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Introduction - Bahrain:
BackgroundIn 1782, the Al Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Bahrains 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. King HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa, after coming to power in 1999, pushed economic and political reforms to improve relations with the Shia community and Shia political societies participated in 2006 parliamentary and municipal elections. Al Wifaq, the largest Shia political society, won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the legislature. However, Shia discontent has resurfaced in recent years with street demonstrations and occasional low-level violence.
Location - Bahrain:
LocationMiddle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates26 00 N, 50 33 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Areatotal: 665 sq km
land: 665 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area comparative3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline161 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined
Climatearid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers
Terrainmostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment
Elevation extremeslowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m
Natural resourcesoil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls
Land usearable land: 2.82%
permanent crops: 5.63%
other: 91.55% (2005)
Irrigated land40 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts; dust storms
Environment current issuesdesertification 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 agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography noteclose to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic location in Persian Gulf, through which much of the Western worlds petroleum must transit to reach open ocean
People - Bahrain:
note: includes 235,108 non-nationals (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 26.9% (male 96,217/female 94,275)
15-64 years: 69.5% (male 284,662/female 207,555)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 13,451/female 12,413) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 29.7 years
male: 32.7 years
female: 26.1 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate1.392% (2007 est.)
Birth rate17.53 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate4.21 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.021 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.372 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.084 male(s)/female
total population: 1.255 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 16.18 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.89 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.68 years
male: 72.18 years
female: 77.25 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate2.57 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.2% (2001 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsless than 600 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deathsless than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Bahraini(s)
adjective: Bahraini
Ethnic groupsBahraini 62.4%, non-Bahraini 37.6% (2001 census)
ReligionsMuslim (Shia and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)
LanguagesArabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.5%
male: 88.6%
female: 83.6% (2001 census)
Government - Bahrain:
Country nameconventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain
conventional short form: Bahrain
local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn
local short form: Al Bahrayn
former: Dilmun
Government typeconstitutional monarchy
Capitalname: Manama
geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions5 governorates; Asamah, Janubiyah, Muharraq, Shamaliyah, Wasat
note: each governorate administered by an appointed governor
Independence15 August 1971 (from UK)
National holidayNational Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August 1971 was the date of independence from the UK, 16 December 1971 was the date of independence from British protection
Constitutionadopted 14 February 2002
Legal systembased on Islamic law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage20 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief 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 1971); Deputy Prime Ministers ALI bin Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, MUHAMMAD bin Mubarak al-Khalifa, Jawad al-ARAIDH
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
Legislative branchbicameral legislature consists of the Consultative Council (40 members appointed by the King) and the Council of Representatives or Chamber of Deputies (40 seats; members directly elected to serve four-year terms)
elections: Council of Representatives - last held November-December 2006 (next election to be held in 2010)
election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - al Wifaq (Shia) 17, al Asala (Sunni Salafi) 5, al Minbar (Sunni Muslim Brotherhood) 7, independents 11; note - seats by party as of February 2007 - al Wifaq 17, al Asala 8, al Minbar 7, al Mustaqbal (Moderate Sunni pro-government) 4, unassociated independents (all Sunni) 3, independent affiliated with al Wifaq (Sunni oppositionist) 1
Judicial branchHigh Civil Appeals Court
Political parties and leaderspolitical parties prohibited but political societies were legalized per a July 2005 law
Political pressure groups and leadersShia activists fomented unrest sporadically in 1994-97 and have recently engaged in protests with occasional low-level violence; protests related to a host of issues, including the 2002 constitution, elections, unemployment, and release of detainees; Sunni Islamist legislators support a greater role for Sharia in daily life; several small leftist and other groups are active
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Nasir bin Muhammad 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 uschief of mission: Ambassador William T. MONROE
embassy: Building #979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club), Block 331, Zinj District, Manama
mailing address: PSC 451, Box 660, FPO AE 09834-5100; international mail: American Embassy, Box 26431, Manama
telephone: [973] 1724-2700
FAX: [973] 1727-0547
Flag descriptionred, 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 overviewWith its highly developed communication and transport facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. Petroleum production and refining account for over 60% of Bahrains export receipts, over 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP (exclusive of allied industries), underpinning Bahrains strong economic growth in recent years. Other major segments of Bahrains economy are the financial and construction sectors. Bahrain is actively pursuing the diversification and privatization of its economy to reduce the countrys dependence on oil. As part of this effort, in August 2006 Bahrain and the US implemented a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the first FTA between the US and a Gulf state. Unemployment, especially among the young, and the depletion of oil and underground water resources are major long-term economic problems.
Gdp purchasing power parity $18.02 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $12.14 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate7.8% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $25,800 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 0.5%
industry: 38.7%
services: 60.8% (2005 est.)
Labor force352,000
note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 1%
industry: 79%
services: 20% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate15% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate consumer prices 3.5% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 21.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $5.582 billion
expenditures: $4.197 billion; including capital expenditures of $700 million (2006 est.)
Public debt34.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productsfruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish
Industriespetroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pelletization, fertilizers, offshore banking, insurance, ship repairing, tourism
Industrial production growth rate2% (2000 est.)
Electricity production7.794 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption7.248 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production188,300 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil consumption27,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves121 million bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas production9.75 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption9.75 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas exports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves92.03 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance$1.999 billion (2006 est.)
Exports$12.62 billion (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles
Exports partnersNA
Imports$9.036 billion (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiescrude oil, machinery, chemicals
Imports partnersSaudi Arabia 37.3%, Japan 6.8%, US 6.2%, UK 6.2%, Germany 5%, UAE 4.2% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.918 billion (2006 est.)
Debt external$7.267 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$150 million; note - $50 million annually since 1992 from the UAE and Kuwait (2002)
Currency code Bahraini dinar (BHD)
Exchange ratesBahraini dinars per US dollar - 0.376 (2006), 0.376 (2005), 0.376 (2004), 0.376 (2003), 0.376 (2002)
Communications - Bahrain:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use193,300 (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular898,900 (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral 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 - 1 (1997)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations4 (1997)
Internet country
Internet hosts2,165 (2006)
Internet users157,300 (2006)
Transportation - Bahrain:
Airports3 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 3
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)
Heliports1 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 20 km; oil 52 km (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 3,498 km
paved: 2,768 km
unpaved: 730 km (2003)
Merchant marinetotal: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 235,449 GRT/339,728 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 1, container 2, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 3 (Kuwait 3) (2006)
Ports and terminalsMina Salman, Sitrah
Military - Bahrain:
Military branchesBahrain Defense Forces (BDF): Ground Force (includes Air Defense), Naval Force, Air Force, National Guard
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 202,126
females age 18-49: 151,734 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 161,372
females age 18-49: 125,488 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 6,013
females age 18-49: 5,852 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp4.5% (2006)
Disputes internationalnone
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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