|Belize is the most sparsely populated nation in Central America; it is larger than El Salvador and compares in size to the state of Massachusetts. Slightly more than half of the people live in rural areas. About one-fourth live in Belize City, the principal port, commercial center, and former capital. Most Belizeans are of multiracial descent. About 44.1% of the population is of mixed Mayan and European descent (mestizo); 31% are of African and Afro-European (Creole) ancestry; about 9.2% are Mayan; and about 6.2% are Afro-Amerindian (Garifuna). The remainder, about 9.2%, includes European, East Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and North American groups.
English, the official language, is spoken by virtually all except the most recently arrived refugees.