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Key facts

Date of Membership in CARICOM: 1 May 1974

Also Known as:Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret

Status of Independence:Independent 1981/09/21

Area: 22,966 km2; 8,867 miles

Capital City: Belmopan

Population: 344,700 (2010)

Currency: Belizean Dollar (Bz$)

Highest National Award: The Queen’s Award


GDP: EC$4,031Mn (2011)

GDP Growth: 2.3% p.a. 2009–13

GNI: US$1.6bn

GNI PC: US$4,660

GDP per Capita: EC$9.894 (2004)

Key dates in history

1638   First recorded European settlement established

1798   Following victory over Spain in battle of St. George’s Cay, British rule confirmed

1862   Country officially became British colony known as British Honduras

1871   Crown colony system introduced. Ruled by Governor of Jamaica until 1884

1954   Universal Adult Suffrage

1973   Name changed to Belize after Mayan word ‘Beliz’, meaning muddy waters

1981Independence achieved. George Price, first Prime Ministe

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