Belize
 

Map of Belize

 

Flag of Belize

 

Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

Population (2004 est.): 272,945 (growth rate: 2.4%); birth rate: 29.9/1000; infant mortality rate: 26.4/1000; life expectancy: 67.4; density per sq mi: 31

Capital: Belmopan

Monetary unit: Belize dollar

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

Ethnicity/race: mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7%

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

Literacy rate: 94% (2003 est.)

Natural resources: arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower. Exports: $207.8 million (f.o.b., 2003 est.): sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood.

International disputes: Guatemala has claimed half of southern Belize; Guatemalan squatters continue to settle along the border despite a 2000 agreement; OAS brokered a Differendum in 2002 that created a small adjustment to land boundary, a large Guatemalan maritime corridor in the Caribbean, a joint ecological park for disputed Sapodilla Cays, and a substantial US-UK financial package, but agreement was not brought to a popular referendum.

 

Symbolism of Flag

The blue on the flag is the party color of the PUP, while the red stripes were added to recognize the color of the opposition party. The centered coat of arm features 50 leaves, which is symbolizing the year the PUP (People's United Party) came into power.

Geography

Belize is situated on the Caribbean Sea, south of Mexico and east and north of Guatemala in Central America. In area, it is about the size of New Hampshire.

Government

Parliamentary democracy within the British Commonwealth.

National Anthem

O. Land of the Free by the Carib Sea,
Our manhood we pledge to thy liberty!
No tyrants here linger, despots must flee
This tranquil haven of democracy
The blood of our sires which hallows the sod,
Brought freedom from slavery oppression's rod,
By the might of truth and the grace of God,
No longer shall we be hewers of wood.
 
Nature has blessed thee with wealth untold,
O'er mountains and valleys where prairies roll;
Our fathers, the Baymen, valiant and bold
Drove back the invader; this heritage hold
From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon,
Through coral isle, over blue lagoon;
Keep watch with the angels, the stars and moon;
For freedom comes tomorrow's noon.