Background: The small size and geographical position (the center of the Persian Gulf region) force Bahrain to balance in its foreign policy between larger neighbors. Bahrain’s oil reserves are small, so the country specializes in oil refining, in addition, Bahrain has become an international banking center. The new emir accelerated economic and political reforms and improved relations with the Shia community. In 2001, the International Court of Justice ruled that Bahrain owns the Hawar Islands, which were disputed by Qatar. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Bahrain History.
Location: Middle East, an archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia.
Geographic coordinates: 26° 00′ N. 50° 33′ E
Reference map: Middle East.
Area: total: 620 sq. km.; land surface area: 620 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 161 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; continental shelf: boundaries not yet defined; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: arid; winter is mild, pleasant; summer is very hot and humid.
Relief: mostly flat desert plain rising slightly in the region of the central plateau.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m; highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan Hill 122 m.
Natural resources: oil, associated gas, natural gas, fish.
Land use: arable land: 1%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 6%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 92% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 10 sq. km. (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: periodic droughts; dust storms.
Current environmental issues: desertification resulting from the degradation of an already limited amount of arable land, periodic droughts and dust storms; coastal degradation (damage to the coast, coral reefs and marine vegetation) due to oil spills and other releases from large tankers, refineries and distribution stations; lack of natural fresh water reserves, thus, groundwater and sea water are sources of water for all needs.
International environmental agreements: member: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Hazardous wastes, Law of the sea, Ozone layer protection, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”: Bahrain is located close to the main sources of Middle Eastern oil; strategic location in the Persian Gulf, through which most of the oil for Western countries is transported.
Population: 645,361; note: including 228,424 foreign nationals (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 29.6% (male 96,697; female 94,330); 15 to 64 years: 67.43% (men 257,360; women 177,839); over 65: 2.97% (male 9,721; female 9,414) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.73% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 20.07 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 3.92 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 1.1 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.45 male/female; over 65: 1.03 male/female; for the general population: 1.29 male/female (2001 est.).
Child mortality: 19.77 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 73.2 years; men: 70.81 years; women: 75.67 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 2.79 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.15% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Bahraini; adjective: Bahraini.
Ethnic groups: Bahrainis 63%, Asians 19%, immigrants from other Arab states 10%, Iranians 8%.
Believers: Shiites 70%, Sunnis 30%.
Language(s): Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 85.2%; men: 89.1%; women: 79.4% (1995 est.). State Name:
conventional long form: State of Bahrain;
conventional short form: Bahrain; local long form: Dawlat al Bahrayn; local short form: Al Bahrayn.
State structure: constitutional monarchy.
Administrative division: 12 autonomous regions (mintaqah): Al-Manama, Al-Mintaqa al-Wusta, Al-Mintaqa al-Gharbiya, Al-Mintaqa ash-Shamaliya, Al-Hadd, Ar-Rifa wa al-Min-taqa al- Janubia, Jidd Hafs, Juzur Khawar, Isa, Muharraq, Sitra, Hamad; note: all autonomous regions are administered from Manama.
Independence: since August 15, 1971; note – on August 15, 1971, independence from Great Britain was proclaimed; on December 16, 1971, the end of the British protectorate was proclaimed.
National holiday: National Day, 16 December (1971).
Constitution: adopted at the end of December 2000 (new constitution provides for a partial election of the legislature, a constitutional monarchy and an independent judiciary).
Legal system: based on Islamic law and English customary law.
Chief of State: Emir HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa (since 6 March 1999) heir to the throne Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad (son of the monarch, born 21 October 1969);
head of government: Prime Minister KHALIFA bin Salman Al Khalifa (since 1971);
Government: the cabinet is formed by the monarch; elections: not held; hereditary monarchy; the prime minister is appointed by the monarch.
Legislative branch: The unicameral National Assembly was dissolved on 26 August 1975 and legislative powers were transferred to the cabinet; there is an Advisory Council established on December 16, 1992;1 The National Action Charter of December 23] 2000 provides for the creation of a bicameral legislature; approved by referendum on February 14, 2001.
Judicial branch: High Court of Appeal for Civil Cases.
Political parties and leaders: political parties are prohibited.
Political influence groups and their leaders: Shia activists in 1994-97. periodically staged riots and put forward demands for the resumption of the activities of the elected National Assembly and the elimination of unemployment; there are also a few underground leftist and Islamic fundamentalist groups operating.
Participation in international organizations: ] ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC,j OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, j WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: ambassador – the position is vacant; stationery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washing-1 ton, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 342-0741; fax: [C (202) 362-2192; consulates general: New York.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Johnny YOUNG; embassy: Building Number 979, Road 3119 (adjacent to Al-Ahli Sports Club), Block 311, Zinj District, | Manama; mailing address: American Embassy Manama, PSC I 451, FPO AE 09834-5100; International Mail: Ameri-1 can Embassy, Box 26431, Manama; phone:  273-300; fax:  272-594.
Description of the flag: red, with a white serrated I stripe (eight white serrations) on the side adjacent to the pole.