Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America. It has a territory of 22,966 km2 and borders Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea. An estimated 31% of the population lives along the coast, with the remainder scattered widely throughout the country’s interior. Some 45% of the population is urban.

In 2000, the total population of Belize was 240 406 inhabitants; by 2021 this figure had risen to 400 031 representing a 66.4% increase. Life expectancy at birth was 74.9 years in 2021-lower than the average for the Region of the Americas and 8.9 years higher than in 2000. Belize has a relatively young population, but is aging and the pace of this aging is predicted to increase. In 1980, the proportion of Belize's population aged 65 and older was 4.5%. This proportion remained static in the intervening 40 years, nudging up to an estimated 5.0% by 2020, but is predicted to rise dramatically to 16.8% by 2060. This demographic transition is in part due to Belize's important progress in reducing the burden of infectious diseases.

In 2019, public expenditure on health accounted for 4.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 12.2% of total public expenditure, while out-of-pocket spending on health accounted for 21.8% of total health expenditure.

(Read More: Health in the Americas+)

PAHO's Work in Belize