Belize

Facts & Figures

Map of Belize
  • Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

    Governor-General: Sir Colville Young (1993)

    Prime Minister: Dean Barrow (2008)

    Land area: 8,803 sq mi (22,800 sq km); total area: 8,867 sq mi (22,966 sq km)

    Population (2014 est.): 340,844 (growth rate: 1.9%); birth rate: 25.14/1000; infant mortality rate: 20.31/1000; life expectancy: 68.49

    Capital (2011 est.): Belmopan, 14,000

    Largest city: Belize City, 52,600

    Monetary unit: Belize dollar

    Languages: Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9% (official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown 0.2% (2000 census)

    Ethnicity/race: mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7%

    Religions: Roman Catholic 39.3%, Pentacostal 8.3%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.3%, Anglican 4.5%, Mennonite 3.7%, Baptist 3.5%, Methodist 2.8%, Nazarene 2.8%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.6%, other 9.9% (includes Baha'i Faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Mormon), other (unknown) 3.1%, none 15.2% (2010 census)

    National Holiday: Independence Day, September 21

    Literacy rate: 76.9% (2011 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $3.083 billion; per capita $8,800. Real growth rate: 2.5%. Inflation: 1.3%. Unemployment: 15.5 % (2013). Arable land: 3.27%. Agriculture: bananas, coca, citrus, sugar; fish, cultured shrimp; lumber; garments. Labor force: 120,500; note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel; agriculture 10.2%, industry 18.1%, services 77.7% (2007 est.). Industries: garment production, food processing, tourism, construction. Natural resources: arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower. Exports: $633 million (2013 est.): sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood. Imports: $864 million (2013 est.): machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods; fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; food, beverages, tobacco. Major trading partners: U.S., UK, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, China, Japan, Nigeria, Netherlands, Singapore, Germany (2012).

    Member of Commonwealth of Nations

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 25,400 (2012); mobile cellular: 164,200 (2012). Broadcast media: 8 privately owned TV stations; multi-channel cable TV provides access to foreign stations; about 25 radio stations broadcasting on roughly 50 different frequencies; state-run radio was privatized in 1998 (2007). Internet hosts: 3,392 (2012). Internet users: 36,000 (2009).

    Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 2,870 km; (2011 est.). Waterways: 825 km (navigable only by small craft) (2011). Ports and harbors: Belize City, Big Creek. Airports: 47 (2013 est.).

    International disputes: Guatemala persists in its territorial claim to half of Belize, but agrees to the Line of Adjacency to keep Guatemalan squatters out of Belize's forested interior; both countries agreed in April 2012 to hold simultaneous referenda, which was scheduled for 6 October 2013, to decide whether to refer the dispute to the ICJ for binding resolution, though this has been suspended indefinitely; Belize and Mexico are working to solve minor border demarcation discrepancies arising from inaccuracies in the 1898 border treaty.

    Major sources and definitions

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