Staggering photos show what daily life is really like in Dhaka, the most crowded city in the world
- More than 19.5 million people live in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
- It is the most densely populated city in the country spanning 300 kilometers - about 186 miles. That's more than 23,234 people per square kilometer, just over half a square mile.
- It is reported that 2,000 people move to Dhaka every day.
- Out of 164.7 million Bangladeshi, one in four live below the poverty line. Over 3 million people are estimated to live in the slums of Dhaka alone.
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is the most crowded city in the world.More than 19.5 million people live in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. It is the most densely populated city in the country spanning 300 kilometers - about 186 miles. That's more than 23,234 people per square kilometer, just over half a square mile.Advertisement
It is reported that 2,000 people move to Dhaka every day. More than 26% of Bangladeshi who flock to Dhaka leave their home cities due to natural disasters and climate change, according to Habitat for Humanity.
Dhaka is the largest and most densely populated city in Bangladesh.
More than 19.5 million people live within 300 kilometers — about 186 miles.Advertisement
That's 23,234 people per square kilometer, which is just over half a square mile.
There never seems to be enough space for everyone.Advertisement
Rickshaws outnumber cars in Dhaka and are an important source of income and transportation for the poor.
In 2011, there were an estimated 1 million tricycle rickshaws in Dhaka and nearly half of all road accidents involve them, reported Reuters.Advertisement
However, most people take the train to commute in and out of the city.
There are no seats inside the trains and many commuters risk hanging off the side or climb 12 feet to sit on the roof of the train.Advertisement
Documentarian Yousef Tushar spent a day at a Dhaka train station and said around 2,000 men, women, and children climb onto a train's roof at a time, reported the Daily Mail.
Some people use ladders to get onto the trains, some climb using the windows as leverage, and some get hoisted up by other riders.Advertisement
It's hard to find space for yourself.
Many people in Dhaka work in the booming garment industry.Advertisement
But the industry's workers are paid poorly and lack basic protections.
The garment industry was a lifeline in Bangladesh that once employed an estimated 10 million locals.Advertisement
But hundreds of small clothing factories have closed or cut workers after an elimination of global textile quotas in 2005.
In 2013, a garment factory collapsed, killing hundreds of workers. Mourners gathered for a mass burial in Dhaka.Advertisement
After garments, shrimp is is the second largest export in the country, earning about $400 million a year and constituting 8% of Bangladesh's total exports.
In fact, much of life in Dhaka revolves around the water.Advertisement
Locals rely on the Buriganga river, which is heavily polluted with human and factory waste.
Nonetheless, it's a part of daily life.Advertisement
They wash clothes in it ...
... and plastic bags.Advertisement
Some people swim in the river ...
.. and some collect sand.Advertisement
Many cobble together ways to make money outside of the river, too.
People in the slums of Dhaka will create cakes of cow dung to use as a source of fuel for cooking, or to sell to markets.Advertisement
Workers in Dhaka are legally supposed to be 15 years old or older.
In 2013, there were 21.5 million workers in the city between the ages of 15 and 29.Advertisement
However, many young workers start before the age of 15.
Local children will collect things to sell at the markets, like hyacinth flowers from a swamp ...Advertisement
... or plastic waste from the river.
The markets in Dhaka are a huge part of life.Advertisement
They see thousands of customers daily.
Vendors will pull up in boats along the Buriganga river to wait on the riverbank for potential buyers of goods like jackfruits.Advertisement
They sell everything from used bottles ...
... to live cattle ...Advertisement
... to fresh eggs ...
... to produce like onions.Advertisement
Some vendors walk along train tracks selling goods.
Lower-grade cattle hides are sold at local markets.Advertisement
While premium cattle hides are typically produced for export.
Vendors camp out all day to sell their wares ...Advertisement
... catching some rest where they can find it.
The currency used in Dhaka is the Bangladeshi Taka (BDT).Advertisement
Currently, $1 equates to about 84.34 BDT.
As of November 2018, the minimum wage in Dhaka is 5,300 BDT per month.Advertisement
Or $62.83 USD.
But that's for garment workers, not for people scraping by without regular employment.Advertisement
Non-garment laborers work in any condition....
...and are given subsidized foods like rice.Advertisement
In the world's most crowded city, nothing is easy.