Rural Settlement Change in Belize, 1970-1980: The Effects of Roads

Rural Settlement Change in Belize, 1970-1980: The Effects of Roads

  • Rural Settlement Change in Belize, 1970-1980: The Effects of Roads

by Richard R. Wilk 



During research on agricultural change and development in Belize, I found it necessary to profile the rural agricultural population of the country, and get some idea of how it is growing and changing. I was particularly interested in the way rural settlements have grown, and the effects which road construction has had on the countryside. This topic has direct relevance to government policy towards rural settlement, especially on the question of how settled farming can be encouraged and milpa farming can be discouraged. Unfortunately, the government has not yet released the 1980 census results in tabulated formats which make this kind of analysis easy.


The 1980 census of Belize, even incompletely published, provides an invaluable source of information on current trends in Belizean population movement and growth. In the 1983 Belize Abstract of Statistics, published by the Government Printery, and in several drafts of preliminary census data released so far, the 1980 figures are presented alongside the 1970 results, providing an opportunity for comparison. It is a fairly simple step to take these raw counts and put together new tables which show some very interesting trends in rural population over the last decade.  I present such tables here, with a few basic interpretations.



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How to Cite:


Wilk, R. R. (1984). Rural settlement change in Belize, 1970-1980: the effects of roads. Belizean Studies, 12(4). Retrieved from:



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