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 developed into a highly successful offshore financial centre. Although a referendum on independence from the UK was soundly defeated in 1995, the present government has reopened debate on the issue.


Location: North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of South Carolina (US)
Geographic coordinates: 32 20 N, 64 45 W
Population: 69,080 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18% (male 6,212/female 6,129) 15-64 years:  67% (male 22,701/female 23,293)

65 years and over: 15.1% (male 4,304/female 6,040) (2011 est.)

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
Telephones – main lines in use: 57,800 (2010)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 88,200 (2010)
Airports: 1 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2012)

Military branches: Bermuda Regiment (2009)
Military service age and obligation: 18-23 years of age; eligible men required to register for conscription as needed into the Bermuda Regiment, which is largely voluntary; term of service 39 months (2009)


Bermuda enjoys the third highest per capita income in the world, more than 50% higher than that of the US. Its economy is primarily based on providing financial services for international business and luxury facilities for tourists. A number of reinsurance companies relocated to the island following the 11 September 2001 attacks and again after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, contributing to the expansion of an already robust international business sector. Bermuda’s tourism industry – which derives over 80% of its visitors from the US – continues to struggle but remains the island’s number two industry. Most capital equipment and food must be imported.