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People and Society






In 1783, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. In addition, the Sunni-led government has struggled to manage relations with its large Shia-majority population. During the mid-to-late 1990s, Shia activists mounted a low-intensity uprising to demand that the Sunni-led government stop systemic economic, social, and political discrimination against Shia Bahrainis. King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa, after succeeding his late father in 1999, pushed economic and political reforms in part to improve relations with the Shia community. After boycotting the country's first round of democratic elections under the newly-promulgated constitution in 2002, Shia political societies participated in 2006 and 2010 in legislative and municipal elections and Wifaq, the largest Shia political society, won the largest bloc of seats in the elected lower-house of the legislature both times. In early 2011, Bahrain's fractious opposition sought to ride a rising tide of popular Arab protests to petition for the redress of popular grievances. In mid-March 2011, with the backing of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) capitals, King HAMAD put an end to the mass public gatherings and increasingly disruptive civil disobedience by declaring a state of emergency. Manama also welcomed a contingent of mostly Saudi and Emirati forces as part of a GCC deployment intended to help Bahraini security forces maintain order. Since that time, intermittent efforts at political dialogue between the government and opposition have remained at a stalemate. The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), formed in June 2011 to investigate abuses during the unrest and state of emergency, released its final report in November 2011. The King fully endorsed the report, and since then Manama has begun to implement many of the BICI's recommendations, including improving policing procedures, reinstating fired workers, rebuilding some mosques, and establishing a compensation fund for those affected by the unrest and crackdown. Despite this progress, street protests have grown increasingly violent since the beginning of 2012.


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People And Society

Noun Bahraini(s)
Adjective Bahraini

Ethnic groups
Bahraini 46%, non-Bahraini 54% (2010 census)

Arabic (official), English, Farsi, Urdu

Muslim (Shia and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)

Population World Ranking: 157
Includes 235,108 non-nationals (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
20.5% (male 126,313/female 122,359)
15-64 years
77% (male 595,244/female 339,635)
65 years and over
2.6% (male 14,791/female 16,363) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 31.1 years
Male 32.5 years
Female 28.3 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 20
2.652% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 138
14.41 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 220
2.63 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 8
14.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 89% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
1.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
MANAMA (capital) 163,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1.75 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.91 male(s)/female
Total population
1.54 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 139
20 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 145
Total 10.2 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 11.43 deaths/1,000 live births
8.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 52
Total population 78.29 years
Male 76.16 years
Female 80.48 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 148
1.86 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 149
4.5% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
1.442 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density
1.9 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 95
0.2% (2001 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 148
Fewer than 600 (2007 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 107
Fewer than 200 (2003 est.)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 136
2.9% of GDP (2008)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 94.6%
Male 96.1%
Female 91.6% (2010 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 14 years
Male 13 years
Female 14 years (2006)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 55
Total 20.1%
Male 17.2%
Female 27% (2001)


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  Bahrain (Manama):

  GPS points from Bahrain (Manama)

Busaitin Al Muharraq

Al-rifa` Al-shamali Ash Shamaliyah

Nakhal Lazi Al Wusta

Karzakkan Al Wusta

Ad Dur Al Janubiyah

Bandar Ad Da Sitrah

Umm Ash-shujaira Al Muharraq

Al Jabalah Al Asimah
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