Statistical information Belize 1996Belize

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

Belize in the World
Belize in the World


Belize - Introduction 1996
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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 1996
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Location: Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 22,960 km²
Land: 22,800 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Massachusetts

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

Coastline: 386 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
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

Extremes lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Victoria Peak 1,160 m

Natural resources:
Arable land potential

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 2%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 2%
Forests 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


Belize - People 1996
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219,296 (July 1996 est.)
214,061 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
2.42% (1996 est.)
2.42% (1995 est.)

Noun: Belizean(s)
Adjective: Belizean

Ethnic groups:
Mestizo 44%
Creole 30%
Maya 11%
Garifuna 7%
Other 8%

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

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
0-14 years:
43% (male 48,291; female 46,451) (July 1996 est.)
44% (male 47,618; female 45,812) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
53% (male 59,132; female 57,498) (July 1996 est.)
53% (male 57,230; female 55,630) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
4% (male 3,881; female 4,043) (July 1996 est.)
3% (male 3,801; female 3,970) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
2.42% (1996 est.)
2.42% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
32.8 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
33.71 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
5.73 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
5.86 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
-2.89 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
-3.7 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff
Current issues Natural hazards: frequent, devastating hurricanes (September to December) and coastal flooding (especially in south)
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Whaling
International agreements 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

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.03 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:33.9 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
34.7 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 68.53 years (1996 est.); 68.32 years (1995 est.)
Male: 66.58 years (1996 est.); 66.37 years (1995 est.)
Female: 70.58 years (1996 est.); 70.36 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
4.12 children born/woman (1996 est.)
4.25 children born/woman (1995 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

Definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school (1991 est.)
Total population: 70.3%
Male: 70.3%
Female: 70.3%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Belize - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Belize
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 U.K.)

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), a hereditary monarch, is represented by Governor General Sir Colville YOUNG (since 17 November 1993), who, according to the constitution, must be a Belizean; was appointed by the queen
Head of government: Prime Minister Manuel ESQUIVEL (since July 1993) was appointed by the governor general; Deputy Prime Minister Dean BARROW (since NA 1993)
Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the governor general on advice from the prime minister

Legislative branch: Bicameral National Assembly Senate:Consists of an 8-member appointed body; 5 members 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 (this council serves as an independent body to advise the governor-general with respect to difficult decisions such as granting pardons, commutations, stays of execution, the removal of justices of appeal who appear to be incompetent, etc.) 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, the chief justice is appointed by the governor general on advice of the prime minister

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIH, UPU, WCL, WHO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation

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 1996
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Economy overview: The small, essentially private enterprise 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: 2% (1994 est.)

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: Commercial crops:bananas, coca, citrus fruits, fish, cultured shrimp, lumber

Garment production
Food processing

Industrial production growth rate: 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: 10% (1993 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $126.8 million
Expenditures: $123.1 million, including capital expenditures of $44.8 million (FY90/91 est.)

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: total value. $115 million (f.o.b., 1993)
Citrus fruits
Fish products

U.S. 51%
Other EU countries (1992)

Imports: total value:$281 million (c.i.f., 1993)
Machinery and transportation equipment
Manufactured goods

U.S. 57%
U.K. 8%
Other EU countries 7%
Mexico (1992)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $167.5 million (1992)

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 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 110 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 490 kWh (1993)

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 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 15,917 telephones (1990 est.); above-average system based on microwave radio relay
Local: NA
Intercity: microwave radio relay
International: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Belize - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $11 million, 2.2% of GDP (FY93/94)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Belize - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 35
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
Under 914 m: 25
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 8 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 8 (1995 est.)





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

Merchant marine
Total: 89 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 311,731 GRT/470,272 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 60, container 6, liquefied gas tanker 1, oil tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 4, roll-on/roll-off cargo 4, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Belize - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Transshipment point for cocaine; an illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; minor money-laundering center

Crystal Travel

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