Belize



Official Country Name
Belize

Belize Overview
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. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug trade, and increasing urban crime.

Belize Economy
In this small, essentially private-enterprise economy the tourism industry is the number one foreign exchange earner followed by marine products, citrus, cane sugar, bananas, and garments. The government's expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, initiated in September 1998, led to sturdy GDP growth averaging nearly 4% in 1999-2006. Major concerns continue to be the sizable trade deficit and unsustainable foreign debt. The government in 2006 announced it would seek a restructuring of its sovereign debt and has been negotiating with international creditors to find an acceptable formula for doing so. A key short-term objective remains the reduction of poverty with the help of international donors.

Belize Location
Belize is located in Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico

Region
Belize is located in Central America

Belize Population
Belize has population of 287,730 (July 2006 est.)

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

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

Belize Natural Resources
arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower

Ethnic Groups in Belize
Belize has the following ethnic groups - mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7%

Belize 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)

Belize Languages
English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), Creole

Belize Capital
Belize capital is Belmopan

Belize Currency
Belize currency is Belizean dollar

Map of Belize