Region: Central America
Population: 359,287 (2015 World Bank est.)
Currency: Belizean dollar (BZD)
GDP (current US$): 1.753 Billion (2015 World Bank est.)
United Nations membership date: 25 September 1981
New York Mission:
Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1854. Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include an unsustainable foreign debt, high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug trade, growing urban crime, and increasing incidences of HIV/AIDS.
Updated May 2017