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Belize Demographics Profile

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Population405,633 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Belizean(s)

adjective: Belizean
Ethnic groupsMestizo 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.)

note: percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were able to identify more than one ethnic origin
LanguagesEnglish 62.9% (official), Spanish 56.6%, Creole 44.6%, Maya 10.5%, German 3.2%, Garifuna 2.9%, other 1.8%, unknown 0.3%, none 0.2% (cannot speak); note - shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2010 est.)

major-language sample(s):
The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information. (English)

La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)
ReligionsRoman 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, Mormon, Muslim, Rastafarian, Salvation Army), unspecified 0.6%, none 15.5% (2010 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 32.57% (male 66,454/female 63,700)

15-24 years: 19% (male 39,238/female 36,683)

25-54 years: 37.72% (male 73,440/female 77,300)

55-64 years: 6.18% (male 12,235/female 12,444)

65 years and over: 4.53% (male 8,781/female 9,323) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 52

youth dependency ratio: 44.4

elderly dependency ratio: 7.6

potential support ratio: 13.1 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 23.9 years

male: 23 years

female: 24.8 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate1.67% (2021 est.)
Birth rate21.62 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate3.99 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionapproximately 25% to 30% of the population lives in the former capital, Belize City; over half of the overall population is rural; population density is slightly higher in the north and east
Urbanizationurban population: 46.2% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population23,000 BELMOPAN (capital) (2018)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Maternal mortality rate36 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 11.4 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 12.64 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.56 years

male: 73.96 years

female: 77.24 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate2.66 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate51.4% (2015/16)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 98.6% of population

total: 99.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 1.4% of population

total: 0.8% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures5.7% (2018)
Physicians density1.12 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density1 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 98.8% of population

rural: 95.3% of population

total: 96.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.2% of population

rural: 4.7% of population

total: 3.1% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.2% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS3,800 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths<200 (2020 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate24.1% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight4.6% (2015/16)
Education expenditures7.6% of GDP (2018)
Demographic profile

Migration continues to transform Belize's population. About 16% of Belizeans live abroad, while immigrants constitute approximately 15% of Belize's population. Belizeans seeking job and educational opportunities have preferred to emigrate to the United States rather than former colonizer Great Britain because of the United States' closer proximity and stronger trade ties with Belize. Belizeans also emigrate to Canada, Mexico, and English-speaking Caribbean countries. The emigration of a large share of Creoles (Afro-Belizeans) and the influx of Central American immigrants, mainly Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and Hondurans, has changed Belize's ethnic composition. Mestizos have become the largest ethnic group, and Belize now has more native Spanish speakers than English or Creole speakers, despite English being the official language. In addition, Central American immigrants are establishing new communities in rural areas, which contrasts with the urbanization trend seen in neighboring countries. Recently, Chinese, European, and North American immigrants have become more frequent.

Immigration accounts for an increasing share of Belize's population growth rate, which is steadily falling due to fertility decline. Belize's declining birth rate and its increased life expectancy are creating an aging population. As the elderly population grows and nuclear families replace extended households, Belize's government will be challenged to balance a rising demand for pensions, social services, and healthcare for its senior citizens with the need to reduce poverty and social inequality and to improve sanitation.

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2019)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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