Bermuda: Background & Geography

Introduction Bermuda
Background:
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 center. A referendum on independence was soundly defeated in 1995.
Geography Bermuda
Location:
North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of South Carolina (US)
Geographic coordinates:
32 20 N, 64 45 W
Map references:
North America
Area:
total: 53.3 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 53.3 sq km
Area - comparative:
about one-third the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
103 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
Climate:
subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter
Terrain:
low hills separated by fertile depressions
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Town Hill 76 m
Natural resources:
limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism
Land use:
arable land: 6%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 94% (55% developed, 45% rural/open space) (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
hurricanes (June to November)
Environment - current issues:
asbestos disposal; water pollution; preservation of open space; sustainable development
Geography - note:
consists of about 138 coral islands and islets with ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes; some land was leased by US Government from 1941 to 1995

See Also: