Location: Belize is a small country in Central America. It has a Caribbean coast, and it borders Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west.
Area: 8,867 square miles (22,966 sq km)
Land Borders: Guatemala 165 miles (266 km), and Mexico 171.5 miles (276 km)
Total Coastline: 240 miles (386 km)
Capital City: Belmopan
Highest Point: Doyle’s Delight, which is a peak in the Maya Mountain range. It is 3,805 feet (1,160 m) tall.
Lowest Point: Sea level, at the Caribbean Sea.
Temperature Range: Belize doesn’t get very cold, or have that much temperature variation. During January, the coldest month of the year, the average temperature dips to around 68°F (20°C). In August, the hottest month, the average temperature is 90°F (32°C).
Average Rainfall: During most of the year, Belize averages between two and 3 inches of rain per month. In the springtime, the climate is at its driest, averaging around a quarter inch to half an inch. As it gets rainier in the fall months, the rainfall averages around 5 inches per month.
Humidity: Belize has a subtropical climate with high humidity. The average humidity is around 76 percent.
Population: 353,858 (2016 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 1.84% (2016 est.)
Population Density: 16 (2015 est.)
Ethnicities: Mestizo 52.9 percent, Creole 25.9 percent, Maya 11.3 percent, Garifuna 6.1 percent, East Indian 3.9 percent, Mennonite 3.6 percent, white 1.2 percent, Asian 1 percent (2010 est.)
Official Language: English
Religion: 40 percent Roman Catholic, 30 percent Protestant, 1.5 percent Jehovah’s Witness, 10.5 percent other, 15.5 percent none.
Dialing code: 501
Learn more about Belize in our "Guide to The People of Belize & Belizean Culture."
Quality of Life
Life Expectancy: 68.7 years
Life Expectancy for Men: 67.2 years
Life Expectancy for Women: 70.4 years
Fertility Rate: 2.9 children per woman (2016 est.)
Literacy: 82.7 percent literacy rate (2015 est.)
Poverty Rate: 41 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
Airports: 47 total; 6 have paved airports, 41 have unpaved airports.
Roadways: 1,783 miles (2,870 km) total; 303 miles (488 km) paved, and 1,480 miles (2,382 km) unpaved.
Waterways: 512 miles (825 km), accessible only by small craft.
Ports: Belize City, Big Creek
Discover more about the quality of life in Belize when you read our "Belize Health & Safety Guide for Travelers."
Government and Economy
Government Type: Parliamentary Democracy
Head of Government: Dean Barrow (elected February 2008)
Legislative Branch: Bicameral National Assembly, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Independence Day: September 21, 1981
National Constitution: September 21, 1981. The latest amendment was in 2012.
Suffrage: Universal suffrage for adults 18 and up.
National Symbol: The keel-billed toucan is the national bird. The flag features a crossed axe and paddle.
Currency: Belize Dollar
GDP per Capita: $8,200 (2016 est.)
Industry: Garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, and oil.
Exports: Sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood, and crude oil.
Agriculture: Bananas, cacao, citrus, sugar; fish, cultured shrimp, and lumber.
How did Belize evolve from hosting Mayan civilizations to the travel destination we know today? Read "Belize History: Ancient Civilizations to Colonization."