Area: 22,966 km² (World Rank 147)
Inhabitants: 301,000 (World Rank 171)
Belmopan is the capital of Belize
Belize (pronounced /bəˈliːz/) is a country in Central America and is the only Central American country where English is an official language. Once part of the Mayan and Spanish empires, the Belizean territory was for more than a century a British colony known as British Honduras. It was renamed Belize in 1973 and was finally granted full independence in 1981.
Belize has a diverse society, composed of many languages and cultures. Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Sistema de Integración Centroamericana (SICA), and the Commonwealth of Nations. With 8,867 square miles (22,960 km²) of territory and 301,270 people, the population density is the lowest in the Central American region and one of the lowest in the world. The country's growth rate, 2.207% (2008 est.), is the highest in region and one of the highest in the western hemisphere. It is bordered to the south and west by Guatemala, to the north and northwest by Mexico, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.