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Bahrain Country Guide

Explore Bahrain in Asia

Travel warning information is updated daily: The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's advisory service suggests to reconsider your need to travel to this country. Take this advice seriously - check with your local authorities whether your exact destination is safe.

Bahrain with the capital city Manama is located in Asia (Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf). It covers some 666 square kilometres (3.5 times the size of Washington, DC) with 718,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Bahrain

The landscape offers mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment. The average density of population is approximately 1,080 per km². The notable climate conditions in Bahrain can be described as arid with mild, pleasant winters, very hot, humid summers. Potential threats by nature are periodic droughts or dust storms.

To reach someone in Bahrain dial +973 prior to a number. There are 238,400 installed telephones. And there are 1,578,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 MHz and 3G. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".bh". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Bahrain

Red, the traditional color for flags of Persian Gulf states, with a white serrated band (five white points) on the hoist side; the five points represent the five pillars of Islam
note: until 2002 the flag had eight white points, but this was reduced to five to avoid confusion with the Qatari flag.

In 1783, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has become an international banking center. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. The Sunni-led government has struggled to manage relations with its large Shia-majority population. In early 2011, amid Arab uprisings elsewhere in the region, the Bahraini Government confronted similar protests at home with police and military action. The aftermath led to modest reforms, though continued dissatisfaction by Bahraini oppositionists with the extent of the reforms, has led to a broader dialogue between government officials, political societies, and legislators.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Asia
Capital: Manama
Size 665 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 257 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Population 718,000
Currency Name: Dinar, Currency Code: BHD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .bh
Telephone Country Prefix +973
Mobile Phone Connections 1,578,000
Landline Phone Connections 238,400

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 760 (sq km) 188

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 1,281,332 156
Population growth rate 2.57 (%) 25
Birth rate 14.16 (births/1,000 population) 140
Death rate 2.65 (deaths/1,000 population) 221
Net migration rate 14.13 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 9
Maternal mortality rate 20.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 139
Infant mortality rate 9.93 (deaths/1,000 live births) 144
Life expectancy at birth 78.43 (years) 52
Total fertility rate 1.83 (children born/woman) 152
Health expenditures 5.00 (% of GDP) 142
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.20 (%) 93
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 600 148
HIV/AIDS - deaths 200 107
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 32.90 (%) 20
Education expenditures 2.90 (% of GDP) 142
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 28.3 (%) 31


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 33,630,000,000 110
GDP - real growth rate 3.90 (%) 86
GDP - per capita (PPP) 29,200 52
Labor force 705,900 152
Unemployment rate 15.00 (%) 144
Investment (gross fixed) 19.90 (% of GDP) 97
Taxes and other revenues 31.3 (% of GDP) 87
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -1.60 (% of GDP) 76
Public debt 56.20 (% of GDP) 50
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.00 (%) 76
Commercial bank prime lending rate 6.83 (%) 129
Stock of narrow money 7,854,000,000 83
Stock of broad money 24,380,000,000 81
Stock of domestic credit 24,310,000,000 76
Market value of publicly traded shares 20,430,000,000 63
Industrial production growth rate 1.50 (%) 127
Current account balance 2,846,000,000 35
Exports 20,950,000,000 74
Imports 14,950,000,000 88
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 4,853,000,000 92
Debt - external 25,270,000,000 76
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 16,870,000,000 74
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 10,020,000,000 53


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 13,160,000,000 (kWh) 87
Electricity - consumption 12,970,000,000 (kWh) 81
Electricity - imports 214,000,000 (kWh) 87
Electricity - installed generating capacity 3168000 (kW) 86
Electricity - from fossil fuels 100.0 (% of total installed capacity) 4
Crude oil - production 44,800 (bbl/day) 63
Crude oil - exports 152,600 (bbl/day) 35
Crude oil - imports 256,000 (bbl/day) 29
Crude oil - proved reserves 107200000 (bbl) 71
Refined petroleum products - production 270,800 (bbl/day) 48
Refined petroleum products - consumption 51,450 (bbl/day) 98
Refined petroleum products - exports 226,000 (bbl/day) 29
Natural gas - production 12,580,000,000 (cu m) 38
Natural gas - consumption 12,250,000,000 (cu m) 44
Natural gas - proved reserves 92,030,000,000 (cu m) 58
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 30,690,000 (Mt) 77


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 276,500 122
Telephones - mobile cellular 1,694,000 146
Internet hosts 47,727 97
Internet users 419,500 122


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 4 185
Roadways 4,122 (km) 156
Merchant marine 8 119


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 4.50 (% of GDP) 20

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy
The site consists of seventeen buildings in Muharraq City, three offshore oyster beds, part of the seashore and the Qal’at Bu Mahir fortress on the southern tip of Muharraq Island, from where boats used to set off for the oyster beds. The listed bu ...
Qal’at al-Bahrain – Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun
Qal’at al-Bahrain is a typical tell – an artificial mound created by many successive layers of human occupation. The strata of the 300 × 600 m tell testify to continuous human presence from about 2300 BC to the 16th century AD. About 25% of the ...