According to the 1951 census, Hindus comprised 22 per cent of the population, in 1974 the figure came down to 14 per cent and the 2011 census suggests the followers of faith accounted for 8.4 per cent.