Statistical information Belize 1994Belize

Map of Belize | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Belize in the World
Belize in the World

Undercover Tourist

Belize - Introduction 1994
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Background: Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize (formerly British Honduras) until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. The country remains plagued by high unemployment growing involvement in the South American drug trade and increased urban crime.

Belize - Geography 1994
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Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea between Guatemala and Mexico

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceCentral America and the Caribbean, North America, Standard Time Zones of the World

Total area total: 22,960 km²
Land: 22,800 km²

Land boundaries: total 516 km, Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km

Coastline: 386 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea:12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south
Note: from the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 miles; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for the negotiation of a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala

Climate: tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to February)

Terrain: flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south


Natural resources: arable land: potential, timber, fish
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 2%
Permanent crops: 0%
Meadows and pastures: 2%
Forest and woodland: 44%
Other: 52%

Irrigated land: 20 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: frequent devastating hurricanes (September to December) and coastal flooding (especially in south)

Note: national capital moved 80 km inland from Belize City to Belmopan because of hurricanes; only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean

Belize - People 1994
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Population: 208,949 (July 1994 est.)
Growth rate: 2.42% (1994 est.)

Nationality: noun:Belizean(s)

Ethnic groups: mestizo 44%, Creole 30%, Maya 11%, Garifuna 7%, other 8%

Languages: English (official), Spanish, Maya, Garifuna (Carib)

Religions: Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 30% (Anglican 12%, Methodist 6%, Mennonite 4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1%, other 2%), none 2%, other 6% (1980)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.42% (1994 est.)

Birth rate: 34.74 births/1000 population (1994 est.)

Death rate: 6 deaths/1000 population (1994 est.)

Net migration rate: -4.56 migrant(s)/1000 population (1994 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 35.6 deaths/1000 live births (1994 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 68.08 years
Male: 66.14 years
Female: 70.12 years (1994 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.39 children born/woman (1994 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: age 15 and over having ever attended school (1970)
Total population: 91%
Male: 91%
Female: 91%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Belize - Government 1994
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: former:British Honduras

Government type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Belmopan

Administrative divisions: 6 districts; Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, Toledo

Dependent areas

Independence: 21 September 1981 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 21 September (1981)

Constitution: 21 September 1981

Legal system: English law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Colville YOUNG (since 17 November 1993)
Head of government: Prime Minister Manuel ESQUIVEL (since July 1993); Deputy Prime Minister Dean BARROW (since NA 1993)

Legislative branch: British Forces Belize withdrawn by the end of 1993 except for a small training detachment, Belize Defense Force (including Army, Navy, Air Force, and Volunteer Guard), Belize National Police
Senate: consists of an 8-member body, 5 are appointed on the advice of the prime minister, 2 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and 1 after consultation with the Belize Advisory Council
National Assembly: elections last held 30 June 1993 (next to be held June 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (28 total) PUP 13 UDP 15

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, C, CARICOM, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), INTERPOL, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, LAES, LORCS, NAM, OAS, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Eugene L. SCASSA
From the us chancery: 2,535 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
From the us telephone: [501] (2) 77,161 through 77,163
From the us fax: (202) 332-6,888
From the us consulates general: Miami
From the us embassy: Gabourel Lane and Hutson Street, Belize City
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 286, Belize City
From the us FAX: [501] (2) 30,802

Flag descriptionflag of Belize: blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Belize - Economy 1994
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Economy overview: The economy is based primarily on agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction assuming increasing importance. Agriculture accounts for about 30% of GDP and provides 75% of export earnings, while sugar, the chief crop, accounts for almost 40% of hard currency earnings. The US, Belize's main trading partner, is assisting in efforts to reduce dependency on sugar with an agricultural diversification program.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 5.3% (1992)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 30% of GDP (including fish and forestry; commercial crops include sugar cane, bananas, coca, citrus fruits; expanding output of lumber and cultured shrimp; net importer of basic foods

Industries: garment production, citrus concentrates, sugar refining, rum, beverages, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 3.7% (1990; accounts for 12% of GDP

Labor force: 51,500
By occupation agriculture: 30%
By occupation services: 16%
By occupation government: 15.4%
By occupation commerce: 11.2%
By occupation manufacturing: 10.3%
By occupation note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel (1985)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 15% (1992 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues:$126.8 million

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $116 million (f.o.b., 1992)
Commodities: sugar, citrus, clothing, fish products, bananas, molasses, wood
Partners: US 51%, UK, other EC (1992)

Imports: $273 million (c.i.f., 1992 est.)
Commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, food, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Partners: US 57%, UK 8%, other EC 7%, Mexico (1992)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $143.7 million (1991)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Belizean dollars (Bz$) per US$1 - 2.00 (fixed rate)

Belize - Energy 1994
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 90 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 393 kWh (1992)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Belize - Communication 1994
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Belize - Military 1994
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: exchange rate conversion - $4.8 million, 1.8% of GDP (1992)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Belize - Transportation 1994
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 47
Usable: 38
With permanentsurface runways: 3
With runways over 3659 m: 0
With runways 2440-3659 m: 1
With runways 12292439 m: 3

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways





Waterways: 825 km river network used by shallow-draft craft; seasonally navigable

Merchant marine: 25 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 53,509 GRT/80,345 DWT, bulk 6, cargo 11, container 2, oil tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 3

Ports and terminals

Belize - Transnational issues 1994
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Disputes international: maritime border with Guatemala in dispute; desultory negotiations to resolve the dispute have begun

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine; an illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; eradication program cut marijuana production from 200 metric tons in 1987 to about 50 metric tons in 1991


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