Bahrain is an archipelago located in the Persian Gulf in the Middle East, occupying 760 sq. kilometers (about 3.5 times the size of Washington, D.C.) It has a total population of 1.28 million, growing at a rate of 2.57%. Its capital city is Manama, with a population of 163,000. The people are governed by a constitutional monarchy, and the population is predominantly Muslim (81%). The official language of Bahrain is Arabic, and the currency used is the Bahraini dinar.
Bahrain’s economy is one of the most diversified economies in the region. Although it relies heavily on its oil resources and petroleum refinement, which account for over 60% of Bahrain’s export receipts, it continues to expand other areas of its economy through the export of aluminum and the development of a natural gas industry to support both petroleum and aluminum production. Its primary trade partners are Saudi Arabia, France, and the United States. Bahrain is a center for Islamic banking, and is a host to many multinational firms and regional companies because of its developed transportation and communication infrastructure. Bahrain’s GDP is $33.63 billion, with a growth fate of 3.9%, and its per capita GDP is $29,200. In 2006, Bahrain and the United States signed a Free Trade Agreement, making Bahrain the first Gulf state to do so. Unemployment, especially among younger citizens, continues to be an economic challenge for Bahrain, as is the growth of government debt stemming from large government projects, subsidies, and debt restructuring.
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* CPI Score is published by Transparency International and relates to the perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).
**Ease of Doing Business Ranking is determined by the World Bank Group and is ranked out of a possible 185 countries. www.doingbusiness.org
Most recent statistics have been taken from the CIA World Factbook unless noted otherwise.