Flag of Bermuda




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Map of BermudaBermuda is one of the most isolated places in the world, and yet one of the most popular as a tourist resort, is the group of British islands known as Bermuda, the Bermudas, or Bermuda Islands. On a map Bermuda looks somewhat like a fishhook, with the curve at the southwest and the shaft extending northeast (see West Indies). There are some 200 islands in Bermuda but a total area of only about 21 square miles (54 square kilometers). Great Bermuda, called the Main Island, is larger than all the rest combined. The nearest land is Cape Hatteras, N.C., about 570 miles (900 kilometers) to the west. The islands' delightful climate and their beauty attract thousands of visitors each year.

Only about 20 of the islands are inhabited. The population, excluding tourists and British and American defense forces, is about 59,800 (1991 estimate). About 60 percent of the population is black. There is also a large Portuguese population. The official language is English, but some Portuguese is also spoken. Despite both a cost of living and a population density that are among the world's highest, Bermuda has almost no poverty or unemployment. No income tax is levied, nor does the government receive any foreign aid. More than 95 percent of the population is literate, and education is free and compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16. There is one college.

The capital and chief port is Hamilton, on Great Bermuda. Hamilton is one of the world's smallest cities, with an area of about 180 acres (70 hectares). On St. George's Island, at the east end of the group, is the picturesque old port of St. George. Nearby is the United States naval air station.

The average temperature is about 70°F (21°C). In winter it is seldom cooler than 55  F (13  C); in summer, rarely hotter than 87°F (31°C). The heavy rainfall of nearly 60 inches (152 centimeters) a year and brilliant sunshine encourage vegetation.

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