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 Bahrain [Country Flag of Bahrain]
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Bahrain]

Bahrain

Geography

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

Geographic coordinates: 26 00 N, 50 33 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 620 sq km
land: 620 sq km
water: 0 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
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined
territorial sea: 12 nm

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

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 6%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 92% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1993 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; no natural fresh water resources so that groundwater and sea water 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
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

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

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Population: 616,342 (July 1998 est.)
note: includes 224,640 non-nationals (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31% (male 95,871; female 93,232)
15-64 years: 67% (male 245,099; female 164,946)
65 years and over: 2% (male 8,799; female 8,395) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.09% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 22.43 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 3.25 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.49 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.05 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 15.54 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.96 years
male: 72.42 years
female: 77.57 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.01 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Bahraini(s)
adjective: Bahraini

Ethnic groups: Bahraini 63%, Asian 13%, other Arab 10%, Iranian 8%, other 6%

Religions: Shi'a Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim 25%

Languages: Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.2%
male: 89.1%
female: 79.4% (1995 est.)

Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: State of Bahrain
conventional short form: Bahrain
local long form: Dawlat al Bahrayn
local short form: Al Bahrayn

Data code: BA

Government type: traditional monarchy

National 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: Independence Day, 16 December (1971)

Constitution: 26 May 1973, effective 6 December 1973

Legal system: based on Islamic law and English common law

Suffrage: none

Executive branch:
chief of state: Amir ISA bin Salman Al Khalifa (since 2 November 1961); Heir Apparent HAMAD bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa (son of the Amir, born 28 January 1949)
head of government: Prime Minister KHALIFA bin Salman Al Khalifa (since 19 January 1970)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the amir
elections: none; the amir is a traditional Arab monarch; prime minister appointed by the amir

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

Judicial branch: High Civil Appeals Court

Political parties and leaders: political parties prohibited

Political pressure groups and leaders: several small, clandestine leftist and Islamic fundamentalist groups are active; following the arrest of a popular Shi'a cleric, Shi'a activists have fomented unrest sporadically since late 1994, demanding the return of an elected National Assembly and an end to unemployment

International organization participation: ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Muhammad ABD AL-GHAFFAR Abdallah
chancery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 342-0741, 342-0742
FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Johnny YOUNG
embassy: Building No. 979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club), Zinj District, Manama
mailing address: FPO AE 09834-5100; International Mail Box 26431, Manama (International Mail)
telephone: [973] 273-300
FAX: [973] 275-418

Flag description: red with a white serrated band (eight white points) on the hoist side

Economy

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Economy—overview: In Bahrain, petroleum production and processing account for about 60% of export receipts, 60% of government revenues, and 30% of GDP. Economic conditions have fluctuated with the changing fortunes of oil since 1985, for example, during and following the Gulf crisis of 1990-91. 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 consists of petroleum products made from imported crude. Construction proceeds on several major industrial projects. Unemployment, especially among the young, and the depletion of both oil and underground water resources are major long-term economic problems.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$8.2 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 2.7% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$13,700 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 1%
industry: 38%
services: 61% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: -0.2% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 140,000
by occupation: industry, commerce, and service 78%, government 21%, agriculture 1% (1994)
note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)

Unemployment rate: 15% (1996 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.7 billion
expenditures: $1.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $400 million (1998 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 3.4% (1995)

Electricity—capacity: 1.05 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 4.4 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 7,640 kWh (1995)

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

Exports:
total value: $4.6 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 61%, aluminum 7%
partners: India 22%, Japan 12%, Saudi Arabia 6%, US 6%, UAE 5% (1995)

Imports:
total value: $3.7 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: nonoil 63%, crude oil 37%
partners: Saudi Arabia 40%, US 13%, UK 7%, Japan 5%, Switzerland 5% (1995)

Debt—external: $3.2 billion (1995)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Bahraini dinar (BD) = 1,000 fils

Exchange rates: Bahraini dinars (BD) per US$1—0.3760 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

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Telephones: 73,552 (1987 est.)

Telephone system: modern system; good domestic services and excellent international connections
domestic: NA
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

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0

Radios: 320,000 (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (1988 est.)

Televisions: 270,000 (1993 est.)

Transportation

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Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 3,013 km
paved: 2,284 km
unpaved: 729 km (1996 est.)

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

Ports and harbors: Manama, Mina' Salman, Sitrah

Merchant marine:
total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 131,919 GRT/212,510 DWT
ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 3, oil tanker 1 (1997 est.)

Airports: 3 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1997 est.)

Military

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Military branches: Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Internal Security Forces

Military manpower—military age: 15 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 218,831 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 120,753 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: NA

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $256 million (1994)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 5.4% (1995)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: territorial dispute with Qatar over the Hawar Islands and maritime boundary dispute with Qatar currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ)