is a country located on the northeastern coast of
With 22,800 square kilometres (8,800 sq mi) of land and a population of only 334,297 (2013 est.), Belize has the lowest population density in Central America. The country's population growth rate of 1.97% per year (2013) is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the western hemisphere. Belize's abundance of terrestrial and marine species and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
Belize has a diverse society, with many cultures and languages. It is the only nation in the region with a British colonial history, and as a part of the Western Caribbean Zone, it shares a common colonial history with Anglophone Caribbean countries, sharing Queen Elizabeth II as monarch of other Commonwealth realms in the Caribbean. From 1862 to 1973, its name was British Honduras. In general, Belize is considered to be a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to the entire Latin American and Caribbean region. Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organizations.
Belize is known for its September Celebrations, and is the birthplace of chewing gum and Punta music.