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Demographics of Belize

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Belize, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Belize's population, 1961-2003.
Belize's population, 1961-2003.

Belize is the most sparsely populated nation in Central America. It is larger than El Salvador. Slightly more than half of the people live in rural areas. About one-fourth live in Belize City, the principal port, commercial centre, and former capital. About 80% of the population are Christian.

Most Belizeans are of multiracial descent. About 52.9% of the population is of mixed Indigenous (mostly Maya) and European descent (Mestizo), 24.9% are Kriols, about 10.6% are Maya, and about 6.1% are Afro-Amerindian (Garifuna).[1] The remaining population includes European, East Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and North American groups. In the case of Europeans, most are descendants of Spanish and British colonial settlers, whether pure-blooded or mixed with each other. Most Spanish left the nation just after it was taken by the British colonists who, in the same way, left after independence. Dutch and German Mennonites settled in Belize, mostly in isolated areas.

Belize's largest cities and towns by population

  1. Belize City, BZ - 67,169
  2. San Ignacio, CY - 27,878
  3. Belmopan, CY - 19,931
  4. Orange Walk Town, OW - 16,709
  5. Corozal Town, CZ - 13,400
  6. San Pedro, BZ - 11,765
  7. Dangriga, SC - 9,591
  8. Benque Viejo del Carmen, CY - 6,148
  9. Ladyville, BZ - 5,458
  10. Punta Gorda, TO - 6,351

- Based on 2010 census.

Population

According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, the current population stands at 408,487.[2]

In conjunction with a census of the British Empire, census data was compiled for Belize in 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911, 1921, 1931 and 1946. Belize conducted its own censuses in 1960, 1970, 1980, 1991 and in 2000. None has been held since then.

Ethnic groups

Most Belizeans are of multiracial descent. About 52.9% are Mestizo, 25.9% Creole, 11.3% Maya, 6.1.% Garifuna, 3.9% East Indian, 3.6% Mennonites, 1.2% White, 1% Asian, 1.2% Other and 0.3% Unknown.[3]

In the case of Europeans, most are descendants of Spanish and British colonial settlers, whether pure-blooded or mixed with each other. Most Spanish left the nation just after it was taken by the British colonists who, in the same way, left after independence. Beginning in 1958, German Mennonites of "Russian" Mennonite and Pennsylvania Dutch heritage settled in Belize, mostly in isolated areas.

Maya

Because Belize's original Maya peoples were decimated by disease and wars, or fled to Mexico and Guatemala, most of the country's Maya today are descended from other groups. The current Maya population consists mainly of three language groups. The Yucatec fled to Belize in the late 1840s to escape the Caste War in Yucatán, Mexico. Their descendants live in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts, which border on Mexico. Before the massive migration of Yucatec Maya from Mexico to Belize, a local Yucatec Maya group named the Iciache Maya already inhabited the land. Today most Yucatec Maya work in the sugar cane. In the 1870s-1880s, many Q'eqchi' fled from Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, where their lands were being stolen for coffee plantations, which then enslaved them. They settled villages in the Toledo district.

Living near rivers and streams, they are primarily farmers, though many younger people now work in tourism, and on shrimp, banana and citrus plantations. The Mopans originated in Belize, but most were driven out to Guatemala after the British displaced Spanish in a struggle that took most of the 18th century. They returned to Belize in 1886, running from enslavement and taxation in Petén. The Cayo district and San Antonio in the Toledo district are their homes now. Q'eqchi' and Mopan have intermarried, though the two languages remain distinct and mutually unintelligible.

Population of Belize according to ethnic group[4][5]
Ethnic
group
Census 1946 Census 1991 Census 2000[1] Census 2010
Number % Number % Number % Number %
Q'eqchi' Maya 10,030 16.9 7,954 4.3 12,366 5.3 17,409 5.7
Mopan Maya 6,770 3.7 8,980 3.9 10,557 3.5
Yucatec/other Maya 5,686 3.1 3,155 1.4 2,141 0.7
Mestizo/Spanish/Latino 18,360 31.0 80,477 43.6 113,045 48.7 150,921 49.7
Creole 22,693 38.3 55,051 29.8 57,859 24.9 63,057 21.8
Black African 582 0.3 1,151 0.4
Garifuna 4,112 6.9 12,274 6.6 14,061 6.1 13,985 4.6
White
* German Mennonite
* Other white
2,329
0
2,329
3.9
0
3.9
7,257
5,763
1,494
3.9
3.1
0.8
10,034
8,276
1,758
4.3
3.6
0.8
13,964
10,865
3,099
4.6
3.6
1.0
East Indian 1,366 2.3 6,455 3.5 6,868 3.0 7,073 2.3
Chinese/Asians 50 0.1 747 0.4 1,716 0.7 2,823 0.9
Mixed 18,947 6.2
Syrian/Lebanese 128 0.2 167 0.1 240 0.1
Other 1,867 1.0 2,610 1.1 762 0.3
Unknown 152 0.3 17 0.0 835 0.4 392 0.1
Total 59,220 184,722 232,111 324,528

Birth Rate by Ethnic Groups (2000 Census)[6]

Ethnic Group Population (2000) Birth Rate (1999) Births
African 582 17.18 10
British 1,758 9.10 16
Chinese 1,716 19.23 33
Creole 57,859 28.88 1,671
East Indian 6,868 27.66 190
Garifuna 14,061 27.17 382
Q'eqchi' 12,366 44.88 555
Mopan 8,980 35.30 317
Yucatec 3,155 19.33 61
Mennonite 8,276 42.53 352
Mestizo 78,537 29.73 2,335
Spanish 34,508 32.22 1,112
Other 2,610 21.84 57
Not Available 835 45.51 38
Total 232,111 30.71 7,128

Vital statistics[7][8][9]

Average population Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total fertility rate[10] Infant mortality rate[10]
1934 52,000 1,945 971 974 37.4 18.7 18.7
1935 53,000 2,081 1,377 704 39.3 26.0 13.3
1936 53,000 1,879 1,256 623 35.5 23.7 11.8
1937 54,000 1,876 1,054 822 34.7 19.5 15.2
1938 54,000 2,052 1,178 874 38.0 21.8 16.2
1939 55,000 2,084 1,092 992 37.9 19.9 18.0
1940 56,000 2,192 986 1,206 39.1 17.6 21.5
1941 57,000 2,133 1,030 1,103 37.4 18.1 19.4
1942 57,000 1,905 1,250 655 33.4 21.9 11.5
1943 58,000 1,925 1,136 789 33.2 19.6 13.6
1944 58,000 2,031 1,153 878 35.0 19.9 15.1
1945 59,000 2,141 1,204 937 36.3 20.4 15.9
1946 59,000 2,065 1,019 1,046 35.0 17.3 17.7
1947 61,000 2,473 1,049 1,424 40.5 17.2 23.3
1948 63,000 2,506 861 1,645 39.8 13.7 26.1
1949 65,000 2,548 877 1,671 39.2 13.5 25.7
1950 69,000 2,657 845 1,812 39.7 12.6 27.0
1951 71,000 2,905 801 2,104 42.1 11.6 30.5
1952 73,000 3,028 794 2,234 42.1 11.0 31.0
1953 76,000 2,986 820 2,166 40.4 11.1 29.3
1954 78,000 3,231 876 2,355 42.5 11.5 31.0
1955 80,000 3,463 858 2,605 44.4 11.0 33.4
1956 82,000 3,725 821 2,904 46.0 10.1 35.9
1957 85,000 3,615 932 2,683 43.6 11.2 32.3
1958 87,000 3,988 795 3,193 46.4 9.2 37.1
1959 89,000 4,016 730 3,286 45.6 8.3 37.3
1960 92,000 4,091 717 3,374 45.0 7.9 37.1
1961 95,000 4,244 708 3,536 45.6 7.6 38.0
1962 97,000 4,461 853 3,608 47.0 9.0 38.0
1963 100,000 4,783 712 4,071 48.8 7.3 41.5
1964 103,000 4,568 729 3,839 45.2 7.2 38.0
1965 106,000 4,637 710 3,927 44.6 6.8 37.8
1966 109,000 4,898 776 4,122 45.8 7.3 38.5
1967 113,000 4,851 811 4,040 43.7 7.3 36.4
1968 116,000 4,671 714 3,957 41.0 6.3 34.7
1969 119,000 4,660 783 3,877 39.8 6.7 33.1
1970 122,000 4,455 813 3,642 37.1 6.8 30.4
1971 125,000 5,052 625 4,427 41.4 5.1 36.3
1972 127,000 4,954 669 4,285 40.0 5.4 34.6
1973 129,000 5,010 801 4,303 39.8 6.4 34.2
1974 131,000 5,039 721 4,379 39.4 5.6 34.2
1975 133,000 5,201 800 4,401 40.0 6.2 33.9
1976 135,000 5,340 881 4,459 40.2 6.6 33.5
1977 137,000 5,570 767 4,803 41.0 5.6 35.3
1978 139,000 5,384 885 4,499 38.7 6.4 32.4
1979 141,000 5,523 710 4,813 38.9 5.0 33.9
1980 144,000 6,264 717 5,547 43.2 4.9 38.3
1981 148,000 5,821 709 5,112 39.1 4.8 34.3
1982 151,000 5,899 663 5,236 38.6 4.3 34.3
1983 156,000 6,044 724 5,320 38.2 4.6 33.6
1984 160,000 5,756 750 5,006 38.0 4.9 33.0
1985 165,000 5,916 693 5,223 35.6 4.2 31.5
1986 170,000 6,136 688 5,448 36.2 4.1 32.1
1987 174,000 6,121 675 5,446 35.1 3.9 31.3
1988 179,000 6,325 708 5,617 35.4 4.0 31.4
1989 183,000 6,686 762 5,924 36.5 4.2 32.3
1990 188,000 7,200 819 6,381 38.4 4.4 34.0
1991 191,000 6,555 842 5,713 34.3 4.4 29.9
1992 195,000 7,597 846 6,751 39.0 4.3 34.6
1993 198,000 6,462 935 5,527 32.6 4.7 27.9
1994 202,000 5,887 944 4,943 29.1 4.7 24.4
1995 207,000 6,623 931 5,692 32.0 4.5 27.5
1996 212,000 6,678 964 5,714 31.4 4.5 26.9
1997 218,000 7,348 1,173 6,175 33.6 5.4 28.3
1998 225,000 6,844 1,350 5,494 30.4 6.0 24.4
1999 232,000 7,113 1,190 5,923 30.7 5.1 25.5
2000 239,000 7,313 1,534 5,779 30.7 6.4 24.2
2001 245,000 7,215 1,261 5,954 29.4 5.1 24.3
2002 252,000 7,553 1,284 6,269 30.0 5.1 24.9
2003 258,000 7,440 1,277 6,163 28.8 4.9 23.9
2004 265,000 8,083 1,298 6,785 30.5 4.9 25.6
2005 283,000 8,396 1,369 7,027 29.6 4.8 24.8 3.6 18.4
2006 291,000 7,171 1,396 5,775 24.6 4.8 19.8 3.0 19.6
2007 298,000 7,036 1,389 5,647 23.5 4.6 18.9 2.9 17.2
2008 306,000 7,126 1,302 5,824 23.2 4.2 19.0 2.8 12.0
2009 315,000 7,417 1,453 5,964 23.5 4.6 18.8 18.9
2010 323,000 7,228 1,554 5,674 22.3 4.8 17.5 13.6
2011 332,000 7,217 1,554 5,663 21.7 4.7 17.1 16.5
2012 340,000 7,125 1,650 5,475 20.9 4.5 16.4 2.40
2013 349,000 7,264 1,637 5,627 20.8 4.7 16.1 2.39
2014 358,000 7,318 1,620 5,698 20.4 4.5 15.9 2.35
2015 370,000 7,456 1,772 5,684 20.1 4.8 15.3 2.34
2016 387,000 7,200 1,796 5,404 18.6 4.6 14.0 2.20
2017 387,879 7,252 1,872 5,380 18.7 4.8 13.9
2018 398,050 7,775 1,886 5,889 19.5 4.7 14.8
2019 408,487
2020 419,199

Languages

English is the only official language of Belize, a relic of past British colonization. It is the main language used in government and education.[11] Although only 5.6% of the population speaks it as the main language at home, 54% can speak it very well, and another 26% can speak some English. 37% of Belizeans consider their primary language to be Kriol, an English-based creole of words and syntax from various African languages (namely Akan, Igbo, and Twi),[12] and other languages (Miskito, Caliche). It is also a second or third language for another 40% of the multilingual country.

Kriol shares similarities with many Caribbean English Creoles as far as phonology and pronunciations are concerned. Also, many of its words and structures are both lexically and phonologically similar to English, its superstrate language. Because it is English-based, all Kriol speakers can understand English. A number of linguists classify Belizean Kriol as a separate language, while others consider it to be a dialect of English.

Spanish is the mother tongue of Mestizo and Central American refugees and is commonly spoken at home by 43% of the population. Maya dialects such as Q'eqchi', Mopan and Yucatec are spoken. Garifuna (which is Arawakan/Maipurean based, with elements of the Carib language, French, and Spanish) and the Plautdietsch and Pennsylvania German dialects of the Mennonites are spoken as well. Literacy currently stands at nearly 80%. In 2001, UNESCO declared the Garifuna language, dance, and music a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity". English is the primary language of public education, with Spanish taught in primary and secondary school as well. Bilingualism is highly encouraged, and therefore, very common.

English & Spanish Language Proficiency[1]
Language Speaks Very Well Speaks Some Total
English 54% 26% 80%
Spanish 52% 11% 63%
Languages in Belize[3]
Language Percentage
English 62.9%
Spanish 56.6%
Creole 44.6%
Maya 10.5%
German 3.2%
Garifuna 2.9%
Other 1.8%
unknown 0.3%
none (cannot speak) 0.2%

Religion

According to the 2010 census[13][14] Catholics constitute 40.0% of the population of Belize, down from 49.6% in 2000 and 57.7% in 1991;[15] Protestants constitute 31.7% of the population, with a slight growth in percentage for some groups since 2000 (8.5% Pentecostal; 5.5% Adventist; 4.6% Anglican; 3.8% Mennonite; 3.6% Baptist; 2.9% Methodist; 2.8% Nazarene); Jehova's Witnesses are 1.7% of the population. 10.2% of Belizeans follow other religions (with a growth in percentage since 2000); amongst these there are followers of the indigenous Maya religion, Garifuna religion, Obeah and Myalism, and minorities of Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Baháʼís, Rastafarians and other.[16] The Mennonites, of German descent, live mostly in the rural districts of Cayo and Orange Walk. 15.6% of the Belizean population do not adhere to any religion, up from 9.4% in 2000.

Belizean Roman Catholic churches belong to the Diocese of Belize City-Belmopan; Anglican churches belong to the Diocese of Belize, part of the Church in the Province of the West Indies. Hinduism is followed by most Indian immigrants, while Islam is common among Middle Eastern immigrants and has gained a following among some Kriols. Catholics frequently visit the country for special gospel revivals. The Greek Orthodox Church has a presence in Santa Elena.[17]

The Constitution of Belize provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contribute to the generally free practice of religion. The Government at all levels protects this right in full against abuse, either by governmental or private actors. The Government generally respects religious freedom in practice. In 2008, the U.S. government received no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

Religions in Belize[3]
Religion Percentage
Catholic 40.1%
Protestant 31.5%
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 (includes Baháʼí, Buddhist, Hindu, Mormon, Islam, Rastafarian) 10.5%
Unknown 0.6%
None 15.5%

Structure of the population

Structure of the population (01.07.2017) (Estimates)[18]
Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 193 942 193 937 387 879 100
0-4 23 163 22 116 45 330 11,68
5-9 23 771 23 424 47 195 12,17
10-14 22 693 22 659 45 352 11,69
15-19 20 850 20 831 41 681 10,75
20-24 18 046 18 695 36 741 9,47
25-29 15 427 16 458 31 885 8,22
30-34 13 335 14 137 27 472 7,08
35-39 12 144 12 732 24 876 6,41
40-44 10 367 10 495 20 862 5,38
45-49 9 187 8 802 17 989 4,64
50-54 7 152 6 949 14 101 3,64
55-59 5 416 4 976 10 392 2,68
60-64 3 957 3 527 7 484 1,93
65-69 2 814 2 474 5 288 1,36
70-74 2 230 1 975 4 205 1,08
75-79 1 564 1 518 3 082 0,79
80+ 1 776 1 994 3 770 0,97
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0-14 62 824 61 649 124 473 35,59
15-64 104 484 106 035 210 519 60,20
65+ 7 557 7 179 14 736 4,21

Life expectancy at birth

Period Life expectancy in

Years

Period Life expectancy in

Years

1950–1955 55.9 1985–1990 71.5
1955–1960 58.6 1990–1995 70.6
1960–1965 61.3 1995–2000 68.6
1965–1970 64.3 2000–2005 68.5
1970–1975 66.7 2005–2010 69.5
1975–1980 68.6 2010–2015 69.8
1980–1985 70.4

Source: UN World Population Prospects[19]

Other demographics statistics

Demographic statistics according to the World Population Review in 2019.[20]

  • One birth every 63 minutes
  • One death every 240 minutes
  • One net migrant every 360 minutes
  • Net gain of one person every 69 minutes

Demographic statistics according to the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.[3]

Population
385,854 (July 2018 est.)
Ethnic groups
This entry provides an ordered listing of ethnic groups starting with the largest and normally includes the percent of total population. Ethnic groups field listing
mestizo 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
Languages
English 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) (2010 est.)
note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census
Age structure
Population pyramid of Belize in 2017
Population pyramid of Belize in 2017
0-14 years: 33.61% (male 66,207 /female 63,466)
15-24 years: 18.74% (male 37,184 /female 35,127)
25-54 years: 37.43% (male 70,222 /female 74,187)
55-64 years: 5.88% (male 11,397 /female 11,284)
65 years and over: 4.35% (male 8,293 /female 8,487) (2018 est.)
Median age
total: 23.7 years. Country comparison to the world: 168th
male: 23.2 years
female: 24.4 years (2018 est.)
Birth rate
22.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 63rd
Death rate
4.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 206th
Total fertility rate
2.8 children born/woman (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 60th
Net migration rate
-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 129th
Population growth rate
1.8% (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 57th
Contraceptive prevalence rate
51.4% (2015/16)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 56.8 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 50.9 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 17 (2015 est.)
Religions

Roman 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 Baháʼí, Buddhist, Hindu, Mormon, Muslim, Rastafarian, Salvation Army), unspecified 0.6%, none 15.5% (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
total population: 74.7 years
male: 73.1 years
female: 76.3 years (2018 est.)
Urbanization
urban population: 45.7% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 2.32% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2017)
Unemployment, youth ages 15–24
total: 17.7%. Country comparison to the world: 73rd
male: 11%
female: 28.4% (2016 est.)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Belize 2000 Housing and Population Census". Belize Central Statistical Office. 2000. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
  2. ^ http://sib.org.bz/
  3. ^ a b c d "World Factbook CENTRAL AMERICA : BELIZE", The World Factbook, 12 July 2018 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ UN Demographic Yearbooks
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ http://celade.cepal.org/cgibin/RpWebEngine.exe/PortalAction?&MODE=MAIN&BASE=CPVBLZ2000&MAIN=WebServerMain.inl[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ [1] United nations. Demographic Yearbooks
  8. ^ Statistical Institute of Belize
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Belize: Language and Religion". MSN Encarta Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "2010 Census of Belize Overview". 2011. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  14. ^ "2010 Census of Belize Detailed Demographics of 2000 and 2010". 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  15. ^ Belize 2000 Census Archived 25 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Clifton L. Holland. Population of Belize by Religion: 1970-2000. PROLADES.
  17. ^ Orthodox Church of Belize homepage
  18. ^ https://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic-social/products/dyb/documents/dyb2017/table07.pdf
  19. ^ "World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations". Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Belize Population 2019", World Population Review

External links

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