Mayan children in the Toledo District.
© UNICEF Belize/2011/CNorton

Belize is situated on the Caribbean coast of Central America, bordered on the north by Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and in the south and west by Guatemala, with a very small direct sea link to Honduras in the south. The second largest barrier reef in the world - a draw for diving and water sports tourism - lies off the Caribbean coast of Belize. It is a relatively small country, with a diverse landmass of almost 23,000 square kilometers, but with only a population of 312,698 in 2010.  The country is divided into 6 districts:

Corozal and Orange Walk in the north, Cayo in the south-centre and west, Belize in the centre and coast, Stann Creek on the southern coastal area, and Toledo in the far south, west and southernmost coast.

Children and adolescents comprised 43.86% of the total Belizean population; specifically, 141,300 of 322,100, as of mid-2008. Of these, 21,400 were under-2 yrs; 17,100 were 3-4 yrs, 69,600 were 5-12 yrs, and 33,200 were 13-16 yrs (6.64, 5.31, 21.61, and 10.31 percents of total respectively).

These data also indicate generally decreased proportions of the under-2 year olds between 2005 and 2008, reflecting a declining birth rate.

A substantial proportion of residents live in Belize district (29.99%) followed by Cayo (23.91%), and Orange Walk (15%); Toledo is least populated with 30,100 residents (9.34%). Each district is further divided into “urban” and “rural” areas.



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