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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.


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People And Society

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)

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)

Religions
Roman Catholic 39.3%, Pentacostal 8.3%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.3%, Anglican 4.5%, Mennonite 3.7%, Baptist 3.5%, Methodist 2.8%, Nazarene 2.8%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.6%, other 9.9% (includes Bahai Faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Mormon), other (unknown) 3.1%, none 15.2% (2010 census)

Population World Ranking: 177
327,719 (July 2012 est.)

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 21.3 years
Male 21.1 years
Female 21.5 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 48
2.011% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 52
26.02 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 168
5.91 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 76
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

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 0.9 male(s)/female
Total population
1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 105
53 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 91
Total 21.37 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 23.85 deaths/1,000 live births
Female
18.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 155
Total population 68.28 years
Male 66.61 years
Female 70.04 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 54
3.15 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 175
3.3% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
0.828 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density
1.1 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 28
2.3% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 119
4,800 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 82
Fewer than 500 (2009 est.)

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)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 86
4.9% (2006)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 36
5.7% of GDP (2008)

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)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 60
Total 19.5%
Male 13.8%
Female 28.8% (2005)


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  Belize (Belmopan):


  GPS points from Belize (Belmopan)


Irish Creek Orange Walk District

First Creek Stann Creek District

Yalbac Orange Walk District

Warrie Hole Creek Cayo District

Santa Rosa Cayo District

Botlass Creek Belize District

Pascua Crossing Orange Walk District




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