Bermuda in

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Bermudaself-governing British overseas territory in the western North Atlantic Ocean. It is an archipelago of 7 main islands and about additional named islets and rocks, situated about miles 1, km east of Cape Hatteras North Carolina, U. Bermuda is neither geologically nor spatially associated with the West Indieswhich lie more than miles 1, km to the south and southwest.

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The archipelago is about 24 miles 40 km long and averages less than 1 mile 1. The main islands are clustered together in the shape of a fishhook and are connected by bridges. The largest island is Main Island, 14 miles The Peak, at feet 79 metres on Main Island, is the highest point. The capital is Hamilton. The coral islands of Bermuda are composed of a layer feet 60 metres thick of marine limestone that caps an extinct and submerged volcanic mountain range rising more than Bermuda in, feet 4, metres above the ocean floor.

The limestone surface is overlain by a shallow layer of fertile soil. The islands are fringed by coral reefs and have no lakes or rivers, but the soil is highly porous, and standing water is not a problem. The climate is mild, humid, and equable. Mean annual precipitation is about 57 inches 1, mm. Occasional dry spells can be critical, as the supply of drinking water depends almost entirely on rainfall.

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There also are a of wells and seawater distillation plants. The vegetation is subtropical and includes flowering shrubs such as bougainvilleaEaster lilies, oleanderhibiscusand poinsettia. Palm, Bermuda in, casuarina, and mangrove trees are found on most of the islands. A of migratory birds visit the islands annually; other wildlife is limited to lizards and frogs. About three-fifths of the population is of full or mixed African ancestry, including immigrants from the West Indies or their descendants, Cape Verdeansand descendants of slaves brought from other parts of the New World or Africa before Britain outlawed the slave trade in Whites people of European ancestry constitute another one-third of the population and include those of British and American descent as well as descendants of Portuguese labourers from Madeira and the Azores who have immigrated to Bermuda since the midth century.

English is the official language, but some Portuguese is also spoken. Christianity predominates, and about one-sixth of the population is Anglican. Less than one-fifth of the population is younger than 15 years. Bermuda has a predominantly market economy based on tourism and international finance. The gross national Bermuda in GNP is growing more rapidly than the population, and the GNP per capita is one of the highest in the world.

Agriculture is of negligible importance in the overall economy, and most food must be imported. Fresh vegetables, bananas, citrus fruits, milk, eggs, and honey are produced locally. There is a small fishing industry. Mineral industries are limited to the production of sand and limestone for local construction. There are a few light manufacturing industries that produce paint, pharmaceuticals, electronic wares, and printed material.

Tourism and international financial services for the major share of the GNP and employ virtually all the workforce directly or indirectly. Some half million tourists visit Bermuda each year; most come from the United States. Another attraction for tourists is the historic town of St. Airlines typically for most arrivals, but there are also dozens of calls by cruise ships each year.

Bermuda has low income taxes; the government derives most of its revenues from tariffs and various taxes on real estate and tourism. As a result, the territory has become an important offshore financial centre, and many insurance and investment companies have established offices there. Bermuda is an internally self-governing British overseas territory with a parliamentary government.

Under its constitution, the Bermuda in monarch, represented by the governor, is the head of state.

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The governor maintains control over external affairs, defense, internal security, and the police but acts on the advice of the cabinet, led by the premier, who is head of government and of the majority party in the legislature. The Supreme Court he the judicial system. The system of local government comprises nine parishes: St. Bermuda enjoys a high standard of health, as reflected in the average life expectancy Bermuda in about 73 years for men and 79 years for women and in the relatively low infant-mortality rate.

Social security provisions, first enacted ininclude old-age, disability, and survivor pensions and compulsory hospitalization insurance for all citizens.

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Nearly the entire population is literate. Education is compulsory and free between the ages of 5 and There is one junior collegeand government scholarships are available for overseas study. Additional Info. Print print Print. Table Of Contents.

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External Websites. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. George J. Rushe See All Contributors Journalist and writer. Author of Bermuda: As a Matter of Fact! See Article History. Britannica Quiz. Islands and Archipelagos. What are the islands of the Maldives made of? Sort out Bermuda in facts about islands across the globe. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Load Next .

Bermuda in

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Applying for a Bermuda Travel Authorisation