Belize

Map Belize
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Belize

Facts

Background: Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1854. Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992 and the two countries are involved in an ongoing border dispute. Guatemala and Belize plan to hold a simultaneous referendum to determine if this dispute will go before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, though they have not yet set a date. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include the country's heavy foreign debt burden, high unemployment, growing involvement in the Mexican and South American drug trade, high crime rates, and one of the highest prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS in Central America.
Location: Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico
Area land: 22,806 sq km
Area water: 160 sq km
Coastline: 386 km
Country name conventional long form: none
Country name conventional short form: Belize
Country name former: British Honduras
Population: 321,115 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 36.8% (male 60,327/female 57,933); 15-64 years: 59.6% (male 96,886/female 94,605); 65 years and over: 3.5% (male 5,404/female 5,960) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 2.056% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 26.43 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 5.87 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female; total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 21.95 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 24.43 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 19.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.23 years; male: 66.53 years; female: 70.02 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 3.21 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.3% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 4,800 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 500 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Belizean(s); adjective: Belizean;
Ethnic groups: mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7% (2000 census);
Religions: Roman Catholic 49.6%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7.4%, Anglican 5.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.2%, Mennonite 4.1%, Methodist 3.5%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%), other 14%, none 9.4% (2000);
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);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 76.9%; male: 76.7%; female: 77.1% (2000 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.652 billion (2010 est.); $2.613 billion (2009 est.); $2.613 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $1.431 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 1.5% (2010 est.); 0% (2009 est.); 3.6% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $8,400 (2010 est.); $8,500 (2009 est.); $8,700 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 29%; industry: 16.9%; services: 54.1% (2008 est.);
Population below poverty line: 43% (2010 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%; highest 10%: NA%;
Labor force: 120,500;
note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 10.2%; industry: 18.1%; services: 71.7% (2007);
Unemployment rate: 13.1% (2009); 8.2% (2008);
Budget: revenues: $370.5 million; expenditures: $418 million (2010 est.);
Industries: garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil;
Industrial production growth rate: 1.4% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 213.5 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 198.5 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 248.4 million kWh (2005);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.

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