Belize

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Belize (pronounced /bəˈliːz/ ( listen)) (formerly British Honduras) is a democratic constitutional monarchy, and the northernmost Central American nation. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Although Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. Belize is bordered to the north by Mexico, south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.

With 8,867 square miles (22,960 km²) of land and a population of only 333,200 people (2010 est.),[4] Belize possesses the lowest population density in Central America, and the third lowest in the Americas after Guyana and Suriname.[5] The country's population growth rate of 2.21% (2008 est.),[1] however, is the highest in the region and one of the highest in the western hemisphere. Belize's abundance of terrestrial and marine species, and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place within the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.[6]

Belize is culturally unique among its Central American neighbours; it is the only nation in the region with a British colonial heritage. As a part of the Western Caribbean Zone, however, it also shares a common heritage with the Caribbean portions of other Central American countries. In general, Belize is considered to be a Central American nation with strong ties to both the Caribbean and Latin America. Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM).

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