About Belize

Communications, Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues


Telephones - main lines in use:

31,100 (2008)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

160,000 (2008)

Telephone system:

general assessment: above-average system; trunk network depends primarily on microwave radio relay
domestic: fixed-line teledensity of 10 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 55 per 100 persons
international: country code - 501; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth station - 8 (Intelsat - 2, unknown - 6) (2008)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 1, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2006)

Television broadcast stations:

7 (2008)


41,000 (1997)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

3,017 (2009)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

2 (2000)

Internet users:

34,000 (2008)



44 (2009)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2009)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 40
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 27 (2009)


total: 3,007 km
paved: 575 km
unpaved: 2,432 km (2006)


825 km (navigable only by small craft) (2008)

Merchant marine:

total: 216
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 32, cargo 152, chemical tanker 2, container 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated cargo 12, roll on/roll off 5, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 178 (Australia 1, China 71, Croatia 2, Cyprus 1, Estonia 6, Greece 1, Iceland 2, Italy 3, Japan 8, South Korea 1, Latvia 12, Norway 3, Peru 1, Russia 31, Singapore 2, Spain 1, Turkey 15, Ukraine 7, UAE 5, UK 5) (2008)

Ports and terminals:

Belize City, Big Creek


Military branches:

Belize Defense Force (BDF): Army, BDF Air Wing, BDF Volunteer Guard (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; laws allow for conscription only if volunteers are insufficient; conscription has never been implemented; volunteers typically outnumber available positions by 3:1 (2008)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 79,088
females age 16-49: 77,147 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 57,759
females age 16-49: 55,903 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually:

male: 3,678
female: 3,543 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures

1.4% of GDP (2009)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

OAS-initiated Agreement on the Framework for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures saw cooperation in repatriation of Guatemalan squatters and other areas, but Guatemalan land and maritime claims in Belize and the Caribbean Sea remain unresolved; the Line of Adjacency created under the 2002 Differendum serves in lieu of the contiguous international boundary to control squatting in the sparsely inhabited rain forests of Belize's border region; Honduras claims Belizean-administered Sapodilla Cays in its constitution but agreed to a joint ecological park under the Differendum

Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Belize is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; the most common form of trafficking in Belize is the internal sex trafficking of minors; some Central American men, women, and children, particularly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, migrate voluntarily to Belize in search of work but are subsequently subjected to conditions of forced labor or forced prostitution
tier rating: Belize is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; despite efforts to raise public awareness of human trafficking and provide protection services for trafficking victims, the government did not show evidence of progress in convicting and sentencing trafficking offenders last year (2009)

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for cocaine; small-scale illicit producer of cannabis, primarily for local consumption; offshore sector money-laundering activity related to narcotics trafficking and other crimes (2008)

Data from the CIA World Factbook (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/bh.html)

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