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Bahrain Country Guide

Explore Bahrain in Asia

Bahrain with the capital city Manama is located in Asia (Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf). It covers some 665 square kilometres (3.5 times the size of Washington, DC) with 718,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Bahrain

The topography includes 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 and very hot, humid summers. Possible natural disasters include 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 900/1800/3G MHz. 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

Bahrain Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: Asia
Capital: Manama
Size665 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 256 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
CurrencyName Dinar, Currency Code:BHD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).bh
Telephone Country Prefix+973
Mobile Phone Connections1,578,000
Landline Phone Connections238,400

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area760 (sq km)188

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population1,281,332 156
Population growth rate2.57 (%)25
Birth rate14.16 (births/1,000 population)140
Death rate2.65 (deaths/1,000 population)221
Net migration rate14.13 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)9
Maternal mortality rate20.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)139
Infant mortality rate9.93 (deaths/1,000 live births)144
Life expectancy at birth78.43 (years)52
Total fertility rate1.83 (children born/woman)152
Health expenditures5.00 (% of GDP)142
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.20 (%)93
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS600 148
HIV/AIDS - deaths200 107
Obesity - adult prevalence rate32.90 (%)20
Education expenditures2.90 (% of GDP)142
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2428.30 (%)31


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)33,630,000,000 110
GDP - real growth rate3.90 (%)86
GDP - per capita (PPP)29,200 52
Labor force705,900 152
Unemployment rate15.00 (%)144
Investment (gross fixed)19.90 (% of GDP)97
Taxes and other revenues31.30 (% of GDP)87
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.60 (% of GDP)76
Public debt56.20 (% of GDP)50
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.00 (%)76
Commercial bank prime lending rate6.83 (%)129
Stock of narrow money7,854,000,000 83
Stock of broad money24,380,000,000 81
Stock of domestic credit24,310,000,000 76
Market value of publicly traded shares20,430,000,000 63
Industrial production growth rate1.50 (%)127
Current account balance2,846,000,000 35
Exports20,950,000,000 74
Imports14,950,000,000 88
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold4,853,000,000 92
Debt - external25,270,000,000 76
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home16,870,000,000 74
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad10,020,000,000 53


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production13,160,000,000 (kWh)87
Electricity - consumption12,970,000,000 (kWh)81
Electricity - imports214,000,000 (kWh)87
Electricity - installed generating capacity3,168,000 (kW)86
Electricity - from fossil fuels100.00 (% of total installed capacity)4
Crude oil - production44,800 (bbl/day)63
Crude oil - exports152,600 (bbl/day)35
Crude oil - imports256,000 (bbl/day)29
Crude oil - proved reserves107,200,000 (bbl)71
Refined petroleum products - production270,800 (bbl/day)48
Refined petroleum products - consumption51,450 (bbl/day)98
Refined petroleum products - exports226,000 (bbl/day)29
Natural gas - production12,580,000,000 (cu m)38
Natural gas - consumption12,250,000,000 (cu m)44
Natural gas - proved reserves92,030,000,000 (cu m)58
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy30,690,000 (Mt)77


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use276,500 122
Telephones - mobile cellular1,694,000 146
Internet hosts47,727 97
Internet users419,500 122


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports4 185
Roadways4,122 (km)156
Merchant marine8 119


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures4.50 (% 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

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 buil ...
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 site ...