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Bahrain Flag

Country Profile

Capital City: Manama (pop. 148 000)

Other Cities: Al Muharraq

Local Time: UTC +3h

Location: an archipelago of 33 islands in the Persian Gulf located off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia.
Area: 707 sq. km. ( 274 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Low desert plain.

Climate: Arid; mild, pleasant winters with maximum temperatures average 20-30C (68-86F); very hot and humid from May-September, with average highs ranging from 30-40 C (86-104 F).

Type: Constitutional hereditary monarchy.
Independence: 15 August 1971 (from the UK).

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Bahraini(s).
Population: 670 000, including about 230 000 non-nationals.
GNI per capita PPP: $ 19 748 (year)
Ethnic groups: Bahraini 63%, Asian 19%, other Arab 10%, Iranian 8%.
Religions: 98% Muslim (Shi'a 70%, Sunni 30%), small Christian, Jewish and Hindu communities.
Languages: Arabic (official), English, Farsi, and Urdu are also widely spoken.Literacy: 90%


Currency: Bahraini Dinar (BHD)

Natural resources:
Oil, natural gas, fish, pearls.

Agriculture products: Fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish.

Industries: Petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pelletization, fertilizers, offshore banking, ship repairing; tourism.

Exports partners:
Saudi Arabia 3%, USA 2.9%, UAE 2.2% (2004)

Imports partners: Saudi Arabia 32.4%, Japan 7.3%, Germany 6.1%, USA 5.6%, UK 5.4%, France 4.8% (2004)

Internet Sites

Official Sites of Bahrain

Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain

ABahrain Embassies Abroad and Embassies accredited to Bahrain

Map of Bahrain

Map of the Middle East region



Background:  Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf
countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs
among its larger neighbors. Possessing minimal oil reserves, Bahrain has
turned to petroleum processing and refining, and has transformed itself
into an international banking center. The new amir is pushing economic
and political reforms, and has worked to improve relations with the Shi'a
community. In February 2001, Bahraini voters approved a referendum on
the National Action Charter - the centerpiece of the amir's political
liberalization program.

Geography Bahrain

Location:  Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi

Geographic coordinates:  26 00 N, 50 33 E

Map references:  Middle East

Area:  total: 665 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 665 sq km

Area - comparative:  3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  161 km

Maritime claims:  contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined

Climate:  arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers

Terrain:  mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m highest point:
Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m

Natural resources:  oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas,
fish, pearls

Land use:  arable land: 5% permanent crops: 4% other: 91% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  50 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  periodic droughts; dust storms

Environment - current issues:  desertification resulting from the
degradation of limited arable land, periods of drought, and dust
storms; coastal degradation (damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and sea
vegetation) resulting from oil spills and other discharges from large
tankers, oil refineries, and distribution stations; lack of freshwater
resources, groundwater and seawater are the only sources for all water

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity,
Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone
Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Geography - note:
close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic location
in Persian Gulf, which much of Western world's petroleum must transit
to reach open ocean

People Bahrain

Population:  656,397 note: includes 228,424 non-nationals (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 29.2% (male 97,022; female 94,605) 15-64
years: 67.7% (male 261,919; female 182,727) 65 years and over: 3.1%
(male 10,230; female 9,894) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.67% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  19.53 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  3.95 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  1.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.43 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
1.03 male(s)/female total population: 1.29 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  19.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   75.96 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.75 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.15% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Bahraini(s) adjective: Bahraini

Ethnic groups:  Bahraini 63%, Asian 19%, other Arab 10%, Iranian 8%

Religions:  Shi'a Muslim 70%, Sunni Muslim 30%

Languages:  Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 88.5% male: 91.6% female: 84.2% (2002 est.)

Government Bahrain

Country name:   Kingdom of Bahrain conventional short form:  Mamlakat
al Bahrayn

Government type:  constitutional hereditary monarchy

Capital:  Manama

Administrative divisions:  12 municipalities (manatiq, singular -
mintaqah); Al Hadd, Al Manamah, Al Mintaqah al Gharbiyah, Al Mintaqah al
Wusta, Al Mintaqah ash Shamaliyah, Al Muharraq, Ar Rifa' wa al Mintaqah
al Janubiyah, Jidd Hafs, Madinat Hamad, Madinat 'Isa, Juzur Hawar,
Sitrah note: all municipalities administered from Manama

Independence:  15 August 1971 (from UK)

National holiday:  National Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August
1971 is the date of independence from the UK, 16 December 1971 is the
date of independence from British protection

Constitution:  adopted late December 2000; Bahrani voters approved
on 13-14 February 2001 a referendum on legislative changes (revised
constitution calls for a partially elected legislature, a constitutional
monarchy, and an independent judiciary)

Legal system:  based on Islamic law and English common law

Suffrage:  none

Executive branch:  chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa
(since 6 March 1999); Heir Apparent Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad
(son of the monarch, born 21 October 1969) head of government: Prime
Minister KHALIFA bin Salman Al Khalifa (since NA 1971) cabinet: Cabinet
appointed by the monarch elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary;
prime minister appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Assembly was dissolved
26 August 1975 and legislative powers were assumed by the Cabinet;
appointed Advisory Council established 16 December 1992; the National
Action Charter created a bicameral legislature on 23 December 2000;
approved by referendum of 14 February 2001

Judicial branch:  High Civil Appeals Court

Political parties and leaders:  political parties prohibited but
politically oriented nongovernment organizations are allowed

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Shi'a activists fomented unrest
sporadically in 1994-97, demanding the return of an elected National
Assembly and an end to unemployment; several small, clandestine leftist
and Islamic fundamentalist groups are active

International organization participation:  ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, CCC,
ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Khalifa bin Ali bin Rashid AL KHALIFA chancery: 3502 International Drive
NW, Washington, DC 20008 FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192 consulate(s) general:
New York telephone: [1] (202) 342-0741

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Ronald E. NEUMANN embassy: Building #979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli
Sports Club), Block 321, Zinj District, Manama mailing address: American
Embassy Manama, PSC 451, FPO AE 09834-5100;
 American Embassy, Box 26431, Manama telephone:
Flag description:  red with a white serrated band (eight white points)
on the hoist side

Economy Bahrain

Economy - overview:  In Bahrain, petroleum production and refining
account for about 60% of export receipts, 60% of government revenues,
and 30% of GDP. With its highly developed communication and transport
facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business
in the Gulf.  Bahrain is dependent on Saudi Arabia for oil revenue granted
as aid. A large share of exports consists of petroleum products made from
refining imported crude. Construction proceeds on several major industrial
projects. Unemployment, especially among the young, and the depletion of
oil and underground water resources are major long-term economic problems.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $8.4 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  4% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $13,000 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 1% industry: 35% services: 64%
(2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  1.5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  295,000 (1998 est.)  note: 44% of the population in the
15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  industry, commerce, and service 79%,
government 20%, agriculture 1% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate:  15% (1998 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $1.8 billion expenditures: $2.2 billion, including
capital expenditures of $700 million (2002 est.)

Industries:  petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting,
offshore banking, ship repairing; tourism

Industrial production growth rate:  2% (2000 est.)

Electricity - production:  5.765 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  5,361.45 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products;
shrimp, fish

Exports:  $5.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Exports - commodities:  petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum,

Exports - partners:  India 8.4%, US 3.9%, Saudi Arabia 3.4%, Japan 2.8%,
South Korea 2.1% (2000)

Imports:  $4.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Imports - commodities:  crude oil, machinery, chemicals

Imports - partners:  Saudi Arabia 28.7%, US 12.5%, UK 6.6%, France 6%,
Japan 4% (2000)

Debt - external:  $2.8 billion (2000)

Economic aid - recipient:  $48.4 million (1995)

Currency:  Bahraini dinar (BHD)

Currency code:  BHD

Exchange rates:  Bahraini dinars per US dollar - 0.3760 (fixed rate
pegged to the US dollar)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Bahrain

Telephones - main lines in use:  152,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  58,543 (1997)

Telephone system:  general assessment: modern system domestic: modern
fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing
use of mobile cellular telephones international: tropospheric scatter to
Qatar and UAE; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; submarine cable
to Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat
(1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat (1997)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:  338,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  4 (1997)

Televisions:  275,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .bh

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2000)

Internet users:  105,000 (2001)

Transportation Bahrain

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  3,164 km paved: 2,433 km unpaved: 731 km note: a paved causeway
links Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

Waterways:  none

Pipelines:  crude oil 56 km; petroleum products 16 km; natural gas 32 km

Ports and harbors:  Manama, Mina' Salman, Sitrah

Merchant marine:  total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 270,784
GRT/384,561 DWT ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 4, container 2, includes
a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: Kuwait 1
(2002 est.)

Airports:  4 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 3 over 3,047 m: 2 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001)

Heliports:  1 (2001)

Military Bahrain

Military branches:  Bahrain Defense Forces (BDF) comprising Ground Force
(includes Air Defense), Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Police Force,
Amiri Guards, National Guard

Military manpower - military age:  15 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 222,572 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 121,955
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 5,926
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $526.2 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  6.7% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Bahrain

Disputes - international:  none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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