Dialing code +973
ISO 2 code BH
ISO 3 code BHR
Capital Manama
Main Language Arabic
Currency Dinar (BHD)
GDP $26.7 billion 108th
Population 738,004 165th


Continent Asia
Location Middle East archipelago in the Persian Gulf east of Saudi Arabia
Land 665 km2 193rd
Terrain Mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment
Climate Arid; mild pleasant winters; very hot humid summers
Natural Hazards Mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment
Note: Close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic location in Persian Gulf through which much of the Western world's petroleum must transit to reach open ocean

Neighbouring Countries


In 1783 the al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Facing declining oil reserves Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. King HAMAD bin Isa al-Khalifa after coming to power in 1999 pushed economic and political reforms to improve relations with the Shia community. Shia political societies participated in 2006 parliamentary and municipal elections. Al Wifaq the largest Shia political society won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the legislature. However Shia discontent has resurfaced in recent years with street demonstrations and occasional low-level violence.
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Life Expectancy 75.16 years 74th
Median Age 30.1 years 78th
Birth Rate 17.02 births/1,000 population 114th
Death Rate 4.37 births/1,000 population 189th
Sex Ratio 1.02 male(s)/female 10th
Literacy 86.5% 130th



Roadways 3498 km 159th
Railways None km
Airports 3 179th
Waterways None km
Heliports 1 87th
Airports paved 1 163rd


Currency Dinar (BHD)
GDP $26.7 billion 108th
GDP per capita (PPP) $37200 28th