BERMUDA

Bermuda  is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about 1,030 kilometres (640 mi) to the west-northwest. It is about 1,373 kilometres (853 mi) south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and 1,770 kilometres (1,100 mi) northeast of Miami, Florida. Its capital city is Hamilton.

Bermuda was discovered in 1505 by Spanish navigator Juan de Bermudez, after whom the islands are named, who claimed it for the Spanish Empire. Unoccupied, the island was settled by England in 1609, making it the oldest and most populous remaining British overseas territory. Its first capital, St George’s, was established in 1612 and is the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the Americas.

Bermuda has an affluent economy, with finance as its largest sector followed by tourism, giving it the world’s highest GDP per capita in 2005. It has a subtropical climate.

Visitors will find a wealth of information useful to any traveler coming this way.  We’ve got stuff for vacationers, business travellers and cruise visitors.  If you’re planning a wedding or a group visit, we’ve got you covered.  We have recommendations for visiting couples, reuniting friends, even job seekers looking to relocate here.  This website is the must-see destination for any person about to visit or thinking about visiting Bermuda.

Meantime, locals and residents should stop in to get the scoop on off-island travel, entertainment and other fun stuff.  Here we call locals “Onions” not only because they are one of our only exported products, but also because Bermudians are a lot like onions — strong and full of flavour.  Check out our events page to see what’s going on now, check out our photos page to see what’s been going on lately and check out our contest page to see the cool stuff we’re giving away.  And because we know Onions like to get around the world — check the off-island travel section for the latest special offers exclusively for Bermudian travelers who use bermuda.com’s booking engine powered by Expedia.

Thanks for stopping by, we hope you enjoy Bermuda’s virtual home as much as the real thing.

he people of Bermuda are thrilled to share the unique beauty and vibrant culture of our island paradise with you. Here you will find everything you need to plan your ideal Bermuda vacation: from information on our world-class hotels and resorts to the latest airfare specials and vacation packages. So start planning your perfect escape to the other side of the world—right around the corner.

PROFILE

Geography
Area: 58.8 sq. km. (22.7 sq. mi.).
Cities (2000 census): Capital–Hamilton (pop. 3,461). Other city–St. George (pop. 3,306).
Terrain: Hilly islands.
Climate: Semi-tropical.

People
Nationality: Noun and adjective–Bermudian(s).
Population (2010 est.): 64,566.
Annual population growth rate (2009 est.): 0.31%.
Ethnic groups (2000): Black 63%, white and other 37%.
Religions (2000): Anglican 23%, Roman Catholic 15%, African Methodist Episcopal 11%, 7th Day Adventist 7%, Methodist 4%, other 40% (none or not stated).
Language: English.
Education: Years compulsory–to age 18. Bermuda placed third overall of six developed nations (including the U.S.) in the 2005 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey.
Health (2009 est.): Infant mortality rate–2.46 per thousand. Life expectancy–men 77.2 yrs., women 83.72 yrs.
Work force 38,263: professionals 19%; service workers/shop and market sales workers 19%; senior officials/managers 18%; clerks 17%; craft and related trade workers 10%; technicians/associated professionals 7%; plant and machine operators and assemblers 5%; elementary occupations (mostly simple and routine tasks) 4%; agriculture and fisheries workers 2% (2008).

Government
Type: British Overseas Territory with significant autonomy.
Constitution: June 8, 1968; amended 1989 and 2003.
Branches: Chief of State–Queen Elizabeth II, British monarch (head of state, represented by a governor). Head of Government–Premier, Paula Cox. Legislative–Senate (upper house, 11 members appointed by the governor, the premier, and the opposition); House of Assembly (lower house; 36 seats elected by popular vote). Judicial–Supreme Court.
Subdivisions: Nine parishes.
Political parties: Progressive Labor Party (PLP), United Bermuda Party (UBP), Bermuda Democratic Alliance (BDA).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy
GDP (current market prices, 2008): $6.43 billion. Sectors–24% ($1.543 billion) from international companies; 13% ($876 million) from real estate and rental; 14% ($923 million) from financial intermediation; 9% ($597 million) from business activities; 6% ($397 million) from education, health and social work; 6% ($435 million) from wholesale, retail trade, and repair services; 5% ($326 million) from public administration; 5% ($370 million) from construction; 4% ($308 million) from the hotel and restaurant sector; 4% ($297 million) from transport and communications; and 1% each ($309 million) for manufacturing, utilities supply, and community/social/personal services; 7% other sectors.
GDP growth rate (2008): 4.6%.
Per capita nominal GDP (2009): $91,477.
Annual inflation rate (August 2010): 2.6%.
Natural resource: Limestone, used primarily for building.
Agriculture: Products–semitropical produce, dairy products, flowers, honey.
Industry: Types–re/insurance, financial services, tourism, structural concrete products, paints, perfumes, furniture.
Trade: Exports (2008, includes re-exports)–$24 million: pharmaceuticals, semitropical produce, light manufactures. Imports (2009)–$1.051 billion: food, clothing, household goods, chemicals, live animals, machinery, transport, and miscellaneous manufactures. Major suppliers–U.S. (70%), Canada (7%), United Kingdom (4%), Caribbean countries (2%), other (17%).

HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS
Bermuda is an archipelago consisting of seven main islands and many smaller islands and islets lying about 1,050 kilometers (650 mi.) east of North Carolina. The main islands–with hilly terrain and subtropical climate–are clustered together, connected by bridges, and are considered to be a geographic unit, referred to as the Island of Bermuda.

Bermuda was discovered in 1503 by a Spanish explorer, Juan de Bermudez, who made no attempt to land because of the treacherous reef surrounding the uninhabited islands.

In 1609, a group of British colonists led by George Somers was shipwrecked and stranded on the islands for 10 months. Their reports aroused great interest about the islands in England, and in 1612 King James extended the Charter of the Virginia Company to include them. Later that year, about 60 British colonists arrived and founded the town of St. George, the oldest continuously inhabited English-speaking settlement in the Western Hemisphere. When representative government was introduced to Bermuda in 1620, it became a self-governing colony.

Due to the islands’ isolation, for many years Bermuda remained an outpost of 17th-century British civilization, with an economy based on the use of the islands’ endemic cedar trees for shipbuilding and the salt trade. Hamilton, a centrally located port founded in 1790, became the seat of government in 1815.

Slaves from Africa were brought to Bermuda soon after the colony was established. The slave trade was outlawed in Bermuda in 1807, and all slaves were freed in 1834. Today, about 61% of Bermudians are of African descent.

The establishment of a formal constitution in 1968 bolstered internal self-government; debate about independence ensued, although a 1995 independence referendum was defeated. The government re-opened the independence debate in 2004.

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~ by ferry1984 on July 1, 2011.

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