Geography

  • Location:East Coast of Central America, bounded on the North by Mexico, on the South and West by Guatemala, and on the East by the Caribbean Sea
  • Capital and Major City & Towns: (Capital) Belmopan City ; (City) Belize City, (Towns) San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Corozal, Orange Walk, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, San Pedro and Benque Viejo del Carmen
    Climate: Subtropical (dry and wet season)
  • Rainfall: Annual rainfall ranges from 60 inches in the North to 200 inches in the South
    Land Area: 22,923 km. sq. or 8,867 sq. miles

People & Society

  • Nationality: Belizean
  • Official Language: English. Spanish is also widely spoken. There are also a number of indigenous languages e.g. Creole, Garifuna, Maya and Ketchi.
  • Total Population: 282,600 – (2004 mid-year estimates)
  • Density of Population: 31.9 – (2004)
  • Labour Force: 102,437 – (2003 LFS Survey)
  • Literacy Rate: 76.5 – (2000)
  • Religions: Predominantly Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Protestants. Small groups practise Islam, Buddhist, Hinduism and Bahai

Government

  • Form of Government: Democratic – Bicameral Legislature
  • Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II
  • Governor-General: Sir Colville N. Young Sr.
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister, Hon. Dean O. Barrow
  • Governing Party: United Democratic Party (UDP) 2013 – 2018
  • Next Election: By August 2018
  • Independence Day: September 21, 1981.
  • Business Hours: Government working hours: 8:00 am – Noon, 1:00 pm – 5:00pm (4:30 on Fridays) Banking: Mon. to Thur 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Economy

  • Currency: Belize Dollar (Bz$)
  • Exchange Rate: US$1=Bz$2.00
  • Gross Domestic Product: US$673.5mn (1999)
  • Per Capita GDP: US$2,771.6 (1999)
  • Chief Products: Citrus, bananas, sugar, marine products, rice, red kidney beans, beef, pork, poultry, honey, garment, aerated beverages, alcoholic beverages, wheat flour, cigarettes.
  • Foreign Trade: Exports – US$166mn (1999); Imports – US$370mn(1999)
  • Principal Exports: Citrus, bananas, sugar, marine products, garments, and timber
  • Principal Imports: Machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and beverages, construction materials, fuel, and lubricants.
  • Major Trading Partners: The United States of America, United Kingdom, CARICOM, Guatemala, Mexico and Canada
  • Fuels: Lubricants and gas; all imported
  • Electricity Cost: US$0.19/Kwh. After the second phase of the Mollejon hydro project is completed, the electricity rate will decrease
  • Electric Power: Belize Electricity Limited; Voltage 110 Volts, Optional 220 Volts; Cost of Kwh: Bz$ 0.38(US$0.19). Type of Generating: Diesel. Continuity: 90% – 95%. Industrial Rate is available.
  • Telecommunications: All automatic systems: Direct dialing with major countries in the world. Telexes, faxes, cellular, email and internet are also readily available.

Other

  • Time zone: EST -1; GMT – 6
  • Phone Codes: Belize City (22), Belmopan (82), Orange Walk (32), Cayo (82), Dangriga (52), Punta Gorda (72), San Pedro (22), Caye Caulker (22), Placencia (52)
  • Major Ports: Belize City, Big Creek and Dangriga.
  • Major International Airport: Phillip S. W. Goldson International, 8 miles WNW of Belize City.
  • Entry Requirements: A valid passport is required of all visitors. Citizens of the United Kingdom, some Commonwealth countries, the European Union and the USA are not required to have a visa, provided they have a return or round trip ticket.
  • Departure Tax: Passengers who are nationals over 12 years pay US$11.25 and US$15.00 for non-nationals.