Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, is the only official English-speaking country in Central America. Belize was a British colony for more than a century and was known as British Honduras until 1973. It became an independent nation in 1981.
Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Sistema de Integracin Centroamericana (SICA) and considers itself to be culturally both Caribbean and Central American.
With 8,867 square miles (22,960 sq. km) of territory and only 291,800 people (Belize CSO, 2005 mid year est.), the population density is the lowest in the Central American region and one of the lowest in the world.
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