Flag of Bermuda

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Bermuda was first settled in 1609 by shipwrecked English colonists headed for Virginia. Tourism to the island to escape North American winters first developed in Victorian times. Tourism continues to be important to the island's economy, although international business has overtaken it in recent years. Bermuda has developed into a highly successful offshore financial center. A referendum on independence was soundly defeated in 1995.

Geographic coordinates

32 20 N, 64 45 W


total: 53.3 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 53.3 sq km


subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter


low hills separated by fertile depressions

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Town Hill 76 m

Natural resources:

limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism

Land use:

arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 80% (55% developed, 45% rural/open space) (2001)

Irrigated land:

NA sq km

Natural hazards:

hurricanes (June to November)

Environment - current issues:

asbestos disposal; water pollution; preservation of open space; sustainable development

Geography - note:

consists of about 138 coral islands and islets with ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some land was leased by US Government from 1941 to 1995


64,935 (July 2004 est.)

Ethnic groups:

black 58%, white 36%, other 6%


non-Anglican Protestant 39%, Anglican 27%, Roman Catholic 15%, other 19%


English (official), Portuguese

Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK

Government type:

parliamentary British overseas territory with internal self-government



Administrative divisions:

9 parishes and 2 municipalities*; Devonshire, Hamilton, Hamilton*, Paget, Pembroke, Saint George*, Saint George's, Sandys, Smith's, Southampton, Warwick


none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday:

Bermuda Day, 24 May


8 June 1968, amended 1989 and 2003

Legal system:

English law


18 years of age; universal

Economy - overview:

Bermuda enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, equal to that of the US. Its economy is primarily based on providing financial services for international business and luxury facilities for tourists. The effects of 11 September 2001 have had both positive and negative ramifications for Bermuda. On the positive side, a number of new reinsurance companies have located on the island, contributing to the expansion of an already robust international business sector. On the negative side, Bermuda's tourism industry - which derives over 80% of its visitors from the US - was severely hit as American tourists chose not to travel. Tourism rebounded somewhat in 2002-03. Most capital equipment and food must be imported. Bermuda's industrial sector is small, although construction continues to be important; the average cost of a house in June 2003 had risen to $976,000. Agriculture is limited, only 6% of the land being arable.

Labor force:

37,470 (2000)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture and fishing 3%, laborers 17%, clerical 22%, professional and technical 17%, administrative and managerial 13%, sales 8%, services 20% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate:

5% (2002 est.)

Agriculture - products:

bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products


tourism, international business, light manufacturing


$879 million (2002)

Exports - commodities:

re-exports of pharmaceuticals

Exports - partners:

France 72.3%, UK 8.7%, Sweden 3% (2003 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, chemicals, food and live animals

Imports - partners:

Kazakhstan 45.9%, France 28.8%, South Korea 8.3%, US 7.6% (2003 est.)


Bermudian dollar (BMD)

Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March

Telephones - main lines in use:

56,000 (2002)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

37,873 (2003)

Ports and harbors:

Hamilton, Saint George's, Dockyard

Merchant marine:

total: 94 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 4,845,326 GRT/6,501,782 DWT
foreign-owned: Croatia 5, Germany 2, Greece 21, Hong Kong 9, Indonesia 1, Sweden 6, Switzerland 1, United Kingdom 33, United States 12
registered in other countries: 2 (2003 est.)
by type: bulk 25, cargo 4, container 17, liquefied gas 9, passenger 6, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated cargo 11, roll on/roll off 10, short-sea/passenger 3


1 (2003 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2003 est.)

Military branches: Bermuda Regiment
Military - note: defence is the responsibility of the UK