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BERMUDA

Motto:

'Quo fata ferunt' (Whither the Fates carry [us])
 

History

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. 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  

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
Land Boundaries: 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 Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Town Hill 76 m
Natural Resources: limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism
Land use: Arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 80% (55% developed, 45% rural/open space) (2005)
Natural hazards: Hurricanes (June to November)
Environment - current issues: 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

                             People

Population:

67,837 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.3% (male 6,271/female 6,163)
15-64 years: 67.5% (male 22,555/female 23,215)
65 years and over: 14.2% (male 3,979/female 5,654) (2009 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.647% (2009 est.)
Birth rate: 11.57 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate: 7.3 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 100% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Nationality: noun: Bermudian(s)
adjective: Bermudian
Ethnic groups: black 54.8%, white 34.1%, mixed 6.4%, other races 4.3%, unspecified 0.4% (2000 census)
Religions:

Anglican 23%, Roman Catholic 15%, African Methodist Episcopal 11%, other Protestant 18%, other 12%, unaffiliated 6%, unspecified 1%, none 14% (2000 census)

Languages: English (official) , Portuguese

                  Government

Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Bermuda
former: Somers Islands
Dependency status: Overseas territory of the UK
Government Type: parliamentary; self-governing territory
Capital: name: Hamilton
geographic coordinates: 32 17 N, 64 47 W
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 (11 seats; members 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 18 December 2007 (next to be held not later than 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - PLP 52.5%, UBP 47.3%; 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 [Ewart BROWN]; United Bermuda Party or UBP [Kim SWAN]

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]
International organization participation: Caricom (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ITUC, UPU, WCO, WFTU
Diplomatic representation in the US: None (Overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Consul General Gregory W. SLAYTON
consulate(s) general: Crown Hill, 16 Middle Road, Devonshire DVO3
mailing address: P. O. Box HM325, Hamilton HMBX; American Consulate General Hamilton, US Department of State, 5300 Hamilton Place, Washington, DC 20520-5300
telephone: [1] (441) 295-1342
FAX: [1] (441) 295-1592, 296-9233
National Holidays: New Year's Day (1 January); Good Friday (varies); Bermuda Day (24 May); Queen's Official Birthday (Second Monday in June); Emancipation Day (Thursday before the First Monday in August); Somer's Day (Friday before the First Monday in August); Labour Day (First Monday in September); Remembrance Day (11 November); Christmas Day (25 December); Boxing Day (26 December)
Caricom Associate Member: 2 July 2003
Flag description:
red, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Bermudian coat of arms (white and green 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

Overview: 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 (purchasing power parity): $4.5 billion (2004 est.)
GDP -real growth rate: 4.6% (2004 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP): $69,900 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1%
industry: 10%
services: 89% (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.8% (November 2005)
Labor force: 38,360 (2004)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture and fishing 3%, laborers 17%, clerical 19%, professional and technical 21%, administrative and managerial 15%, sales 7%, services 19% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate: 2.1% (2004 est.)
Budget: revenues: $738 million
expenditures: $665 million (FY04/05)
Industries:  international business, tourism, light manufacturing
Agriculture - products: bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products, honey
Exports: $763 million (2006)
Exports - commodities: re exports of pharmaceuticals
 
Exports - partners: Brazil 22.4%, US 14.6%, Germany 11%, South Africa 8.4%, Switzerland 6% (2008)
Imports: $1.162 billion (2006)
Imports - commodities: clothing, fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, chemicals, food and live animals
Imports - partners: South Korea 31.7%, Italy 21.7%, US 14.9%, UK 6.8%, Singapore 4.4%, France 4.2% (2008)
Debt - external: $160 million (FY99/00)
Exchange rates: Bermudian dollars (BMD) per US dollar - 1.0000 (fixed rate pegged to the US dollar)
Business Hours: Commercial: 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday
Government: 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday

          Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 57,600 (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 79,000 (2008)
Telephone System: general assessment: good
domestic: fully automatic digital telephone system; fiber optic trunk lines
international: country code - 1-441; landing point for the Atlantica-1 telecommunications submarine cable that extends from the US to Brazil; satellite earth stations - 3 (2007)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)
Television broadcast stations: 3 (2005)
Internet country Code: .bm
Internet hosts: 1,628 (2008)
Internet users: 48,000 (2007)

           Transportation

Airports: 1; L.F. Wade International Airport
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2009)
Roadways: total: 447 km
country comparison to the world: 195
paved: 447 km
note: public roads - 225 km; private roads - 222 km (2007)
Merchant marine: total: 137
country comparison to the world: 44
by type: bulk carrier 23, chemical tanker 3, container 22, liquefied gas 33, passenger 24, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 18, refrigerated cargo 9
foreign-owned: 115 (Australia 1, China 10, France 1, Germany 22, Greece 9, Hong Kong 4, Ireland 1, Israel 3, Japan 2, Nigeria 11, Norway 5, Sweden 20, UK 3, US 23)
registered in other countries: 50 (Bahamas 12, Marshall Islands 4, Philippines 34) (2008)
Ports and Terminals: Hamilton, Saint George

Military Bermuda Regiment (2008)
  defense is the responsibility of the UK
  Main Source of Information: the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook

Items of Interest  

Anthem:

God Save The Queen

God Save the Queen
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save The Queen.

Unofficial Local Anthem
Words by: Bette Johns

Hail to Bermuda
My island in the sun
Sing out in glory
To the nation we've become

We've grown from heart to heart
And strength to strength
For loyalty is prime
So sing long live Bermuda
Because this island's mine

Hail to Bermuda
My homeland dear to me
This is my own land
Built on strength
And unity

We've grown from heart to heart
And strength to strength
This privilege is mine
So sing long live Bermuda
Because this island's mine!
 

Favourite Local Cuisine:

Codfish and Potatoes, Cassava Pie, Shark Hash, Johnny Bread, Peas and Rice and Fish Cakes
Government website: http://www.gov.bm
   

 
 
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