Belize Physical Map

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Physical Map: Defined
In addition to country borders, major cities and significant bodies of water, Physical Maps indicate the location of landforms like deserts, mountains and plains. This type of map also displays major cities and regions. Physical Maps are commonly used to see elevation and land contours as well as major rivers and lakes.
Belize

page last updated on September 26, 2011


Introduction :: Belize
Background:
 
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 and the two countries are involved in an ongoing border dispute. Guatemala and Belize plan to hold a simultaneous referendum to determine if this dispute will go before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, though they have not yet set a date. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include the country's heavy foreign debt burden, high unemployment, growing involvement in the Mexican and South American drug trade, high crime rates, and one of the highest prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS in Central America.
Geography :: Belize
Location:
 
Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico
 
Geographic coordinates:
 
17 15 N, 88 45 W
 
Map references:
 
Central America and the Caribbean
 
Area:
 
total: 22,966 sq km
country comparison to the world: 152
land: 22,806 sq km
water: 160 sq km
 
Area - comparative:
 
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
 
Land boundaries:
 
total: 516 km
border countries: Guatemala 266 km, Mexico 250 km
 
Coastline:
 
386 km
 
Maritime claims:
 
territorial sea: 12 nm in the north, 3 nm in the south; note - from the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nm; according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for negotiating a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
 
Climate:
 
tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)
 
Terrain:
 
flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south
 
Elevation extremes:
 
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Doyle's Delight 1,160 m
 
Natural resources:
 
arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower
 
Land use:
 
arable land: 3.05%
permanent crops: 1.39%
other: 95.56% (2005)
 
Irrigated land:
 
40 sq km (2008)
 
Total renewable water resources:
 
18.6 cu km (2000)
 
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
 
total: 0.15 cu km/yr (7%/73%/20%)
per capita: 556 cu m/yr (2000)
 
Natural hazards:
 
frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south)
 
Environment - current issues:
 
deforestation; water pollution from sewage, industrial effluents, agricultural runoff; solid and sewage waste disposal
 
Environment - international agreements:
 
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
Geography - note:
 
only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean
People :: Belize
Population:
 
321,115 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
 
Age structure:
 
0-14 years: 36.8% (male 60,327/female 57,933)
15-64 years: 59.6% (male 96,886/female 94,605)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 5,404/female 5,960) (2011 est.)
 
Median age:
 
total: 21 years
male: 20.8 years
female: 21.2 years (2011 est.)
 
Population growth rate:
 
2.056% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
 
Birth rate:
 
26.43 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
 
Death rate:
 
5.87 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
 
Net migration rate:
 
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
 
Urbanization:
 
urban population: 52% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
Major cities - population:
 
BELMOPAN (capital) 20,000 (2009)
 
Sex ratio:
 
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
Infant mortality rate:
 
total: 21.95 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 91
male: 24.43 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
Life expectancy at birth:
 
total population: 68.23 years
country comparison to the world: 154
male: 66.53 years
female: 70.02 years (2011 est.)
 
Total fertility rate:
 
3.21 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
 
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
 
2.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
 
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
 
4,800 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
 
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
 
fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
 
Major infectious diseases:
 
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)
 
Drinking water source:
 
improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 99% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 1% of population (2008)
 
Sanitation facility access:
 
improved:
urban: 93% of population
rural: 86% of population
total: 90% of population
unimproved:
urban: 7% of population
rural: 14% of population
total: 10% of population (2008)
 
Nationality:
 
noun: Belizean(s)
adjective: Belizean
 
Ethnic groups:
 
mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7% (2000 census)
 
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)
 
Languages:
 
Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9% (official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown 0.2% (2000 census)
 
Literacy:
 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.9%
male: 76.7%
female: 77.1% (2000 census)
 
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
 
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2009)
 
Education expenditures:
 
5.7% of GDP (2008)
country comparison to the world: 36

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