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Welcome To Bahrain

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Introduction Bahrain
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. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. The new amir, installed in 1999, has pushed 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. In February 2002, Amir HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa proclaimed himself king. In October 2002, Bahrainis elected members of the lower house of Bahrain's reconstituted bicameral legislature, the National Assembly.
Geography Bahrain
Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
26 00 N, 50 33 E
Map references:
Middle East
total: 665 sq km
land: 665 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
161 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined
arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers
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: 2.82%
permanent crops: 5.63%
other: 91.55% (2001)
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 needs
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic location in Persian Gulf, through which much of the Western world's petroleum must transit to reach open ocean
People Bahrain
note: includes 235,108 non-nationals (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 27.8% (male 96,807/female 94,863)
15-64 years: 68.7% (male 275,792/female 197,424)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 12,078/female 11,381) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 29.19 years
male: 32.16 years
female: 25.54 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.51% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
18.1 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
4.08 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
1.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.4 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.06 male(s)/female
total population: 1.27 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 17.27 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.17 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.23 years
male: 71.76 years
female: 76.78 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.63 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
noun: Bahraini(s)
adjective: Bahraini
Ethnic groups:
Bahraini 62.4%, non-Bahraini 37.6% (2001 census)
Muslim (Shi'a and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)
Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89.1%
male: 91.9%
female: 85% (2003 est.)
Government Bahrain
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain
conventional short form: Bahrain
local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn
local short form: Al Bahrayn
former: Dilmun
Government type:
constitutional hereditary monarchy
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
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
new constitution 14 February 2002
Legal system:
based on Islamic law and English common law
18 years of age; universal
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:
bicameral Parliament consists of Shura Council (40 members appointed by the King) and House of Deputies (40 members directly elected to serve four-year terms)
elections: House of Deputies - last held 31 October 2002 (next election to be held NA 2006)
election results: House of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - independents 21, Sunni Islamists 9, other 10
note: first elections since 7 December 1973; unicameral National Assembly dissolved 26 August 1975; National Action Charter created bicameral legislature on 23 December 2000; approved by referendum 14 February 2001; first legislative session of Parliament held on 25 December 2002
Judicial branch:
High Civil Appeals Court
Political parties and leaders:
political parties prohibited but politically oriented societies 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:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Nasir al-BALUSHI
chancery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 342-1111
FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador William T. MONROE
embassy: Building #979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club), Block 331, Zinj District, Manama
mailing address: American Embassy Manama, PSC 451, FPO AE 09834-5100; international mail: American Embassy, Box 26431, Manama
telephone: [973] 1724-2700
FAX: [973] 1725-6242 (consular)
Flag description:
red, the traditional color for flags of Persian Gulf states, with a white serrated band (five white points) on the hoist side; the five points represent the five pillars of Islam
Economy Bahrain
Economy - overview:
In well-to-do 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. A large share of exports consist 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. In September 2004 Bahrain signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States - the first such agreement undertaken by a Gulf state. Both countries must ratify the FTA before it is enforced.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$13.01 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.6% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $19,200 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 41%
services: 58.4% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 1%, industry, commerce, and services 79%, government 20% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
15% (1998 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.1% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
12.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
revenues: $3.825 billion
expenditures: $3.262 billion, including capital expenditures of $700 million (2004 est.)
Public debt:
63.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish
petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pelletization, fertilizers, offshore banking, ship repairing; tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
2% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
6.86 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
6.379 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
44,000 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - consumption:
40,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Oil - imports:
Oil - proved reserves:
126 million bbl (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production:
32.7 billion cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
32.7 billion cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2002 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
46 billion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:
$586.1 million (2004 est.)
$8.205 billion (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles
Exports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 3%, US 2.9%, UAE 2.2% (2004)
$5.87 billion (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
crude oil, machinery, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 32.4%, Japan 7.3%, Germany 6.1%, US 5.6%, UK 5.4%, France 4.8% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.141 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$6.215 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$150 million; note - $50 million annually since 1992 from each of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait (2002)
Currency (code):
Bahraini dinar (BHD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Bahraini dinars per US dollar - 0.376 (2004), 0.376 (2003), 0.376 (2002), 0.376 (2001), 0.376 (2000)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Bahrain
Telephones - main lines in use:
185,800 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
443,100 (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern system
domestic: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile cellular telephones
international: country code - 973; 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)
338,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (1997)
275,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
1,334 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
195,700 (2003)
Transportation Bahrain
total: 3,459 km
paved: 2,653 km
unpaved: 806 km (2002)
gas 20 km; oil 53 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Mina' Salman, Sitrah
Merchant marine:
total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 219,083 GRT/312,638 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 2, container 2, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 2 (Kuwait 2) (2005)
4 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 2
1524 to 2437 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2004 est.)
1 (2004 est.)
Military Bahrain
Military branches:
Bahrain Defense Forces (BDF): Ground Force (includes Air Defense), Navy, Air Force, National Guard
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 202,126 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 161,372 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 6,013 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$628.9 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
6.3% (2004)
Transnational Issues Bahrain
Disputes - international:



Sources: The CIA World Fact Book and other public domain Internet sites

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