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Belize Belize

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Belize – Quick View
ECR score38.03 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank104 (Mar 2011)
GDP (till Q3 2010)USD 0.92 billion
GNI per capita PPP (2010)USD 5,693
FDI inflow (2009)USD 95.6 million
Inflation (2010)2.75%
Central bank assets (2010)USD 312.42 million
Unemployment rate (2010)12.89%
Government deficit (2010)USD 24.44 million
Tax revenue (2010)USD 333.63 million
Government typeParliamentary Democracy
Recent political crisisNA
Economic freedom score (2011)71st
Freedom of information score (2010)128th
Corruption perception index (2008)109th
Birth rate24.92 per ‘000
Population balanceUnder 14 - 36.82%
Population balanceOver 60 - 5.10%
Life expectancy yearsMale 74.4 years
Life expectancy yearsFemale 78.2 years
Mortality rate3.66 per ‘000
Literacy rate75.1%
Internet access19.10%

[Top] Economic Overview

Belize has a small and a private-enterprise dominated economy. The country’s economy is primarily dependent on the service sector, which contributes to about 70% of employment. Tourism supports the economy of the country by generating foreign exchange. Major economic issues faced include a growing trade deficit and foreign debt.


Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at market price was BZD 1.84 billion for the first three quarters of 2010 compared to BZD 2.38 billion for the year 2009.

Belize GDP

(Source: Statistics of Belize)

GDP growth rate

The real GDP growth rate in 2009 was 0% compared to 3.6% in 2008. The real GDP growth has been fluctuating. In 2003, the GDP growth rate was 9.3%.

Belize Real GDP Growth Rate

(Source: Central Bank)

GDP per capita

The GDP per capita at market prices in the year 2009 was BZD 8,124.2 compared to BZD 8,436.5 in the year 2008.

Belize GDP per capita

(Source: Central Bank)

Gross National Income (GNI) per Capita, PPP

The country’s GNI per capita at PPP in 2010 was USD 5,693 compared to USD 6,073 in 2005.


Belize GNI per capita, PPP

(Source: UNDP)

Income Tax Rates

The income tax rate on individual income in Belize is levied at 25%.


Corporate tax

Standard corporate tax in Honduras is 25%.

Tax contribution

Total tax rate (% profit)

Business tax or CIT


Social Security


Property Tax


Vehicle Tax



Inflation Rate

According to the IMF, the inflation rate in Belize for the year 2010 is estimated at 2.75% compared to 2.02% in 2009.

Belize Inflation Rate

(Source: IMF)

FDI Inflow

In 2009, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow was BZD 190.8 million compared to BZD 381.7 million in 2008 and BZD 286.3 million in 2007.

(Source: Central Bank)

Portfolio Investment Inflow

Portfolio Investment (BZD million)





Portfolio Investment Assets




Portfolio Investment Liabilities




(Source: Central Bank)

Banking sector assets

Total assets of the Central Bank of Belize were BZD 624.5 million for the year 2010 compared to BZD 624.39 million in 2009.


Total Assets – Central Bank of Belize (BZD million)


2010 (Unaudited)


Total Assets



Approved external assets



Other External Assets



Advances to Government of Belize



Government of Belize Securities



Balances with Local Bankers and Cash on Hand




Other Assets



Pension Asset



Property and Equipment



(Source: Central Bank)

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer Price Index

The consumer price index in August 2010 was 152.2 compared to 151.4 for the year 2009.

Belize Consumer Price Index

Base, December 1990 = 100

(Source: Central Bank)

Interest rates on saving and time deposits

The interest rate on saving deposits in Belize was3.5% as of November 2010. Before this the interest rate was 4.5%. The interest rate on time deposits was 8.2% as of December 2009.

(Source: Central Bank, Central Bank)

Money supply (Currency in Circulation)

As of 31st December 2010, the total amount of money in circulation in Belize was BZD 707.90 million.

Belize Money Supply

(Source: Central Bank)

Government Expenditure

Expenditure of Government of Belize (BZD ‘000)


2010 (Estimated budget)


Total Expenditure



Current Expenditure



Wages and Salaries






Goods and Services



Interest Payments



Subsidies & current transfers



Capital Expenditure



Capital II (local sources)



Capital III (foreign sources)



Capital Transfer & Net Lending



(Source: Central Bank)

Public Sector Debt

Total public sector debts for the year 2009 were BZD 2,031.3 million compared to BZD 1,915.6 million in 2008.

(Source: Central Bank)

Official exchange rate

The BZD per dollar rate for the year 2009 was registered at 2.00. The exchange rate for 2008 was the same i.e. 2.00 BZD per dollar.

Belize Exchange Rate

(Source: UN, World Bank)


Government finances

Fiscal balance

Belize Fiscal Balance


(Source: Central Bank)

The fiscal deficit for the year 2010 is estimated to be BZD 49.09 million compared to a surplus of BZD 10.36 million in 2009.

Total Revenue

Total revenue of the government for the year 2009-10 is estimated at BZD 807.33 million compared  to BZD 777.84 million in 2008-09.

Revenue of Government of Belize (BZD million)


2009-2010 (Estimated Budget)


Total Revenue



Current revenue



Tax revenue



Non-Tax Revenue



Capital revenue






(Source: Central Bank)

Tax revenue

Total tax revenue for the year 2009-10 is estimated to be BZD 670.11 million compared to BZD 593.96 million in 2008-09.


Tax revenue of Government of Belize (BZD million)


2009-2010 (Estimated Budget)


Tax revenue



Income and profits



Taxes on property



Taxes on goods and services



International trade and transactions



(Source: Central Bank)

Total Grants

Total grants received by the country in the year 2009 amounted to BZD 67.05 million.

Belize Total Grants

(Source: Central Bank)

Current Account Balance - Surplus/Deficit

Belize Current Account Balance

(Source: IMF)

Balance of Payments

Balance of Payments (BZD Million)





Current account




Capital account




Financial account




Net errors & omissions




Overall Balance




(Source: Central Bank)

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

The total labour force of the country was 144,363 as of September 2009. Of the total labour force, 126,188 people were employed and 18,176 were unemployed.

(Source: Statistics of Belize)

The total labour force participation rate in Belize was 62.9% as of September 2009.

(Source: Statistics of Belize)

According to IMF estimation, the total unemployment rate in the country was 12.89% for the year 2010 compared to 12.69% in 2009.


Belize Unemployment Rate

(Source: IMF)

Minimum wage

The minimum wage for a 19-year old worker or apprentice in Belize is USD 291.7 per month.


Level of Unionisation

In Belize, the law provides basic trade union rights. Workers in Belize are free to form trade unions, whereas members have the right to choose officers from their membership. The trade unions also have the power of collective bargaining only if it receives 51% of votes of its workers.

(Source: ITUC)

[Top] Political Stability

The government system in Belize is a Parliamentary Democracy. The government consists of the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch.

The Legislative branch comprises of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives has 29 members, elected by the people. The Senate includes 12 senators appointed by the Governor General after consultation with different persons and or organisations.

The Executive branch includes the Governor General, the Prime Minister and the cabinet. It also includes agencies of government such as the public service and the local government bodies. The Queen is vested with the executive authorities of Belize. The Queen is the Head of State and she appoints a Governor General to represent her in Belize. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor-General from the House of Representatives. The Prime minister is the Head of the Government and the Cabinet.

The cabinet includes members from the Senate and the House of Representatives. The cabinet is responsible for policy making. In the public service, ministries are divided into departments and are staffed by public officers. Local government bodies include Alcalde System in Toledo District, Town Councils, Village Councils and City Councils.


Political parties active in the country are:

  • United Democratic Party
  • People's United Party
  • National Alliance for Belizean Rights
  • National Reform Party
  • Vision Inspired By the People
  • People's National Party


Regulatory Environment in Belize

The queen is the head of the state and she is represented by the Governor General. The Governor General has the rights to appoint of the Prime Minister, Ministers of Government and Members of the Services Commissions on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The House of Representative has the right to introduce a law by passing a bill in the House to propose and debate for the annual budget and to propose and debate for administrative policies.

The senate has the rights to debate and confirm the bills passed by the House of Representatives and approve the settlement of any new military base of operations for any foreign military forces.


Belize Economic Freedom Indices


The country’s economic freedom score is 63.8, making its economy the 71st freest in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom. Belize ranks 14th out of 29 regional countries in the Central and South America/Caribbean region.

Corruption perception

Belize was not included in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in 2009 and 2010. The country was ranked 109th in the 2008 CPI with a score of 2.9. CPI measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption in 178 countries and territories around the world.


Freedom of Information

Media freedom is guaranteed by the constitution, but exceptions are made in case of national security and morality.

The country has no daily newspapers.

(Source: BBC)

Judicial system

The judiciary system in Belize consists of four types of courts:

  • The Supreme Court
  • The Court of Appeal
  • The Privy Council    
  • Magistrate Court

The Supreme Court is the highest court of justice. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction as Original Jurisdiction and Appellate Jurisdiction. The Supreme Court is comprised of the Chief Justice and other Justices. The Chief Justice is appointed by the Governor-General.


[Top] Demographic Overview


The total population of Belize as of mid-2009 was 333,200, which grew by 3.44% over mid-2008. Of the total population, females accounted for 50.03% and males accounted for 49.97% as of mid year 2009.

(Source: Statistics of Belize)

Gender Ratio

The gender ratio in the country is slightly imbalanced as there were 101.6 men per 1000 women in the year 2009.

(Source: UN)

At mid-year 2009, about 58% of the population came under the age group of 15 to 64 years, followed by 36.82% below 15 years and the remaining 5.1% above 64 years.

(Source: Statistics of Belize)

Mortality Rate

The average mortality rate for the period 2005 -2010 was 3.66 deaths per 1000 population. The infant mortality rate was 16.7 deaths per 1000 live births in the same period.

(Source: eclac, UN)

Birth Rate

The average birth rate in the country was 24.92 births per 1000 population for the period 2005-2010.

(Source: eclac)

Average life expectancy rate

The average life expectancy at birth for males was 74.4 years and for females was 78.2 years in the period 2005-2010.

(Source: undata)


In mid-2010, the international migrant stock was recorded at 46,800 individuals or 15% of the total population.

(Source: UN)

Human Development Index

The country was placed at 78th rank on the Human Development Index 2010, conducted by United Nations. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income).

(Source: UNDP)

[Top] Soft Infrastructure


According to UNDP, the literacy rate in Belize was 75.1% in the year 2010.

(Source: UNDP)

The country has various educational institutions including government, government-aided, private and specially assisted schools. It has 108 government schools, 347 government aided schools and 96 private and or specially assisted schools. The country has 182 pre-schools, 294 primary schools, 51 junior colleges, 3 Tertiary schools and 10 vocational schools.

Of the total government expenditure, 7.9% was spent on the education sector in the year 2009.

(Source: MOE, Central Bank)

Health care

The country has been taking various initiatives for the health care of the country, such as the National Health Insurance (NHI) and Belize Health Information System (BHIS). Through NHI, the government collects financial contributions and spends it on health care. BHIS is a system designed to help the ministry of health provide the best health care services efficiently.

In the year 2008, the country had 347 hospital beds and 1.2 beds per 1000 inhabitants. During the same year, Belize had 259 physicians and 1,162 inhabitants per 1000 physicians.

In the year 2009, the expenditure on health amounted to 4.3% of the total expenditure.

(Source: eclac, MOH, Central Bank)

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

The mass public transport in the country is roadways (mainly buses and cabs). As of 2001, the total length of roads in Belize was 2,872 km. (Source: eclac)


Belize has only one port – the Port of Belize. (Source:world port source)




Airport name

Runway length

Belize City

Belize City

7100 ft

San Pedro Belize

Ambergris Caye

3500 ft

(Source: Air charter world)

Telecommunications networks

In the year 2010, the country had 60,000 internet users.

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