Bermuda

Bermuda (/bərˈmjdə/; historically known as the Bermudas or Somers Isles) is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. The closest land outside the territory is in the American state of North Carolina, approximately 1,035 km (643 mi) to the west-northwest.

Bermuda
Motto: 
"Quo Fata Ferunt" (Latin)
(English: "Whither the Fates carry (us)")[1]
Anthem: "God Save the Queen"
Sovereign state United Kingdom
English settlement1609 (becoming officially part of the Colony of Virginia in 1612)
Capital
and largest city
Hamilton
32°18′N 64°47′W
Official languagesEnglish
Ethnic groups
(2016[2])
Demonym(s)Bermudian
GovernmentParliamentary dependency under a constitutional monarchy
 Monarch
Elizabeth II
 Governor
Rena Lalgie
 Premier
Edward David Burt
LegislatureParliament
Senate
House of Assembly
Area
 Total
53.2 km2 (20.5 sq mi)
 Water (%)
27
Highest elevation
79 m (259 ft)
Population
 2019 estimate
63,913[3] (205th)
 2016 census
63,779
 Density
1,338/km2 (3,465.4/sq mi) (9th)
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
 Total
US$7.484 billion[3] (161st)
 Per capita
US$117,097 (4th)
CurrencyBermudian dollar (BMD)
Time zoneUTC−04:00 (AST[4])
  Summer (DST)
UTC−03:00 (ADT)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideleft
Calling code+1-441
ISO 3166 codeBM
Internet TLD.bm

Bermuda is an archipelago consisting of 181 islands, although the most significant islands are connected by bridges and appear to form one landmass. It has a land area of 54 square kilometres (21 sq mi). Bermuda has a sub-tropical climate, with mild winters and warm summers. Its climate also exhibits oceanic features similar to other coastal areas in the Northern Hemisphere, with warm, moist air from the ocean ensuring relatively high humidity and stabilising temperature.

Bermuda lies in Hurricane Alley and thus is prone to severe weather; however, it receives some protection from a coral reef and its position at the north of the belt, which limits the direction and severity of approaching storms.[5]

Bermuda is named after Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez, who discovered the archipelago in 1505. The islands have been permanently inhabited since 1612 when an English settlement was established at St. George's. Forming part of British America, Bermuda was governed under royal charter by the Somers Isles Company until 1684, when it became a crown colony. The first African slaves were taken to Bermuda in 1616, but a full plantation economy did not develop, and the slave trade largely ceased by the end of the 17th century. The economy instead became maritime-focused, with the colony serving as a base for merchants, privateers, and the Royal Navy, and giving its name to the Bermuda rig and Bermuda sloop. It became an imperial fortress, the most important British naval and military base in the western hemisphere, with vast funds lavished on its Royal Naval Dockyard and military defences. Tourism has been a significant contributor to Bermuda's economy since the 19th century, and after World War II the territory became a prominent offshore financial centre and tax haven.

Divided into nine parishes, Bermuda is a self-governing parliamentary democracy with a bicameral parliament located in the capital Hamilton. The House of Assembly dates from 1620, making it one of the world's oldest legislatures. The premier is the head of government and is formally appointed by the governor, who is nominated by the British government as the representative of the Queen. The United Kingdom is responsible for foreign affairs and defence. An independence referendum was held in 1995, with a large majority voting against independence.

As of July 2018, Bermuda had a population of around 70,000 people, making it the most populous of the British overseas territories.[1] Black Bermudians, primarily descended from African slaves, make up around 50% of the population, while White Bermudians, primarily of British, Irish and Portuguese descent, make up 30% of the population. There are smaller groups from other races or identifying as mixed race, and around 30% of the population is not Bermudian by birth. Bermuda has a distinct dialect of English and has historically had strong ties with other English-speaking countries in the Americas, including the United States, Canada, and the Commonwealth Caribbean. It is an associate member of the Caribbean Community.


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