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In 1783, the Sunni 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. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. 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. In addition, the Sunni-led government has struggled to manage relations with its approximately 70% Shia-majority population. During the mid-to-late 1990s, Shia activists mounted a low-intensity uprising to demand that the Sunni-led... See More



 Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia

Geographic Coordinates:

 26 00 N, 50 33 E


 Total: 760 sq km
Land: 760 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 161 km (Rank: 147)

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% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 40 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 0.1 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 0.3 cu km/yr (40%/3%/57%)
Per capita: 411 cu m/yr (2000)

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, 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 - 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

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 Noun: Bahraini(s)
Adjective: Bahraini

Ethnic Groups:

 Bahraini 62.4%, non-Bahraini 37.6% (2001 census)


 Arabic (official), English, Farsi, Urdu


 Muslim (Shia and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)



Note: includes 235,108 non-nationals (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 20.5% (male 126,313/female 122,359)
15-64 years: 77% (male 595,244/female 339,635)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 14,791/female 16,363) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 30.9 years
Male: 32.2 years
Female: 28.1 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 2.814% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 14.64 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 2.61 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 16.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 89% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 MANAMA (capital) 163,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.028 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.33 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.13 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.24 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 19 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 10.43 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 11.68 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 9.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 78.15 years
Male: 76.03 years
Female: 80.33 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.88 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 4.5% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 1.442 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density:

 1.9 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.2% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 Fewer than 600 (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 200 (2003 est.)

Education Expenditures:

 2.9% of GDP (2008)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 86.5%
Male: 88.6%
Female: 83.6% (2001 census)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 14 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 14 years (2006)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 20.1%
Male: 17.2%
Female: 27% (2001)

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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, State of Bahrain

Government Type:

 Constitutional monarchy


 Name: Manama
Geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E
Time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 5 governorates; Asamah, Janubiyah, Muharraq, Shamaliyah, Wasat

Note: each governorate administered by an appointed governor


 15 August 1971 (from the UK)

National Holiday:

 National 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


 Adopted 14 February 2002

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of Islamic law and English common law

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


 20 years of age; universal; note - Bahraini Cabinet in May 2011 endorsed a draft law lowering eligibility to 18 years

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa (since 6 March 1999); Heir Apparent Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad Al-Khalifa (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 bin Salim al-ARAIDH

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch

Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch

Legislative Branch:

 Bicameral 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 in two rounds on 23 and 30 October 2010 (next election to be held in 2014)

Election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by society - NA; seats by society - Wifaq (Shia) 18, Asala (Sunni Salafi) 3, Minbar (Sunni Muslim Brotherhood) 2, independents 17

Judicial Branch:

 High Civil Appeals Court

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Political parties prohibited but political societies were legalized per a July 2005 law

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Shia activists; Sunni Islamist legislators
Other: several small leftist and other groups are active

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Huda Azra Ibrahim NUNU
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 Thomas C. KRAJESKI
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 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

Note: until 2002 the flag had eight white points, but this was reduced to five to avoid confusion with the Qatari flag

National Anthem:

 Name: "Bahrainona" (Our Bahrain)
Lyrics/music: unknown

Note: adopted 1971; although Mohamed Sudqi AYYASH wrote the original lyrics, they were changed in 2002 following the transformation of Bahrain from an emirate to a kingdom

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Economy - Overview:

 Bahrain is one of the most diversified economies in the Persian Gulf. Highly developed communication and transport facilities make Bahrain home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. As part of its diversification plans, Bahrain implemented a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US in August 2006, the first FTA between the US and a Gulf state. Bahrain's economy, however, continues to depend heavily on oil. Petroleum production and refining account for more than 60% of Bahrain's export receipts, 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP (exclusive of allied industries). Other major economic activities are production of aluminum - Bahrain's second biggest export after oil - finance, and construction. Bahrain competes with Malaysia as a worldwide center for Islamic banking and continues to seek new natural gas supplies as feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminum industries. Unemployment, especially among the young, is a long-term economic problem Bahrain struggles to address. In 2009, to help lower unemployment among Bahraini nationals, Bahrain reduced sponsorship for expatriate workers, increasing the costs of employing foreign labor. The global financial crisis caused funding for many non-oil projects to dry up and resulted in slower economic growth for Bahrain. Other challenges facing Bahrain include the slow growth of government debt as a result of a large subsidy program, the financing of large government projects, and debt restructuring, such as the bailout of state-owned Gulf Air.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $29.71 billion (2010 est.)
$28.55 billion (2009 est.)
$27.69 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $22.66 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 4.1% (2010 est.)
3.1% (2009 est.)
6.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $40,300 (2010 est.)
$39,200 (2009 est.)
$38,500 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 0.5%
Industry: 58%
Services: 41.5% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:


Note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 1%
Industry: 79%
Services: 20% (1997 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 15% (2005 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 23.9% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $5.786 billion
Expenditures: $7.009 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 25.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -5.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 60.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
42.4% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 2% (2010 est.)
2.8% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 0.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
0.5% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 7.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
7.9% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $4.997 billion (31 December 2008)
$4.169 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $12.71 billion (31 December 2008)
$10.63 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $6.127 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$5.74 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $20.92 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$18.93 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $17.26 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$16.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $20.43 billion (31 December 2010)
$16.93 billion (31 December 2009)
$21.18 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish


 Petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pelletization, fertilizers, Islamic and offshore banking, insurance, ship repairing, tourism

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 1.5% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 11.22 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 10.48 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 46,430 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 47,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 239,900 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 213,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 124.6 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 12.58 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 12.58 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 92.03 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 $239.5 million (2010 est.)
$559.9 million (2009 est.)


 $13.83 billion (2010 est.)
$12.05 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles

Exports - Partners:

 Saudi Arabia 2.9%, Japan 2%, UAE 1.9%, India 1.9% (2010)


 $11.19 billion (2010 est.)
$9.613 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Crude oil, machinery, chemicals

Imports - Partners:

 Saudi Arabia 24.7%, US 12.2%, China 7.8%, Brazil 6%, Japan 5.8%, France 5% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $4.789 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.54 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $14.58 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$10.55 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - Abroad:

 $7.883 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$7.549 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $15.15 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$15 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Bahraini Dinar to Any Currency

Bahraini dinars (BHD) per US dollar -
0.376 (2010)
0.376 (2009)
0.376 (2008)
0.376 (2007)
0.376 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 228,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 1.567 million (2010)

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; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and US; tropospheric scatter to Qatar and UAE; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth station - 1 (2007)

Broadcast Media:

 State-run broadcast media; Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation (BRTC) operates 5 terrestrial TV networks; satellite TV systems provide access to international broadcasts; state-run BRTC broadcasts over several radio stations; 1 private FM station directs broadcasts to Indian listeners; radio and TV broadcasts from countries in the region are available (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 4 (1997)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 53,944 (2010)

Internet Users:

 419,500 (2009)

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 4 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 4
Over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)


 1 (2010)


 Gas 20 km; oil 29 km (2010)


 Total: 3,851 km
Paved: 3,121 km
Unpaved: 730 km (2007)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 7
By type: bulk carrier 2, container 4, petroleum tanker 1
Foreign-owned: 5 (Kuwait 5)
Registered in other countries: 6 (Honduras 5, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Mina' Salman, Sitrah

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Military Branches:

 Bahrain Defense Forces (BDF): Ground Force, Royal Bahraini Navy (RBN), Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF), Royal Bahraini Air Defense Force (RBADF) (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 17 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 508,863
Females age 16-49: 290,801 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 423,757
Females age 16-49: 245,302 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 8,988
Female: 8,117 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 4.5% of GDP (2006)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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