Location of Belize
Belize, also formerly known as British Honduras, is a small constitutional monarchy located in Central America. It is bordered by Mexico on it’s northern side, and by Guatemala on it’s southern and eastern borders. To the west, there is the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
Geography of Belize
Belize is almost 23.000 square kilometers in size. It has numerous natural beauties, including mountains and jungles at the one extreme and tropical oceans and white sandy beaches on the other. There is an abundance of wildlife and marine life, including many species of wild birds. In the ocean, the largest barrier reef is a major attraction to tourists. Out of the total area, just 0.7% is water.
Population of Belize
In 2010, the population was estimated to be approximately 333.200 people, with approximately 80.000 households. This makes Belize the most sparsely populated country in Central America. The country’s population growth of 2.21% (2008) is one of the higher growth rates in this same area. It is claimed that there are just 118 homeless people in Belize. Belize is known as a Melting pot of cultures. This is due to the large number of cultures that live peacefully side by side in Belize. Root causes for this diversity in population are colonisation, slavery and immigration.
Languages of Belize
English is the official language of Belize. This does not mean that you are able to communicate with every Belizean if all you speak is English. Belizeans are very direct in their communication and suggestive English as is often used in the United States and Britain will not work as expected in Belize. Approximately 80% of Belizeans speak some, or even proficient, English.
- English: 54% speak very well, 26% speak some
- Spanish: 52% speak very well, 11% speak some
When looking at native speakers, English is the fourth language with only 4% of the population being a native English speaker. 46% speak Spanish, 33% Kriol, 5% Maya Kekchi.
Kriol is an English based Creole language with words and syntax from a number of African languages. Some linguistics consider Kriol to be a dialect of English.
Government of Belize
Belize has a parliamentary democracy and a consitutional monarchy. The Prime Minister is Dean Barrow. Belize gained independence from the United Kingdom on the 21st of September 1981.
GDP in Belize
Per capita, the GDP is just $7.895 (2010 estimate), for a total of $2.651 billion for the entire population.
Currency in Belize
The currency is the Belize Dollar (BZD), which enjoys a fixed exchange rate with the United States Dollar (USD) at a ratio of 2:1.
The Belize time zone is UTC-6 (Central Time).
Internet and Telephone
The internet top level domain name for Belize is BZ. The international country calling code is 501.
Religion in Belize
In Belize, people are free to practice any religion of their choice. Nearly 80% are Christian (50% Roman Catholics, 29% Protestant). Other religions include Hinduism and Islam. Islam is primarily practiced by Middle Eastern immigrants, but has been adopted by a small number of Kriols.