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punishmentThe Statistical Institute of Belize, in collaboration with the Government of Belize and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), today presented the Key Findings coming out of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 5 (MICS5). The survey which was carried out in late 2015 is part of UNICEF’s global MICS program, designed to collect valuable and internationally comparable data on the situation of women and children by means of large scale household surveys.

During the study more than five thousand two hundred households across the country of Belize were sampled and for the first time, data was collected not only on women and children but also on men. The survey revealed that of the households surveyed, almost 92 percent have access to electricity, while 96 percent reported using improved sources of drinking water. About 87 percent of households had improved sanitation facilities, or facilities that adequately separate human waste from human contact.

The average household size was averaged at 3.8 persons, and the number of persons per each room used for sleeping was just under two. Of all children under five years old, 4.6 percent were found to be underweight, while 15 percent were considered to be stunted, or below the normal height for their age as per World Health Organization standards. Some 12 percent of infants were of low birth weight, weighing less than five and a half pounds at birth. The study also showed that more than nine out of every ten children born in the last two years were breastfed, with one third of infants younger than six months old being exclusively breastfed and about three out of every four children were fully vaccinated by the age of two.

When it comes to disciplinary action in Belize the study showed that among children aged one to 14, two thirds had been subjected to violent discipline, either physical punishment or psychological aggression. Of these, six percent reported receiving severe physical punishment within the previous month of the survey. The average number of children born to women aged 15 to 49 was 2.6, with close to one in every six women having had at least one child before the age of 18.


Although just over a half of women reported using contraception, over one fifth of women reported an unmet need for contraception. Of all women who had given birth within the past two years, well over 90 percent received antenatal care by skilled health personnel and 96 percent gave birth inside a health facility.

Of all the men and women interviewed most reported a high level of life satisfaction with upwards of 95 percent indicating that, overall, they were either very or somewhat satisfied with their lives with close to three out of every four persons between the ages of 15 and 24 indicating that their lives had improved over the past year.

A full report on the survey collected for the MICS5 will be released later this year.

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