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Bermuda

(overseas territory of the UK)


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Introduction

Background: Bermuda was first settled in 1609 by shipwrecked English colonists headed for Virginia. Tourism to the island to escape North American winters first developed in Victorian times. Bermuda has developed into highly successful offshore financial center. A referendum on independence was soundly defeated in 1995.

Geography

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

Geographic coordinates: 32 20 N, 64 45 W

Map references: North America

Area
  total: 58.8 sq km
  land: 58.8 sq km
  water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 103 km

Maritime claims
  exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
  territorial sea: 12 nm

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

Terrain: low hills separated by fertile depressions

Elevation extremes
  lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
  highest point: Town Hill 76 m

Natural resources: limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism

Land use
  arable land: 6%
  permanent crops: 0%
  permanent pastures: 0%
  forests and woodland: 0%
  other: 94% (55% developed, 39% rural/open space) (1997 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: hurricanes (June to November)

Environment - current issues: asbestos disposal; water pollution; preservation of open space

Geography - note: consists of about 360 small coral islands with ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some land, reclaimed and otherwise, was leased by US Government from 1941 to 1995

People

Population: 62,997 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 20% (male 6,107; female 6,212)
  15-64 years: 70% (male 21,620; female 22,171)
  65 years and over: 10% (male 2,972; female 3,915) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.75% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 12.24 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 7.37 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
  total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 9.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 76.94 years
  male: 74.89 years
  female: 78.86 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.68 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality
  noun: Bermudian(s)
  adjective: Bermudian

Ethnic groups: black 58%, white 36%, other 6%

Religions: non-Anglican Protestant 39%, Anglican 27%, Roman Catholic 15%, other 19%

Languages: English (official), Portuguese

Literacy
  definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  total population: 98%
  male: 98%
  female: 99% (1970 est.)

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: none
  conventional short form: Bermuda

Data code: BD

Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK

Government type: parliamentary British overseas territory with internal self-government

Capital: Hamilton

Administrative divisions: 9 parishes and 2 municipalities*; Devonshire, Hamilton, Hamilton*, Paget, Pembroke, Saint George*, Saint Georges, Sandys, Smiths, Southampton, Warwick

Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday: Bermuda Day, 24 May

Constitution: 8 June 1968, amended 1989

Legal system: English law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
  chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor Thorold MASEFIELD (since NA June 1997)
  head of government: Premier Jennifer SMITH (since 10 November 1998)
  cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the premier, appointed by the governor
  elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; governor invites leader of largest party in Parliament to form a government as premier

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (an 11-member body appointed by the governor) and the House of Assembly (40 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
  elections: last held 9 November 1998 (next to be held NA November 2003)
  election results: percent of vote by party - PLP 54%, UBP 44%, NLP 1%, independents 1%; seats by party - PLP 26, UBP 14

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: National Liberal Party or NLP [Charles JEFFERS]; Progressive Labor Party or PLP [Jennifer SMITH]; United Bermuda Party or UBP [Pamela GORDON]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Bermuda Industrial Union or BIU [Derrick BURGESS]; Bermuda Public Services Association or BPSA [Betty CHRISTOPHER]

International organization participation: Caricom (observer), CCC, ICFTU, Interpol (subbureau), IOC

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US
  chief of mission: Consul General Lawrence OWEN
  consulate(s) general: Crown Hill, 16 Middle Road, Devonshire, Hamilton
  mailing address: P. O. Box HM325, Hamilton HMBX; American Consulate General Hamilton, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-5300
  telephone: [1] (441) 295-1342
  FAX: [1] (441) 295-1592

Flag description: red, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Bermudian coat of arms (white and blue shield with a red lion holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of the ship Sea Venture off Bermuda in 1609) centered on the outer half of the flag

Economy

Economy - overview: Bermuda enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, having successfully exploited its location by providing financial services for international firms and luxury tourist facilities for 360,000 visitors annually. The tourist industry, which accounts for an estimated 28% of GDP, attracts 84% of its business from North America. The industrial sector is small, and agriculture is severely limited by a lack of suitable land. About 80% of food needs are imported. International business contributes over 60% of Bermuda's economic output; a failed independence vote in late 1995 can be partially attributed to Bermudian fears of scaring away foreign firms. Government economic priorities are the further strengthening of the tourist and international financial sectors.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $2 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $31,500 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 1%
  industry: 10%
  services: 89% (1995 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2% (1998 est.)

Labor force: 35,296 (1997)

Labor force - by occupation: clerical 23%, services 22%, laborers 17%, professional and technical 17%, administrative and managerial 12%, sales 7%, agriculture and fishing 2% (1996)

Unemployment rate: NEGL% (1995)

Budget
  revenues: $504.6 million
  expenditures: $537 million, including capital expenditures of $75 million (FY97/98)

Industries: tourism, finance, insurance, structural concrete products, paints, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, ship repairing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 420 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 100%
  hydro: 0%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 391 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products

Exports: $32 million (1998 est.)

Exports - commodities: reexports of pharmaceuticals

Exports - partners: UK 29.5%, US 9.8% (1997)

Imports: $624 million (1998 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, chemicals, food and live animals

Imports - partners: US 34%, UK 9%, Mexico 8% (1997)

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - recipient: $27.9 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Bermudian dollar (Bd$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Bermudian dollar (Bd$) per US$1 - 1.0000 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 48,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 6,324 (1995)

Telephone system
  domestic: modern, fully automatic telephone system
  international: 3 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 82,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 3 (1997)

Televisions: 66,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3 (1999)

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways
  total: 225 km
  paved: 225 km
  unpaved: 0 km (1997 est.) (Note: in addition, there are 232 km of paved and unpaved roads that are privately owned)

Ports and harbors: Hamilton, Saint George

Merchant marine
  total: 115 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,536,975 GRT/11,337,483 DWT
  ships by type: bulk 27, cargo 4, chemical tanker 2, container 17, liquified gas 7, petroleum tanker 33, refrigerated cargo 14, roll-on/roll-off 8, short-sea passenger 3 (1999 est.) (Note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 11 countries among which are UK 24, Canada 12, Hong Kong 11, US 11, Nigeria 4, Sweden 4, Norway 3, and Switzerland 2 (1998 est.))

Airports: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 1
  2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: Bermuda Regiment, Bermuda Police Force, Bermuda Reserve Constabulary

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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Site Version 1.75 - Last updated December 20, 2006

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