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Bahrain country facts

Kingdom of Bahrain Middle East Manama 1,314,089 inhabitants 760 sq km 1,729.06 inhabitants/sq km Bahraini dinars (BHD) population evolution



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. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has become an international banking center. Bahrain's small size and central location among Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. The Sunni-led government has 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 protests at home with police and military action, including deploying Gulf Cooperation Council security forces to Bahrain. Sporadic clashes between demonstrators and security forces continue in Bahrain. Ongoing dissatisfaction with the political status quo has led to a broader discussion termed the Bahrain National Dialogue, a process that convenes members of the executive, parliament, and political societies in an attempt to reach a political agreement.



Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates

26 00 N, 50 33 E

Area (sq km)

total: 760 sq km
land: 760 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries (km)

0 km

Coastline (km)

161 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined


arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers


mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m

Natural resources

oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls

Land use (%)

arable land: 1.79%
permanent crops: 3.95%
other: 94.26% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

40.15 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

0.12 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 0.36 cu km/yr (50%/6%/45%)
per capita: 386 cu m/yr (2003)

Natural hazards

periodic droughts; dust storms

Environment - current 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)

Environment - international 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

Geography - note

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

People and Society


noun: Bahraini(s)
adjective: Bahraini

Ethnic groups (%)

Bahraini 46%, Asian 45.5%, other Arabs 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 70.3%, Christian 14.5%, Hindu 9.8%, Buddhist 2.5%, Jewish 0.6%, folk religion <.1, unaffiliated 1.9%, other 0.2% (2010 est.)


note: immigrants make up almost 55% of the total population, according to UN data (2013) (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 19.7% (male 131,698/female 127,663)
15-24 years: 15.9% (male 117,156/female 91,477)
25-54 years: 56.2% (male 483,449/female 254,627)
55-64 years: 5.5% (male 47,172/female 25,354)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 17,106/female 18,387) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Bahrain

Median age (years)

total: 31.6 years
male: 33 years
female: 28.8 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

2.49% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

13.92 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

2.67 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

13.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 88.7% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.21% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

MANAMA (capital) 262,000 (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.28 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.9 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.54 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.54 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

20 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 9.68 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.69 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 78.58 years
male: 76.4 years
female: 80.81 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

1.81 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

3.8% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

1.49 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

1.8 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 99.2% of population
rural: 99.2% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 0.8% of population
rural: 0.8% of population
total 0.8% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

0.2% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

fewer than 600 (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

32.9% (2008)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

2.6% of GDP (2012)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.6%
male: 96.1%
female: 91.6% (2010 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 (%)

total: 5%
male: 2.5%
female: 11.6% (2010)


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, State of Bahrain

Government type

constitutional monarchy


name: Manama
geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

5 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Asamah (Capital), Janubiyah (Southern), Muharraq, Shamaliyah (Northern), Wasat (Central)
note: each governorate administered by an appointed governor


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


adopted 14 February 2002; amended 2012 (2012)

Legal system

mixed legal system of Islamic law, English common law, Egyptian civil, criminal, and commercial codes; customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


20 years of age; universal; note - Bahraini Cabinet in May 2011 endorsed a draft law lowering eligibility to 18 years

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 ALI bin Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Jawad bin Salim al-ARAIDH, KHALID bin Abdallah Al Khalifa, MUHAMMAD bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch

bicameral National Assembly consists of the Shura Council or Consultative Council (40 members appointed by the King) and the Council of Representatives or Chamber of Deputies (40 seats; members directly elected to serve four-year terms)
elections: Council of Representatives - last held in two rounds on 23 and 30 October 2010 (next election to be held in fall 2014); byelections to fill 18 vacated seats held in two rounds on 24 September and 1 October 2011
election results: Council of Representatives (2010) - percent of vote by society - NA; seats by society - Wifaq (Shia) 18, Asalah (Sunni Salafi) 3, Minbar (Sunni Muslim Brotherhood) 2, independents 17; Council of Representatives byelection for 18 seats vacated by Wifaq (2011) - seats by society - independent Sunni 8, independent Shia 8, other 2; note - Bahrain has societies rather than parties

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Cassation (consists of a chairman and 3 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of a president and 6 members)
note - the judiciary of Bahrain is divided into the civil law and sharia law courts
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation and Constitutional Court judges appointed by royal decree and serve for a specified tenure
subordinate courts: High Court of Appeal; middle and lower civil courts; higher and lower shariah courts, and the High Shariah Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders

note: political parties are prohibited but political societies were legalized per a July 2005 law
progovernment: Arab Islamic Center Society [Ahmad Sanad AL-BENALI]
Constitutional Gathering Society
Islamic Asalah [Abd al-Halim MURAD]
Islamic Saff Society [Abdullah Khalil BU GHAMAR]
Islamic Shura Society
Movement of National Justice Society [Muhi al-Din KHAN]
National Action Charter Society [Muhammad AL-BUAYNAYN]
National Dialogue Society
National Islamic Minbar [Ali AHMAD]
National Unity Gathering [Abdullah AL-HUWAYHI]
oppositon: National Democratic Action Society [Ibrahim SHARIF]
National Democratic Assembly [Hasan AL-ALI]
National Fraternity Society [Musa AL-ANSARI]
National Progressive Tribune [Abd al-Nabi SALMAN]
Unitary National Democratic Assemblage [Fadhil ABBAS]
Wifaq National Islamic Society [Ali SALMAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Sunni: Al-Fatih Awakening
Shia: 14 February Revolution Youth Coalition
Bahrain Islamic Freedom Movement [Said SHIHABI]
Haqq Movement [Hasan MUSHAYMA]
Islamic Amal [Muhammad Ali AL-MAHFUDH]
Khalas [Abd al-Rauf AL-SHAYIB]
Wafa Islamic Society [Abd al-Wahab HUSAYN]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Shaikh ABDULLA Mohamed Rashed Al Khalifa (since 26 November 2013)
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 Thomas C. KRAJESKI (since 26 October 2011)
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] 1727-0547

Flag description

red, the traditional color for flags of Persian Gulf states, with a white serrated band (five white points) on the hoist side; the five points represent the five pillars of Islam
note: until 2002 the flag had eight white points, but this was reduced to five to avoid confusion with the Qatari flag

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


Economy - overview

Bahrain has made great efforts to diversify its economy; its highly developed communication and transport facilities make Bahrain home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. 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. Bahrain's economy, however, continues to depend heavily on oil. In 2012, petroleum production and refining accounted for 77% of Bahrain's export receipts, 87% of government revenues, and 19% of GDP. Other major economic activities are production of aluminum - Bahrain's second biggest export after oil - finance, and construction. Bahrain competes with Malaysia as a worldwide center for Islamic banking and continues to seek new natural gas supplies as feedstock to support its expanding petrochemical and aluminum industries. In 2011 Bahrain experienced economic setbacks as a result of domestic unrest, however, the economy recovered in 2012-13, partly as a result of improved tourism. Some economic policies aimed at restoring confidence in Bahrain's economy, such as the suspension of an expatriate labor tax and frequent bailouts of Gulf Air, will make Bahrain's long-term economic challenges - youth unemployment and the growth of government debt - more difficult to address.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$34.96 billion (2013 est.)
$33.48 billion (2012 est.)
$31.95 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$28.36 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

4.4% (2013 est.)
4.8% (2012 est.)
2.1% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$29,800 (2013 est.)
$29,100 (2012 est.)
$28,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 0.3%
industry: 46.7%
services: 53% (2013 est.)

Labor force

note: 44% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 1%
industry: 79%
services: 20% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)

15% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line (%)


Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $8.143 billion
expenditures: $9.232 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

28.7% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

-3.8% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

61.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
54.2% of GDP (2012 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

3.1% (2013 est.)
2.8% (2012 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

6.8% (31 December 2013 est.)
6.05% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$7.431 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$6.944 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$23.93 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$22.51 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$25.96 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$22.19 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$16.06 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$17.15 billion (31 December 2011)
$20.43 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Agriculture - products

fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp, fish


petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pelletization, fertilizers, Islamic and offshore banking, insurance, ship repairing, tourism

Industrial production growth rate (%)

4.7% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

$1.907 billion (2013 est.)
$2.221 billion (2012 est.)


$20.69 billion (2013 est.)
$20.39 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles

Exports - partners (%)

Saudi Arabia 3.3%, India 2.2%, UAE 2.2%, South Korea 2% (2012)


$14.41 billion (2013 est.)
$13.24 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

crude oil, machinery, chemicals

Imports - partners (%)

Saudi Arabia 27.4%, US 9.6%, China 9.5%, Japan 6.4%, India 4.9%, France 4.7% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$5.933 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$5.211 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$28.82 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$27.54 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$17.81 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$16.83 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$10.86 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$9.699 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Bahraini dinars (BHD) per US dollar -
0.376 (2013 est.)
0.376 (2012 est.)
0.376 (2010 est.)
0.376 (2009)
0.376 (2008)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

13.16 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

12.97 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

214 million kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

3.169 million kW (2010 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

100% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

49,160 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

152,600 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

256,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

124.6 million bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

270,800 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

51,450 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

226,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

12.62 billion cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

12.77 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

92.03 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

29.7 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

290,000 (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

2.125 million (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: modern system
domestic: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile-cellular telephones
international: country code - 973; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and US; tropospheric scatter to Qatar and UAE; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth station - 1 (2007)

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 (2007)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

47,727 (2012)

Internet users

419,500 (2009)



4 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 4
over 3,047 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)


1 (2013)

Pipelines (km)

gas 20 km; oil 54 km (2013)

Roadways (km)

total: 4,122 km
paved: 3,392 km
unpaved: 730 km (2010)

Merchant marine

total: 8
by type: bulk carrier 2, container 4, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 5 (Kuwait 5)
registered in other countries: 5 (Honduras 5) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Mina' Salman, Sitrah


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 (years of age)

18 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2012)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 508,863
females age 16-49: 290,801 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 423,757
females age 16-49: 245,302 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 8,988
female: 8,117 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures (% of GDP)

3.14% of GDP (2012)
3.02% of GDP (2011)
3.14% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international


Trafficking in persons

current situation: Bahrain is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; unskilled and domestic workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Eritrea migrate willingly to Bahrain, but some face conditions of forced labor through the withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, nonpayment, threats, and abuse; many Bahraini labor recruitment agencies and some employers charge foreign workers exorbitant fees that make them vulnerable to forced labor and debt bondage; domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to forced labor and sexual exploitation because they are not protected under labor laws; women from Thailand, the Philippines, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, China, Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern European countries are forced into prostitution in Bahrain
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Bahrain does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has made few discernible efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenses; cases of unpaid or withheld wages, passport retention, and other abuses - common indicators of trafficking - are treated as labor disputes and taken to civil court rather than criminal court; the government has made no indication of taking steps to institute a formal trafficking victim identification procedure and referral mechanism, resulting in the majority of victims seeking shelter at their embassies or the NGO-operated trafficking shelter; most victims have not filed lawsuits against employers because of a distrust of the legal system or a fear of reprisals (2013)

Largest cities of Bahrain

These are the 50 largest cities of Bahrain ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Manama 147,097
2 Sitrah 37,690