Facts about Bermuda

World Facts Index

BermudaBermuda 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. Tourism continues to be important to the island's economy, although international business has overtaken it in recent years. Bermuda has developed into a highly successful offshore financial center. Although a referendum on independence from the UK was soundly defeated in 1995, the present government has reopened debate on the issue.

Geography of Bermuda

Location:
North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of North Carolina (US)
Coordinates:
32 20 N, 64 45 W
Area:
total: 53.3 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 53.3 sq km
Area comparative:
about one-third 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
Natural hazards:
hurricanes (June to November)
Environment - current issues:
asbestos disposal; water pollution; preservation of open space; sustainable development
Geography - note:
consists of about 138 coral islands and islets with ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some land was leased by US Government from 1941 to 1995

Population of Bermuda

Population:
66,536 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (male 6,055/female 5,954)
15-64 years: 69.1% (male 22,795/female 23,189)
65 years and over: 12.8% (male 3,728/female 4,815)
Median age:
41 years
Infant mortality:
7.87 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.3 years
male: 76.15 years
female: 80.48 years
Total fertility rate:
1.89 children born/woman
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%

Government

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 George's, Sandys, Smith's, Southampton, Warwick
Independence:
none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday:
Bermuda Day, 24 May
Constitution:
8 June 1968, amended 1989 and 2003
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 Sir Richard GOZNEY (since 12 December 2007)
head of government: Premier Ewart BROWN (since 30 October 2006); Deputy Premier Paula COX
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the premier, appointed by the governor
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed premier by the governor
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (an 11-member body appointed by the governor, the premier, and the opposition) and the House of Assembly (36 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve up to five-year terms)
elections: last general election held 24 July 2003 (next to be held not later than July 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - PLP 51.7%, UBP 48%; seats by party - PLP 22, UBP 14
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrate Courts
Political parties and leaders:
Progressive Labor Party or PLP [William Alexander SCOTT]; United Bermuda Party or UBP [Wayne FURBERT]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Bermuda Employer's Union [Eddie SAINTS]; Bermuda Industrial Union or BIU [Derrick BURGESS]; Bermuda Public Services Union or BPSU [Ed BALL]; Bermuda Union of Teachers [Michael CHARLES]

Economy

Bermuda enjoys the third highest per capita income in the world, more than 50% higher than that of the US. Its economy is primarily based on providing financial services for international business and luxury facilities for tourists. A number of reinsurance companies relocated to the island following the 11 September 2001 attacks and again after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, contributing to the expansion of an already robust international business sector. Bermuda's tourism industry - which derives over 80% of its visitors from the US - continues to struggle but remains the island's number two industry. Most capital equipment and food must be imported. Bermuda's industrial sector is small, although construction continues to be important; the average cost of a house in June 2003 had risen to $976,000. Agriculture is limited with only 20% of the land being arable.

GDP:
$4.5 billion (2004 est.)
GDP growth rate:
4.6%
GDP per capita:
$69,900
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 1%
industry: 10%
services: 89%
Population below poverty line:
19%
Inflation rate:
2.8%
Labor force:
38,360
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture and fishing 3%, laborers 17%, clerical 19%, professional and technical 21%, administrative and managerial 15%, sales 7%, services 19%
Unemployment:
2.1%
Budget:
revenues: $738 million
expenditures: $665 million (FY04/05)
Industries:
tourism (hotels), international business, light manufacturing
Agriculture:
bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products
Exports:
reexports of pharmaceuticals
Export partners:
France 66.9%, Spain 12%, US 4.6%
Imports:
clothing, fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, chemicals, food and live animals
Import partners:
Kazakhstan 51.5%, France 18.4%, South Korea 11.6%, US 7.3%
Debt - external:
$160 million (FY99/00)
Currency:
Bermudian dollar (BMD)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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