Area: 727 sq. km. (274 sq. mi.); approximately four times the size of Washington, DC. Bahrain is an archipelago of 36 islands located off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia. The four main islands are joined by causeways, and make up about 95% of the total land area.Cities: Capital--Manama (pop. 148,000; 2002 est.). Other cities--Al Muharraq.Terrain: Low desert plain (highest elevation point--122 m). Climate: Hot and humid from May-September, with average highs ranging from 30o-40o C (86o-104o F). Maximum temperatures average 20-30 deg C (68-86 deg F) the remainder of the year.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Bahraini(s).
Population (2010): 1,214,705, including about 235,108 non-nationals.
Annual population growth rate (2011 est.): 2.8%.
Ethnic groups: Bahraini 63%, Asian 19%, other Arab 10%, Iranian 8%.
Religions: 98% Muslim (approximately Shi'a 70%, Sunni 30%), with small Christian, Jewish, Baha’i, and Hindu communities.
Languages: Arabic (official), English, Farsi, and Urdu are also widely spoken.
Education: Education is not compulsory, but is provided free to Bahrainis and non-nationals at all levels, including higher education. Estimated net primary school attendance (2008)--97.8%. Adult literacy, age 15 and over (2008)--90.8% for the overall population (male 91.9%, female 89.4%).
Health: Infant mortality rate (2010)--10.43 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy--76 yrs. males, 80 yrs. females.
Work force (2010 est.): 654,900 of which 44% were foreigners.
GDP (2010 est.): $29.82 billion.
Real GDP growth rate (2010): 4.5%.
Per capita GDP (2010 est.): $40,400.
Natural resources: Oil, aluminum, textiles, natural gas, fish, pearls.
Agriculture (less than 1% of GDP): Products--fruit, vegetables, poultry, dairy products, shrimp, fish.
Industry: Types--oil and gas (25% of GDP), manufacturing (12.4% of GDP), aluminum.
Services: Finance (30% of GDP), transport and communications (8.9% of GDP), real estate (9.2% of GDP), government services (14.8% of GDP).
Trade (2009 est.): Exports--$12.5 billion: oil and other mineral products, aluminum, textiles.Major markets--Saudi Arabia (3.4%), U.S. (3%), India (2.7%), Japan (2.3%). Imports--$10.37 billion: crude oil, machinery and appliances, transport equipment, foodstuffs. Major suppliers--Saudi Arabia (26.7%), Japan (8.9%), U.S. (7.8%), China (6.2%), Germany (4.8%), South Korea (4.7%), U.A.E. (4.2%).
*Facts and Data Courtesy US Government.
Type: Constitutional hereditary monarchy.
Independence: August 15, 1971 (from the United Kingdom).
Constitution: Approved and promulgated May 26, 1973; suspended on August 26, 1975; the National Action Charter was approved by a national popular referendum on February 14-15, 2001, and a new constitution was issued on February 14, 2002.
Branches: Executive--King (chief of state); Prime Minister (head of government); Council of Ministers (cabinet) is appointed by the King and headed by the Prime Minister. Legislative--The bicameral parliament (al-Majlis al-Watani) consists of a 40-member elected Council of Representatives and a 40-member Shura (Consultative) Council appointed by the King. Members of both chambers serve 4-year terms. Judicial--High Civil Appeals Court. The judiciary is independent with right of judicial review.
Administrative subdivisions: 12 municipalities (manatiq): Al Hidd, 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.
Suffrage: Universal at age 18.
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