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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.
65 years and over: 15.1% (male 4,304/female 6,040) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: Bermuda
former: Somers Islands
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2012)
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.
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