Bermuda is an archipelago of about 360 small islands, 580 mi (934 km) east of North Carolina. The largest is (Great) Bermuda, or Main Island. Explored by Juan de Bermúdez, a Spaniard, the islands were settled in 1612 by an offshoot of the Virginia Company. Bermuda became a Crown colony in 1684.
In 1968, Bermuda was granted a new constitution, its first prime minister, and autonomy, except for foreign relations, defense, and internal security. The predominantly white United Bermuda Party has retained power in four elections against the opposition—the black-led Progressive Labour Party—although Bermuda's population is 58% black. U.S. air and navy bases, which had been leased in 1941 for 99-year terms, closed in 1995, along with Canadian, British army, and Royal Navy bases. In a referendum held in Aug. 1995, nearly three-fourths of those voting opposed independence.
Status: Overseas territory
Governor: Sir Richard Gozney (2007)
Prime Minister: Ewart Brown (2006)
Land area: 19 sq mi (49 sq km); total area: 21 sq mi (53.3 sq km)
Population (2008 est.): 66,536 (growth rate: 0.5%); birth rate: 11.1/1000; infant mortality rate: 7.8/1000; life expectancy: 78.3; density per sq mi: 1,255
Capital (2003 est.): Hamilton, 970
Monetary unit: Bermuda dollar
Ethnicity/race: black African 58%, white and other 42%
National Holiday: Bermuda Day, May 24
Literacy rate: 98% (1970 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2004 est.): $4.5 billion; per capita $36,000. Real growth rate: 4.6%. Inflation: 2.8% (Nov. 2005). Unemployment: 2.1% (2004 est.). Arable land: 20%. Agriculture: bananas, vegetables, citrus, flowers; dairy products, honey. Labor force: 38,360 (2004); agriculture and fishing 3%, laborers 17%, clerical 19%, professional and technical 21%, administrative and managerial 15%, sales 7%, services 19% (2004 est.). Industries: international business, tourism, light manufacturing. Natural resources: limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism. Exports: $1.469 billion (2004 est.): reexports of pharmaceuticals. Imports: $982 million (2004 est.): clothing, fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, chemicals, food and live animals. Major trading partners: France, UK, Spain, Kazakhstan, Japan, South Korea, U.S. (2004).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 52,000 (1997); mobile cellular: 7,980 (1996). Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998). Radios: 82,000 (1997). Television broadcast stations: 3 (1997). Televisions: 66,000 (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 20 (2000). Internet users: 25,000 (2000).
Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 450 km; paved: 450 km; unpaved: 0 km (2002) note: 241 km are privately owned. Ports and harbors: Hamilton, Saint George's, Dockyard. Airports: 1 (2002).
International disputes: none.