Belize is a constitutional monarchy, and the northernmost Central American nation. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Creole 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 theCaribbean Sea. Belize’s mainland is about 290 kilometers (180 miles) long and 110 kilometers (68 miles) wide.
With 22,960 square kilometers (8,867 square miles) of land and a population of only 333,200 people (2010 est.), Belize possesses the lowest population density in Central America.The country’s population growth rate of 2.21% (2008 est.), 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.
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 theWestern 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), and Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA).