Fast Facts

Population:
292,000
Capital:
Belmopan; 9,000
Area:
22,965 square kilometers (8,867 square miles)
Language:
English, Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna, Creole
Religion:
Roman Catholic, Protestant
Currency:
Belizean dollar
Life Expectancy:
67
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $4,900
Literacy Percent:
94
Flag: Belize
Map: Belize

Belize lies along the Caribbean coast of Central America. The first British settlement came in 1638, and the United Kingdom relinquished its last colony on the mainland of the Americas in 1981. English is the official language, but Spanish is widely spoken. Peace and plentiful land attract refugees from troubled neighboring countries. Tourists flock to see Maya ruins like Altun Ha; wildlife such as jaguars, howler monkeys, and toucans; and the Western Hemisphere's longest coral reef.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Garment production, food processing, tourism, construction
  • Agriculture: Bananas, coca, citrus, sugar; fish; lumber
  • Exports: Sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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