Photos of Bermuda

Introduction

Background

Bermuda was first settled in 1609 by shipwrecked English colonists heading for Virginia. Self-governing since 1620, Bermuda is the oldest and most populous of the British overseas territories. Vacationing to the island to escape North American winters first developed in Victorian times. Tourism continues to be important to the island's economy, although international business has overtaken it in recent years. Bermuda has also developed into a highly successful offshore financial center. A referendum on independence from the UK was soundly defeated in 1995.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of South Carolina (US)

Geographic coordinates

32 20 N, 64 45 W

Map references

North America

Area

total: 54 sq km

land: 54 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 231

Area - comparative

about one-third the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Coastline

103 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate

subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter

Terrain

low hills separated by fertile depressions

Elevation

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Town Hill 79 m

Natural resources

limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism

Land use

agricultural land: 14.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 14.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 20% (2018 est.)

other: 65.2% (2018 est.)

Population distribution

relatively even population distribution throughout

Natural hazards

hurricanes (June to November)

Geography - note

consists of about 138 coral islands and islets with ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some land was leased by the US Government from 1941 to 1995

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Bermudian(s)

adjective: Bermudian

Ethnic groups

African descent 53.8%, White 31%, mixed 7.5%, other 7.1%, unspecified 0.6% (2010 est.)

Languages

English (official), Portuguese

Religions

Protestant 46.2% (includes Anglican 15.8%, African Methodist Episcopal 8.6%, Seventh Day Adventist 6.7, Pentecostal 3.5%, Methodist 2.7%, Presbyterian 2.0%, Church of God 1.6%, Baptist 1.2%, Salvation Army 1.1%, Brethren 1.0%, other Protestant 2.0%), Roman Catholic 14.5%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, other Christian 9.1%, Muslim 1%, other 3.9%, none 17.8%, unspecified 6.2% (2010 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.7% (male 6,053/female 5,928)

15-24 years: 11.88% (male 4,290/female 4,235)

25-54 years: 35.31% (male 12,758/female 12,575)

55-64 years: 16.37% (male 5,560/female 6,185)

65 years and over: 19.74% (male 6,032/female 8,134) (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 43.6 years

male: 41.6 years

female: 45.7 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Birth rate

11.1 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 174

Death rate

9.03 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 56

Net migration rate

1.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 52

Population distribution

relatively even population distribution throughout

Urbanization

urban population: 100% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: -0.2% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

10,000 HAMILTON (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 2.21 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 2.53 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 1.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 221

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 81.83 years

male: 78.73 years

female: 85.09 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Drinking water source

improved: total: 100% of population

unimproved: total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 12 years

female: 14 years (2015)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 29.3%

male: 29.7%

female: 29% (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

Environment

Environment - current issues

dense population and heavy vehicle traffic create serious congestion and air pollution problems; water resources scarce (most obtained as rainwater or from wells); solid waste disposal; hazardous waste disposal; sewage disposal; overfishing; oil spills

Air pollutants

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.61 megatons (2016 est.)

Climate

subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter

Land use

agricultural land: 14.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 14.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 20% (2018 est.)

other: 65.2% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 100% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: -0.2% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 82,000 tons (2012 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 1,640 tons (2012 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 2% (2012 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Bermuda

former: Somers Islands

etymology: the islands making up Bermuda are named after Juan de BERMUDEZ, an early 16th century Spanish sea captain and the first European explorer of the archipelago

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK

Government type

parliamentary democracy; self-governing overseas territory of the UK

Capital

name: Hamilton

geographic coordinates: 32 17 N, 64 47 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November

etymology: named after Henry HAMILTON (ca. 1734-1796) who served as governor of Bermuda from 1788-1794

Administrative divisions

9 parishes and 2 municipalities*; Devonshire, Hamilton, Hamilton*, Paget, Pembroke, Saint George*, Saint George's, Sandys, Smith's, Southampton, Warwick

Independence

none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday

Bermuda Day, 24 May; note - formerly known as Victoria Day, Empire Day, and Commonwealth Day

Constitution

history: several previous (dating to 1684); latest entered into force 8 June 1968 (Bermuda Constitution Order 1968)

amendments: proposal procedure - NA; passage by an Order in Council in the UK; amended several times, last in 2012

Legal system

English common law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the UK

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Rena LALGIE (since 14 December 2020)

head of government: Premier David BURT (since 19 July 2017)

cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the premier, appointed by the governor

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed premier by the governor

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate (11 seats; 3 members appointed by the governor, 5 by the premier, and 3 by the opposition party; members serve 5-year terms) and the House of Assembly (36 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve up to 5-year terms)
House of Assembly (36 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve up to 5-year terms)

elections:
Senate - last appointments in August 2017 (next appointments in 2022)
House of Assembly - last held on 1 October 2020 (next to be held not later than 2025)

election results: Senate - composition - men 7, women 4, percent of women 36.4%
House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - PLP 62.1%, OBA 32.3%, other 5.4%, independent 0.2%; seats by party - PLP 30, OBA 6; composition - NA

Judicial branch

highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and at least 2 justices); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice, 4 puisne judges, and 1 associate justice); note - the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) is the court of final appeal

judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal justice appointed by the governor; justice tenure by individual appointment; Supreme Court judges nominated by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and appointed by the governor; judge tenure based on terms of appointment

subordinate courts: commercial court (began in 2006); magistrates' courts

Political parties and leaders

Free Democratic Movement or FDM (Marc BEAN)
One Bermuda Alliance or OBA (Craig CANNONIER)
Progressive Labor Party or PLP [Edward D. BURT]

International organization participation

Caricom (associate), ICC (NGOs), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ITUC (NGOs), UPU, WCO

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Consul General Mary Ellen KOENIG (since 28 November 2015)

telephone: (441) 295-1342

embassy: 16 Middle Road Devonshire, DV 03

mailing address: P. O. Box HM325, Hamilton HMBX; American Consulate General Hamilton, US Department of State, 5300 Hamilton Place, Washington, DC 20520-5300

FAX: [1] (441) 295-1592, 296-9233

consulate(s) general: Crown Hill, 16 Middle Road, Devonshire DVO3

Flag description

red, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Bermudian coat of arms (a white shield with a red lion standing on a green grassy field holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of the ship Sea Venture off Bermuda in 1609) centered on the outer half of the flag; it was the shipwreck of the vessel, filled with English colonists originally bound for Virginia, that led to the settling of Bermuda

note: the flag is unusual in that it is only British overseas territory that uses a red ensign, all others use blue

National anthem

name: Hail to Bermuda

lyrics/music: Bette JOHNS

note: serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy

Economic overview

International business, which consists primarily of insurance and other financial services, is the real bedrock of Bermuda's economy, consistently accounting for about 85% of the island's GDP. Tourism is the country’s second largest industry, accounting for about 5% of Bermuda's GDP but a much larger share of employment. Over 80% of visitors come from the US and the sector struggled in the wake of the global recession of 2008-09. Even the financial sector has lost roughly 5,000 high-paying expatriate jobs since 2008, weighing heavily on household consumption and retail sales. Bermuda must import almost everything. Agriculture and industry are limited due to the small size of the island.

Bermuda's economy returned to negative growth in 2016, reporting a contraction of 0.1% GDP, after growing by 0.6% in 2015. Unemployment reached 7% in 2016 and 2017, public debt is growing and exceeds $2.4 billion, and the government continues to work on attracting foreign investment. Still, Bermuda enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

Real GDP growth rate

-0.1% (2016 est.)

0.6% (2015 est.)

-0.3% (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 195

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: N/A (2015)

Moody's rating: A2 (2016)

Standard & Poors rating: A+ (2015)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$5.228 billion (2019 est.)

$5.204 billion (2018 est.)

$5.227 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 177

GDP (official exchange rate)

$6.127 billion (2016 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$81,798 (2019 est.)

$81,421 (2018 est.)

$81,835 (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Gross national saving

40.4% of GDP (2018 est.)

40.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 5.3% (2017 est.)

services: 93.8% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 51.3% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 15.7% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 13.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 49.8% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -30.4% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products, honey

Industries

international business, tourism, light manufacturing

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 2%

industry: 13%

services: 85% (2016 est.)

Budget

revenues: 999.2 million (2017 est.)

expenditures: 1.176 billion (2017 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

$818.6 million (2017 est.)

$763 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 52

Exports

$19 million (2017 est.)

$19 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 211

Exports - partners

Jamaica 49.1%, Luxembourg 36.1%, US 4.9% (2017)

Exports - commodities

reexports of pharmaceuticals

Imports

$1.094 billion (2017 est.)

$980 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 184

Imports - partners

United States 44%, South Korea 17%, Germany 10%, Canada 8% (2019)

Imports - commodities

ships, refined petroleum, postage stamps, recreational boats, aircraft (2019)

Debt - external

$2.515 billion (2017 est.)

$2.435 billion (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 149

Exchange rates

Bermudian dollars (BMD) per US dollar -

1 (2020 est.)

1 (2019 est.)

1 (2018 est.)

1 (2014 est.)

1 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 3

Electricity - from other renewable sources

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

note: the Tynes Bay Waste Treatment Facility turns waste to electric energy

country comparison to the world: 175

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 24,808

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 34.71 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 171

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 73,680

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 103.09 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 199

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: a good, fully automatic digital telephone system with fiber-optic trunk lines; telecom sector provides a relatively high contribution to overall GDP; numerous competitors licensed, but small and localized; telecom sector a growth area across the Caribbean (2020)

domestic: the system has a high fixed-line teledensity 35 per 100, coupled with a mobile-cellular teledensity of roughly 103 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 1-441; landing points for the GlobeNet, Gemini Bermuda, CBUS, and the CB-1 submarine cables to the Caribbean, South America and the US; satellite earth stations - 3 (2019)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media

3 TV stations; cable and satellite TV subscription services are available; roughly 13 radio stations operating

Internet users

total: 70,016

percent of population: 98.37% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 187

Transportation

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1 (2019)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

Roadways

total: 447 km (2010)

paved: 447 km (2010)

note: 225 km public roads; 222 km private roads

country comparison to the world: 197

Merchant marine

total: 138

by type: container ship 12, oil tanker 18, other 108 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 77

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Hamilton, Ireland Island, Saint George

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Royal Bermuda Regiment; Bermuda Police Service (2021)

note - the Royal Bermuda Regiment is a reserve multi-role battalion that carries out two primary functions – providing military aid to civil authorities and humanitarian and disaster relief

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Royal Bermuda Regiment has about 350 troops (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Regiment is equipped with small arms

Military service age and obligation

females and males who are Commonwealth citizens and 18-45 years of age for voluntary enlistment in the Bermuda Regiment; service is for a minimum period of three years and two months from the date of enlistment; service can be extended only by volunteering or an executive order from the Governor; annual training commitment is about 30 days a year, which includes a two-week camp, weekends, and drill nights (2021)

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues