Belize Flag Icon

Belize Country Guide

Explore Belize in North America

Belize with the capital city Belmopan is located in North America (Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea). It covers some 22,967 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Massachusetts) with 301,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The landscape offers flat, swampy coastal plain and low mountains in south. The average density of population is approximately 13 per km². The notable climate conditions in Belize can be described as tropical with very hot and humid, rainy season (May to November), dry season (February to May). Potential threats by nature are frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south).

To reach someone in Belize dial +501 prior to a number. There are 31,200 installed telephones. And there are 161,800 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 1900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".bz". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 110/220V - 60Hz.

About the flag and history 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 of 50 mahogany leaves; the colors are those of the two main political parties: blue for the PUP and red for the UDP; various elements of the coat of arms - the figures, the tools, the mahogany tree, and the garland of leaves - recall the logging industry that led to British settlement of Belize
note: Belize's flag is the only national flag that depicts human beings; two British overseas territories, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands, also depict humans.

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, set for 6 October 2013, to determine if this dispute will go before the International Court of Justice at The Hague. 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 HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Central America.


Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: North America
Neighbours: Guatemala, Mexico
Capital: Belmopan
Size 22,966 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 8,867 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Population 301,000
Currency Name: Dollar, Currency Code: BZD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .bz
Telephone Country Prefix +501
Mobile Phone Connections 161,800
Landline Phone Connections 31,200

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).

Geography

Value name Value World Rank
Area 22,966 (sq km) 152

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 334,297 177
Population growth rate 1.97 (%) 53
Birth rate 25.58 (births/1,000 population) 54
Death rate 5.93 (deaths/1,000 population) 168
Maternal mortality rate 53.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 105
Infant mortality rate 20.82 (deaths/1,000 live births) 90
Life expectancy at birth 68.40 (years) 160
Total fertility rate 3.08 (children born/woman) 55
Health expenditures 5.20 (% of GDP) 131
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 2.30 (%) 28
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 4,800 119
HIV/AIDS - deaths 500 96
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 33.70 (%) 15
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 4.90 (%) 88
Education expenditures 6.60 (% of GDP) 27
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 19.5 (%) 60

Economy

Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 3,048,000,000 182
GDP - real growth rate 5.30 (%) 55
GDP - per capita (PPP) 8,900 127
Labor force 120,500 180
Unemployment rate 11.30 (%) 122
Investment (gross fixed) 26.40 (% of GDP) 40
Taxes and other revenues 29.0 (% of GDP) 98
Public debt 90.80 (% of GDP) 16
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.80 (%) 71
Central bank discount rate 12.00 (%) 16
Commercial bank prime lending rate 13.36 (%) 61
Stock of narrow money 426,400,000 162
Stock of broad money 1,263,000,000 162
Stock of domestic credit 1,100,000,000 155
Industrial production growth rate 1.40 (%) 129
Current account balance -59,500,000 64
Exports 555,800,000 168
Imports 770,100,000 186
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 238,900,000 157
Debt - external 1,457,000,000 146

Energy

Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 52,030,000 (kWh) 205
Electricity - consumption 630,000,000 (kWh) 165
Electricity - installed generating capacity 102100 (kW) 168
Electricity - from fossil fuels 33.3 (% of total installed capacity) 176
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 37.2 (% of total installed capacity) 59
Electricity - from other renewable sources 29.5 (% of total installed capacity) 2
Crude oil - production 4,000 (bbl/day) 91
Crude oil - proved reserves 6700000 (bbl) 96
Refined petroleum products - consumption 7,044 (bbl/day) 162
Refined petroleum products - imports 3,553 (bbl/day) 165
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 980,500 (Mt) 166

Communications

Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 28,800 178
Telephones - mobile cellular 222,000 178
Internet hosts 3,392 152
Internet users 36,000 179

Transportation

Value name Value World Rank
Airports 43 99
Roadways 3,007 (km) 167
Waterways 825 (km) 71
Merchant marine 247 33

Military

Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.20 (% of GDP) 117

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

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
The coastal area of Belize is an outstanding natural system consisting of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries. The system’s seven sites ill ...
1996