Geographic and Governmental Profile of Bermuda

Background
Bermuda was first settled in 1609 by shipwrecked English colonists headed for Virginia. Tourism to the island to escape North American winters first developed in Victorian times. Tourism continues to be important to the island's economy, although international business has overtaken it in recent years. Bermuda has also developed into a highly successful offshore financial center. A referendum on independence from the UK was soundly defeated in 1995.
Location
North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of South Carolina (US)
Geographic coordinates
32 20 N, 64 45 W
Continent / Subcontinent
North America
Area
total:
54 sq km
rank:
231
land:
54 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
about one-third the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
103 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive fishing zone:
200 nm
Climate
subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter
Terrain
low hills separated by fertile depressions
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Town Hill 76 m
Natural resources
limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism
Land use
arable land:
20%
permanent crops:
0%
other:
80% (55% developed, 45% rural/open space) (2005)
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Irrigated land
NA
Natural hazards
hurricanes (June to November)
Environment - current issues
sustainable development
Geography - note
consists of about 138 coral islands and islets with ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some land was leased by the US Government from 1941 to 1995
Country name
conventional long form:
none
conventional short form:
Bermuda
former:
Somers Islands
Dependency status
overseas territory of the UK
Government type
parliamentary; self-governing territory
Capital
name:
Hamilton
geographic coordinates:
32 17 N, 64 47 W
time difference:
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
Administrative divisions
9 parishes and 2 municipalities*; Devonshire, Hamilton, Hamilton*, Paget, Pembroke, Saint George*, Saint George's, Sandys, Smith's, Southampton, Warwick
Independence
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Constitution
8 June 1968; amended 1989 and 2003
Legal system
English common law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor George FERGUSSON (since 23 May 2012)
head of government:
Premier Paula COX (since 29 October 2010); Deputy Premier Derrick BURGESS
cabinet:
Cabinet nominated by the premier, appointed by the governor
elections:
the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed premier by the governor
Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (11 seats; members appointed by the governor, the premier, and the opposition to serve a five-year term) and the House of Assembly (36 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve up to five-year terms)
elections:
last general election held on 18 December 2007 (next to be held not later than 2012)
election results:
percent of vote by party - PLP 52.5%, UBP 47.3%; seats by party - PLP 22, UBP 14
Judicial branch
Supreme Court (Chief Justice and other justices appointed by the governor; remain in office until they reach 65 years of age); Court of Appeal (President of the Court of Appeal and other justices appointed by the governor for a specific period laid out in their respective instruments of appointment); Magistrate Courts
Political parties and leaders
Progressive Labor Party or PLP [Ewart BROWN]; United Bermuda Party or UBP [Kim SWAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Bermuda Employer's Union [Eddie SAINTS]; Bermuda Industrial Union or BIU [Derrick BURGESS]; Bermuda Public Services Union or BPSU [Ed BALL]; Bermuda Union of Teachers [Michael CHARLES]
International organization participation
Caricom (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ITUC, UPU, WCO
Diplomatic representation in the US
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Consul General Grace W. SHELTON
consulate(s) general:
Crown Hill, 16 Middle Road, Devonshire DVO3
mailing address:
P. O. Box HM325, Hamilton HMBX; American Consulate General Hamilton, US Department of State, 5300 Hamilton Place, Washington, DC 20520-5300
telephone:
[1] (441) 295-1342
FAX:
[1] (441) 295-1592, 296-9233
Flag description
red, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Bermudian coat of arms (a white shield with a red lion standing on a green grassy field holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of the ship Sea Venture off Bermuda in 1609) centered on the outer half of the flag; it was the shipwreck of the vessel, filled with English colonists originally bound for Virginia, that led to settling of Bermuda
the flag is unusual in that it is only British overseas territory that uses a red ensign, all others use blue
National symbol(s)
red lion
National anthem
name:
"Hail to Bermuda"
lyrics/music:
Bette JOHNS
serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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