Bahrain Population: 1,442,659


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In 1783, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family took power in Bahrain. 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. A steady decline in oil production and reserves since 1970 prompted Bahrain to take steps to diversify its economy, in the process developing petroleum processing and refining, aluminum production, and hospitality and retail sectors. It has also endeavored to become a leading regional banking center, especially with respect to Islamic finance. Bahrain's small size, central location among Gulf countries, economic dependence on Saudi Arabia, and proximity to Iran require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Its foreign policy activities usually fall in line with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Sunni royal family has long struggled to manage relations with its large Shia-majority population. In early 2011, amid Arab uprisings elsewhere in the region, the Bahraini Government confronted similar pro-democracy and reform protests at home with police and military action, including deploying Gulf Cooperation Council security forces to Bahrain. Failed political talks prompted opposition political societies to boycott 2014 legislative and municipal council elections. In 2018, a law preventing members of political societies dissolved by the courts from participating in elections effectively sidelined the majority of opposition figures from taking part in national elections. As a result, most members of parliament are independents. Ongoing dissatisfaction with the political status quo continues to factor into sporadic clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

    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
Location: Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 26 00 N, 50 33 E
Area: total: 760 sq km
land: 760 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 161 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined
Climate: arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers
Terrain: mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment
Natural resources: oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls
Land use: agricultural land: 11.3% (2016 est.) arable land: 2.1% (2016 est.)
permanent crops: 3.9% (2016 est.) permanent pasture: 5.3% (2016 est.) forest: 0.7% (2016 est.)
other: 88% (2016 est.)
Irrigated land: 40 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: periodic droughts; dust storms
Current Environment 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); lowered water table leaves aquifers vulnerable to saline contamination; desalinization provides some 90% of the country's freshwater
International Environment 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
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Nationality: noun: Bahraini(s)
adjective: Bahraini
Ethnic groups: Bahraini 46%, Asian 45.5%, other Arab 4.7%, African 1.6%, European 1%, other 1.2% (includes Gulf Co-operative country nationals, North and South Americans, and Oceanians) (2010 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official), English, Farsi, Urdu
Religions: Muslim 73.7%, Christian 9.3%, Jewish 0.1%, other 16.9% (2017 est.)
Population: 1,442,659 (July 2017 est.) (July 2018 est.) note: immigrants make up approximately 48% of the total population, according to UN data (2017)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.88% (male 138,309 /female 134,067)
15-24 years: 15.49% (male 126,564 /female 96,834)
25-54 years: 56.06% (male 527,417 /female 281,391)
55-64 years: 6.49% (male 59,404 /female 34,284)
65 years and over: 3.08% (male 22,258 /female 22,131) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 30.2 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 27.1 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 3 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 33.1 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 32.5 years
male: 34 years
female: 29.8 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.19% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 13.1 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 2.8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 11.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 89.3% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 4.38% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 565,000 MANAMA (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.31 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.87 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.73 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 1.54 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 15 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 8.8 deaths/1,000 live births male: 9.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.1 years male: 76.9 years
female: 81.5 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Physicians density: 0.93 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density: 2 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population

urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 99.2% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 99.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 99.2% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: <.1% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: <500 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: <100 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 29.8% (2016)
Education expenditures: 2.3% of GDP (2017)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 95.7%
male: 96.9%
female: 93.5% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 15 years male: 15 years female: 16 years (2017)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 5.3% male: 2.6% female: 12.2% (2012 est.)
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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, Tylos, Awal, Mishmahig, Bahrayn, State of Bahrain
etymology: the name means "the two seas" in Arabic and refers to the water bodies surrounding the archipelago
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Manama
geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: name derives from the Arabic "al-manama" meaning "place of rest" or "place of dreams"
Administrative divisions: 4 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Asimah (Capital), Janubiyah (Southern), Muharraq, Shamaliyah (Northern)

note: each governorate administered by an appointed governor
Independence: 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
Constitution: history: adopted 14 February 2002 amendments: proposed by the king or by at least 15 members of either chamber of the National Assembly followed by submission to an Assembly committee for review and, if approved, submitted to the government for restatement as drafts; passage requires a two-thirds majority vote by the membership of both chambers and validation by the king; constitutional articles on the state religion (Islam), state language (Arabic), and the monarchy and "inherited rule" cannot be amended; amended 2012, 2017 (2017)
Legal system: mixed legal system of Islamic law, English common law, Egyptian civil, criminal, and commercial codes; customary law
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa (since 6 March 1999); 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); First Deputy Prime Minister SALMAN bin Hamad Al- Khalifa (since 11 March 2013); Deputy Prime Ministers MUHAMMAD bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa (since September 2005), Jawad bin Salim al-ARAIDH, ALI bin Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa (since 11 December 2006), KHALID bin Abdallah Al-Khalifa (since November 2010)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch: description: bicameral National Assembly consists of: Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (40 seats; members appointed by the king) Council of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwab (40 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 4-year renewable terms)

elections: Consultative Council - last appointments on 12 December 2018 (next NA) Council of Representatives - first round for 9 members held on 24 November 2018; second round for remaining 31 members held on 1 December 2018 (next to be held in 2022)

election results: Consultative Council - composition - men 31, women 9, percent of women 22.5% Council of Representatives (for 2018 election)  - percent of vote by society - NA; seats by society - Islamic Al-Asalah (Sunni Salafi) 3, Minbar al-Taqadumi (Communist) 2, National Unity Gathering (Sunni progovernment) 1, National Islamic Minbar (Sunni Muslim Brotherhood) 1, independent 33; composition - men 34, women 6, percent of women 15%; note - total National Assembly percent of women 19%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Court of Cassation (consists of the chairman and 3 judges); Supreme Court of Appeal (consists of the chairman and 3 judges; Constitutional Court (consists of the president and 6 members); High Sharia Court of Appeal (court sittings include the president and at least one judge) judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by royal decree and serve for a specified tenure; Constitutional Court president and members appointed by the Higher Judicial Council, a body chaired by the monarch and includes judges from the Court of Cassation, sharia law courts, and Civil High Courts of Appeal; members serve 9-year terms; High Sharia Court of Appeal member appointments by royal decree for a specified tenure

subordinate courts: Civil High Courts of Appeal; middle and lower civil courts; High Sharia Court of Appeal; Senior Sharia Court; Administrative Courts of Appeal; military courts note: the judiciary of Bahrain is divided into civil law courts and sharia law courts; sharia courts (involving personal status and family law) are further divided into Sunni Muslim and Shia Muslim; the Courts are supervised by the Supreme Judicial Council.
Political parties and leaders: note: political parties are prohibited, but political societies were legalized under a July 2005 law
International organization participation: ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CICA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): a red field surmounted by a white serrated band with five white points;
national colors: red, white
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
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Abdulla bin Rashid AL KHALIFA (since 21 July 2017)
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 Justin H. SIBERELL (since November 2017)
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] 1727-2594
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Oil and natural gas play a dominant role in Bahrain’s economy. Despite the Government’s past efforts to diversify the economy, oil still comprises 85% of Bahraini budget revenues. In the last few years lower world energy prices have generated sizable budget deficits - about 10% of GDP in 2017 alone. Bahrain has few options for covering these deficits, with low foreign assets and fewer oil resources compared to its GCC neighbors. The three major US credit agencies downgraded Bahrain’s sovereign debt rating to "junk" status in 2016, citing persistently low oil prices and the government’s high debt levels. Nevertheless, Bahrain was able to raise about $4 billion by issuing foreign currency denominated debt in 2017. Other major economic activities are production of aluminum - Bahrain's second biggest export after oil and gas –finance, and construction. Bahrain continues to seek new natural gas supplies as feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminum industries. In April 2018 Bahrain announced it had found a significant oil field off the country’s west coast, but is still assessing how much of the oil can be extracted profitably. In addition to addressing its current fiscal woes, Bahraini authorities face the long-term challenge of boosting Bahrain’s regional competitiveness — especially regarding industry, finance, and tourism — and reconciling revenue constraints with popular pressure to maintain generous state subsidies and a large public sector. Since 2015, the government lifted subsidies on meat, diesel, kerosene, and gasoline and has begun to phase in higher prices for electricity and water. 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. It plans to introduce a Value Added Tax (VAT) by the end of 2018.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $71.17 billion (2017 est.) $68.59 billion (2016 est.) $66.3 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $35.33 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.8% (2017 est.) 3.5% (2016 est.) 2.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $49,000 (2017 est.) $48,200 (2016 est.) $48,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 19.8% of GDP (2017 est.) 21.2% of GDP (2016 est.) 22% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 45.8% (2017 est.) government consumption: 15.5% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 26.1% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0.4% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 80.2% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -67.9% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 0.3% (2017 est.) industry: 39.3% (2017 est.) services: 60.4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish
Industries: petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pelletization, fertilizers, Islamic and offshore banking, insurance, ship repairing, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 0.6% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 831,600 (2017 est.) note: excludes unemployed; 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1%
industry: 32%
services: 67% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3.6% (2017 est.) 3.7% (2016 est.) note: official estimate; actual rate is higher
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 5.854 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 9.407 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 16.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -10.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 88.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 81.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.4% (2017 est.) 2.8% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.6 billion (2017 est.) -$1.493 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $15.38 billion (2017 est.) $12.78 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles
Exports - partners: UAE 19.6%, Saudi Arabia 11.7%, US 10.8%, Oman 8.1%, China 6.5%, Qatar 5.7%, Japan 4.2% (2017)
Imports: $16.08 billion (2017 est.) $13.59 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: crude oil, machinery, chemicals
Imports - partners: China 8.8%, UAE 7.2%, US 7.1%, Australia 5.3%, Japan 4.8% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.349 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $3.094 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $52.15 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $42.55 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $22.08 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $21.56 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $10.66 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $10.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $19.25 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $22.07 billion (31 December 2014 est.) $18.57 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange rates: Bahraini dinars (BHD) per US dollar - 0.376 (2017 est.) 0.376 (2016 est.) 0.376 (2015 est.) 0.376 (2014 est.) 0.376 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 26.81 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 26.11 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 213 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports: 276 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 3.928 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 45,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 226,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 124.6 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 274,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 61,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 245,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 14,530 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 15.89 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 15.89 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 92.03 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 37.98 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 2,364,477
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 168 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern system; well-developed LTE networks,  5G trials tested and deployment in near future; mobile penetration is high compared to the region; development of its own National Broadband Network (NBN); competition is good and telecoms are regulated (2018)

domestic: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile-cellular telephones; 20 per 100 fixed-line, 168 per 100 mobile-cellular; (2018)

international: country code - 973; landing points for the FALCON, Tata TGN-Gulf, GBICS/MENA, and FOG submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, the Middle East, and Africa; tropospheric scatter to Qatar and UAE; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth station - 1
Broadcast media: state-run Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation (BRTC) operates 5 terrestrial TV networks and several radio stations; satellite TV systems provide access to international broadcasts; 1 private FM station directs broadcasts to Indian listeners; radio and TV broadcasts from countries in the region are available (2019)
Internet country code: .bh
Internet users: total: 1,351,326
percent of population: 98% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 4 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 4
(2017) over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: 20 km gas, 54 km oil (2013)
Roadways: total 4,122 km
(2010) paved: 3,392 km (2010)
unpaved: 730 km (2010)
Merchant marine: total 259

by type: bulk carrier 1, container ship 1, general cargo 12, oil tanker 4, other 241 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Mina' Salman, Sitrah
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Military branches: Bahrain Defense Force (BDF): Royal Bahraini Army (RBA), Royal Bahraini Navy (RBN), Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF), Royal Bahraini Air Defense Force (RBADF) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2012)
Military expenditures: 4.59% of GDP (2015) 4.42% of GDP (2014) 4.14% of GDP (2013) 3.84% of GDP (2012) 3.59% of GDP (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
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