About Belize

Geography and People

Geography

Location: Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico
Geographic coordinates: 17 15 N, 88 45 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area:

total: 22,966 sq km
land: 22,806 sq km
water: 160 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Land boundaries:
total: 516 km
border countries: 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 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for negotiating a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

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

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

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

Natural resources: arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower

Land use:
arable land: 3.05%
permanent crops: 1.39%
other: 95.56% (2005)

Irrigated land: 30 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards: frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south)

Environment - current issues: deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff; solid and sewage waste disposal

Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean

People

Population: 314,522 (July 2010 est.)


Age structure:

0-14 years: 37.3% (male 59,904/female 57,539)
15-64 years: 59.1% (male 94,091/female 91,885)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 5,293/female 5,810) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 20.7 years
male: 20.5 years
female: 20.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.102% (2010 est.)

Birth rate: 26.84 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)

Death rate: 5.82 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 22.52 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 92
male: 25.22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.23 years
country comparison to the world: 150
male: 66.54 years
female: 70 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

3.28 children born/woman (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

2.1% (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


3,600 (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2007 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Belizean(s)
adjective: Belizean

Ethnic groups:
mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7% (2000 census)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 49.6%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7.4%, Anglican 5.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.2%, Mennonite 4.1%, Methodist 3.5%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%), other 14%, none 9.4% (2000)

Languages:
Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9% (official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown 0.2% (2000 census)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.9%
male: 76.7%
female: 77.1% (2000 census)


 
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