Belize | Facts & Information

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

Infoplease has everything you need to know about Belize. Check out our country profile, full of essential information about Belize's geography, history, government, economy, population, culture, religion and languages. If that's not enough, click over to our collection of world maps and flags.

Facts & Figures

  • 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

    Current Government Officials

    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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