The population of Dhaka (areas under the jurisdiction of the Dhaka city corporation) stands at approximately 7.0 million. The city, in combination with localities forming the wider metropolitan area, is home to an estimated 14.6 million as of 2010. The population is growing by an estimated 4.2% per year, one of the highest rates amongst Asian cities. The continuing growth reflects ongoing migration from rural areas to the Dhaka urban region, which accounted for 60% of the city's growth in the 1960s and 1970s. More recently, the city's population has also grown with the expansion of city boundaries, a process that added more than a million people to the city in the 1980s. According toFar Eastern Economic Review, Dhaka will become a home of 25 million people by the year 2025.
The literacy rate in Dhaka is also increasing fairly quickly. It was estimated at 62.3% in 2001. By 2010, the literacy rate had gone up to 72.7%, significantly higher than the national average of 56.5%.
The city population is composed of people from virtually every region of Bangladesh. The long-standing inhabitants of the old city are known asDhakaia and have a distinctive dialect and culture. Between 15,000 to 20,000 of the Rohingya, Santal, Khasi, Garo, Chakma and Mandi tribal peoples reside in the city. Dhaka also has a large population of Chinese, Korean, Indian, Burmese and Nepali expatriates working in executive jobs in different industries.
Most residents of Dhaka speak Bangla, the national language. Many distinctive Bangla dialects and regional languages such as Chittagonianand Sylheti are also spoken by segments of the population. English is spoken by a large segment of the population, especially for business purposes. There is a minority Urdu-speaking population, who are descendants of displaced Muslims from eastern India during 1947 and sought refuge in East Pakistan. The correct population is ambiguous; although official figures estimate at least 40,000 residents, it is estimated that there are at least 300,000 Urdu-speakers in all of Bangladesh, mostly residing in refugee camps in Dhaka.
Islam is the dominant religion of Dhaka's people, of about 90% of the city practicing the faith; with a majority belonging to the Sunni sect. There is also a small Shia sect, and an Ahmadiya community. Hinduism is the second-largest religion, with about 9%, and smaller communities practice Buddhism and Christianity, both of about .5% each.