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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Belize People


Belize is the most sparsely populated nation in Central America. It is larger than El Salvador and compares in size to the State of Massachusetts. Slightly more than half of the people live in rural areas. About one-fourth live in Belize City, the principal port, commercial center, and former capital.

Most Belizeans are of multiracial descent. About 46.4% of the population is of mixed Mayan and European descent (Mestizo); 27.7% are of African and Afro-European (Creole) ancestry; about 10% are Mayan; and about 6.4% are Afro-Amerindian (Garifuna). The remainder, about 9.5%, includes European, East Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and North American groups.

English, the official language, is spoken by virtually all except the refugees that arrived during the past decade. Spanish is the native tongue of about 50% of the people and is spoken as a second language by another 20%. The various Mayan groups still speak their original languages, and an English Creole dialect (or "Kriol" in the new orthography), similar to the Creole dialects of the English-speaking Caribbean Islands, is spoken by most. The rate of functional literacy is 75.1%. About 60% of the population is Roman Catholic; the Anglican Church and other Protestant Christian groups account for most of the remaining 40%. Mennonite settlers number about 7,160.

Belize    People Top of Page
Population: 256,062 (July 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years:  42.04% (male 54,876; female 52,780)

15-64 years:  54.43% (male 70,534; female 68,837)

65 years and over:  3.53% (male 4,403; female 4,632) (2001 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.7% (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 31.69 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 4.7 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
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:  0.95 male(s)/female

total population:  1.03 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 25.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population:  71.19 years

male:  68.91 years

female:  73.57 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.05 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.01% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,400 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 170 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun:  Belizean(s)

adjective:  Belizean
Ethnic groups: mestizo 43.7%, Creole 29.8%, Maya 10%, Garifuna 6.2%, other 10.3%
Religions: Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 30% (Anglican 12%, Methodist 6%, Mennonite 4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1%, other 2%), none 2%, other 6% (1980)
Languages: English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), Creole
Literacy: definition:  age 15 and over can read and write

total population:  70.3%

male:  70.3%

female:  70.3% (1991 est.)

note:  other sources list the literacy rate as high as 75%


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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