Country Summary

2023 population pyramid



Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. It formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1862. Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize until 1981.



total: 22,966 sq km
land: 22,806 sq km
water: 160 sq km


tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)

Natural resources

arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower

People and Society


total: 415,789
male: 205,895
female: 209,894 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

Mestizo 52.9%, Creole 25.9%, Maya 11.3%, Garifuna 6.1%, East Indian 3.9%, Mennonite 3.6%, White 1.2%, Asian 1%, other 1.2%, unknown 0.3% (2010 est.)


English 62.9% (official), Spanish 56.6%, Creole 44.6%, Maya 10.5%, German 3.2%, Garifuna 2.9%, other 1.8%, unknown 0.5%; note - shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2010 est.)


Roman Catholic 40.1%, Protestant 31.5% (includes Pentecostal 8.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Anglican 4.7%, Mennonite 3.7%, Baptist 3.6%, Methodist 2.9%, Nazarene 2.8%), Jehovah's Witness 1.7%, other 10.5% (includes Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu, Church of Jesus Christ, Muslim, Rastafarian, Salvation Army), unspecified 0.6%, none 15.5% (2010 est.)

Population growth rate

1.47% (2024 est.)


Government type

parliamentary democracy (National Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm


name: Belmopan

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor-General Froyla TZALAM (since 27 May 2021)
head of government: Prime Minister John BRICEÑO (since 12 November 2020)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Assembly consists of:
Senate (14 seats, including the president); members appointed by the governor-general - 6 on the advice of the prime minister, 3 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and 1 each on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and Evangelical Association of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Better Business Bureau, non-governmental organizations in good standing, and the National Trade Union Congress and the Civil Society Steering Committee; 1 seat is held by the Senate president elected from among the Senate members or from outside the Senate; members serve 5-year terms
House of Representatives (32 seats; 31 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and the speaker, who may be designated from outside the government; members serve 5-year terms and the speaker serves at the pleasure of the government up to the full 5-year term)


Economic overview

tourism- and agriculture-driven economy; strong post-pandemic rebound; innovative and ecological bond restructuring that significantly lowered public debt and expanded marine protections; central bank offering USD-denominated treasury notes; high mobility across borders

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$3.839 billion (2022 est.)
$3.531 billion (2021 est.)
$2.996 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$9,500 (2022 est.)
$8,800 (2021 est.)
$7,600 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

sugarcane, maize, bananas, oranges, soybeans, sorghum, chicken, rice, beans, milk (2022)


garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil


$1.369 billion (2022 est.)
$1.043 billion (2021 est.)
$714.624 million (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

US 22%, UK 16%, Guatemala 10%, Spain 7%, Honduras 5% (2022)

Exports - commodities

raw sugar, bananas, shellfish, bran, refined petroleum (2022)


$1.574 billion (2022 est.)
$1.249 billion (2021 est.)
$901.819 million (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

US 33%, China 23%, Guatemala 9%, Mexico 8%, Canada 3% (2022)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, ships, tobacco, garments, plastic products (2022)

Exchange rates

Belizean dollars (BZD) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
2 (2022 est.)
2 (2021 est.)
2 (2020 est.)
2 (2019 est.)
2 (2018 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, July 09, 2024