Countries Starting with B

How many countries starting with letter B? There are 16 countries in the world whose names start with the letter “B.” Here’s a comprehensive look at each:

1. Bahrain

Bahrain is a small island country located in the Persian Gulf and is known for its rich history dating back to ancient Dilmun civilization. It has been one of the Gulf’s central commercial crossroads for over 4,000 years. The country became independent from British rule in 1971 and rapidly developed its oil and gas resources, which transformed it into a high-income economy. More recently, Bahrain has invested in the banking and tourism sectors, enhancing its economic profile beyond oil and gas. The capital, Manama, is a well-known financial hub in the Middle East. Bahrain’s society is modern, with a strong emphasis on education and healthcare, though it has experienced some political tensions stemming from sectarian and demographic issues.

  • Continent: Asia
  • Capital: Manama
  • Largest City: Manama
  • Population: Approximately 1.7 million
  • Area: 780 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Arabic
  • Currency: Bahraini dinar (BHD)
  • Political System: Constitutional monarchy

2. Bangladesh

Bangladesh, situated on the fertile Bengal delta, is known for its lush greenery and many waterways. Its history is marked by long periods of Hindu and Buddhist rule followed by Muslim conquest in the 13th century and eventual control under British rule in the 19th century. After a painful liberation war, Bangladesh emerged as an independent country in 1971 from Pakistan. Despite its small geographical area, Bangladesh boasts a large population, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The economy relies heavily on agriculture, textiles, and garments, which are among the world’s leading textile products. Challenges include political instability, corruption, and vulnerability to climate change.

  • Continent: Asia
  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Largest City: Dhaka
  • Population: Approximately 166 million
  • Area: 147,570 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Bengali
  • Currency: Bangladeshi taka (BDT)
  • Political System: Parliamentary republic

3. Barbados

Barbados, located in the eastern Caribbean, is an island country known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture, heavily influenced by its British colonial past. Independent since 1966, Barbados has developed a robust economy based on tourism and finance. The island’s political stability and high standards of living make it a popular destination for visitors from around the world. Its culture, marked by calypso music and the crop over festival, celebrates the end of the sugar cane harvest. Barbados has recently declared itself a republic, removing the British monarch as its head of state, signaling a new era of full sovereignty.

  • Continent: North America
  • Capital: Bridgetown
  • Largest City: Bridgetown
  • Population: Approximately 287,000
  • Area: 430 square kilometers
  • Official Language: English
  • Currency: Barbadian dollar (BBD)
  • Political System: Parliamentary republic

4. Belarus

Belarus, located in Eastern Europe, is known for its Soviet-era architecture, vast fortresses, and primeval forests. Historically a part of various Slavic states, Belarus was particularly devastated during World War II and later emerged as a member of the Soviet Union. It gained independence in 1991, though political and economic life has remained closely aligned with Russia. The country is ruled by a president who has maintained power through centralized control, suppressed opposition, and media censorship. Despite its political issues, Belarus has a well-developed industrial sector alongside significant agricultural output.

  • Continent: Europe
  • Capital: Minsk
  • Largest City: Minsk
  • Population: Approximately 9.5 million
  • Area: 207,600 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Belarusian, Russian
  • Currency: Belarusian ruble (BYN)
  • Political System: Presidential republic

5. Belgium

Belgium, located in Western Europe, is known for its medieval towns, Renaissance architecture, and as headquarters of the European Union and NATO. The country has a complex government system to accommodate its diverse linguistic and cultural communities, primarily Flemish, French, and German-speaking, which have substantial autonomy. Belgium’s history of trade and industrialization made it one of the first modern industrialized nations. Today, its economy is heavily service-oriented, but it maintains a robust industrial sector, including steel, textiles, refining, chemicals, and food processing. Belgium is famous for its chocolates, beer, and waffles, contributing to its reputation as a rich cultural hub.

  • Continent: Europe
  • Capital: Brussels
  • Largest City: Brussels
  • Population: Approximately 11.5 million
  • Area: 30,528 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Dutch, French, German
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Political System: Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy

6. Belize

Belize, located on the northeastern coast of Central America, is bordered by Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea. Known for its September Celebrations and as the heart of the ancient Maya civilization, Belize is rich in history and culture. It features a diverse society composed of many cultures and languages including Kriol, Spanish, and Garifuna, reflecting its colonial history under the British Empire, and earlier its indigenous Mayan heritage. Belize’s barrier reef is the second-largest in the world, attracting divers and ecotourists. Since independence from Britain in 1981, it has maintained a stable and democratic political system.

  • Continent: North America
  • Capital: Belmopan
  • Largest City: Belize City
  • Population: Approximately 419,000
  • Area: 22,966 square kilometers
  • Official Language: English
  • Currency: Belize dollar (BZD)
  • Political System: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy

7. Benin

Benin, a small country in West Africa, is known for its vibrant cultures and historical significance as the birthplace of the voodoo religion and as a hub during the transatlantic slave trade. It gained independence from France in 1960 and has since been developing its democratic governance. Benin’s economy is largely based on agricultural production, including cotton, which is a major export, along with its growing service sector. Despite economic improvements, Benin still faces challenges such as high poverty rates and political corruption. Its rich history and cultural diversity remain central to its national identity.

  • Continent: Africa
  • Capital: Porto-Novo
  • Largest City: Cotonou
  • Population: Approximately 12 million
  • Area: 114,763 square kilometers
  • Official Language: French
  • Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF)
  • Political System: Presidential republic

8. Bhutan

Bhutan, a small country in the Himalayas between India and China, is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs), and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. Bhutan has maintained its independence throughout its history and only began to open up to the outside world in the 1970s. It is famous for its philosophy of “Gross National Happiness,” where the well-being of its citizens is prioritized over economic growth. This philosophy guides the government’s decisions, which focus on conservation of the environment, preservation of culture, and sustainable development. Bhutan’s approach to tourism is also unique, emphasizing sustainability over mass tourism.

  • Continent: Asia
  • Capital: Thimphu
  • Largest City: Thimphu
  • Population: Approximately 771,000
  • Area: 38,394 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Dzongkha
  • Currency: Bhutanese ngultrum (BTN), Indian rupee (INR) also accepted
  • Political System: Constitutional monarchy

9. Bolivia

Bolivia is located in central South America, with a varied terrain spanning Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert, and the Amazon Basin rainforest. After gaining independence from Spanish rule in 1825, Bolivia has experienced periods of political instability, economic woes, and social upheaval. Its population is a rich mosaic of indigenous and mestizo cultures, which is reflected in its languages, traditions, and arts. Bolivia’s economy centers on agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining. Bolivia is particularly known for its significant reserves of lithium. Politically, it has moved towards a plurinational state framework, which recognizes the autonomy of its indigenous nations.

  • Continent: South America
  • Capital: Sucre (constitutional), La Paz (administrative)
  • Largest City: Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • Population: Approximately 11.5 million
  • Area: 1,098,581 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, and 34 other indigenous languages
  • Currency: Boliviano (BOB)
  • Political System: Presidential republic

10. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina, often informally known as Bosnia, is located in Southeastern Europe on the Balkan Peninsula. Known for its religious diversity and historical blend of Eastern and Western influences, the country is dotted with medieval villages, rivers, lakes, and mountains. Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina endured a devastating war from 1992 to 1995, which had a lasting impact on the country’s demographic and political landscape. Today, it is composed of two autonomous entities — the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska — and a third region, the Brčko District. This complex political structure has posed challenges for economic and political stability.

  • Continent: Europe
  • Capital: Sarajevo
  • Largest City: Sarajevo
  • Population: Approximately 3.3 million
  • Area: 51,197 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
  • Currency: Convertible mark (BAM)
  • Political System: Federal parliamentary constitutional republic

11. Botswana

Botswana, located in Southern Africa, is known for its stable political environment and relatively high standards of economic stability. It has maintained one of the world’s highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966 from British rule. Botswana’s political system is hailed as one of the most stable in Africa, which has allowed it to invest in infrastructure and services. The economy is dominated by mining, cattle, and tourism. Botswana is home to the world-renowned Okavango Delta, one of the most sought-after wilderness destinations in the world. It has implemented progressive environmental management and conservation strategies to safeguard its natural heritage.

  • Continent: Africa
  • Capital: Gaborone
  • Largest City: Gaborone
  • Population: Approximately 2.3 million
  • Area: 581,730 square kilometers
  • Official Language: English (official), Setswana
  • Currency: Botswana pula (BWP)
  • Political System: Parliamentary republic

12. Brazil

Brazil, the largest country in both South America and Latin America, is known for its Amazon rainforest, vast coffee plantations, and iconic cities like Rio de Janeiro with its 38-meter Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado. Brazil’s rich cultural heritage includes samba and bossa nova music genres, vibrant carnival celebrations, and diverse cuisine. Since achieving independence from Portugal in 1822, Brazil has seen varied economic fortunes, currently standing as one of the world’s major economies. Despite its economic significance, Brazil faces challenges such as political instability, environmental degradation, and significant social inequalities.

  • Continent: South America
  • Capital: Brasília
  • Largest City: São Paulo
  • Population: Approximately 211 million
  • Area: 8,515,767 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Portuguese
  • Currency: Brazilian real (BRL)
  • Political System: Federal presidential constitutional republic

13. Brunei

Brunei, a small country on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, is surrounded by Malaysia and the South China Sea. Known for its affluent economy based on oil and natural gas production, Brunei boasts a high standard of living. Its society remains deeply rooted in Malay culture and Islamic traditions, under the absolute monarchy of the Sultan of Brunei, who is one of the world’s longest-reigning and wealthiest individuals. Brunei has maintained stability and wealth through its hydrocarbon resources, which has allowed extensive social service systems but limited democratic progress.

  • Continent: Asia
  • Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
  • Largest City: Bandar Seri Begawan
  • Population: Approximately 428,000
  • Area: 5,765 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Malay
  • Currency: Brunei dollar (BND)
  • Political System: Absolute monarchy

14. Bulgaria

Bulgaria, located in Southeast Europe, is known for its diverse landscapes, from mountainous interiors to Black Sea coastline. It has a rich cultural history influenced by Thracian, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Soviet powers. Since shaking off its communist regime in 1989, Bulgaria has transitioned to a democratic government and joined the European Union in 2007, although it still struggles with economic and corruption challenges. Bulgaria’s economy is powered by agriculture, heavy industry, and energy production, supplemented by a growing tourism sector attracted to its historic cities and natural landscapes.

  • Continent: Europe
  • Capital: Sofia
  • Largest City: Sofia
  • Population: Approximately 7 million
  • Area: 110,879 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Bulgarian
  • Currency: Bulgarian lev (BGN)
  • Political System: Parliamentary republic

15. Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, is known for its significant cultural diversity, with several ethnic groups and languages. Despite its rich cultural heritage, it is one of the world’s poorest countries, struggling with recurring droughts, famines, and political instability. Since achieving independence from France in 1960, Burkina Faso has experienced numerous coups and has been marked by political unrest. The country’s economy is largely based on agriculture, with cotton being a significant crop, supplemented by gold mining in recent years.

  • Continent: Africa
  • Capital: Ouagadougou
  • Largest City: Ouagadougou
  • Population: Approximately 20.9 million
  • Area: 274,200 square kilometers
  • Official Language: French
  • Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF)
  • Political System: Semi-presidential republic

16. Burundi

Burundi, located in East Africa, is bordered by Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This landlocked country is one of the smallest in Africa but has a dense population that has contributed to ongoing ethnic conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Its history is fraught with political turmoil and violence, including genocides and coups. Despite its lush environment and agricultural potential, Burundi remains one of the poorest and least developed countries globally, grappling with the aftermath of prolonged civil war, economic hardships, and significant human rights issues.

  • Continent: Africa
  • Capital: Gitega (political), Bujumbura (economic)
  • Largest City: Bujumbura
  • Population: Approximately 11.5 million
  • Area: 27,834 square kilometers
  • Official Language: Kirundi, French, and English
  • Currency: Burundian franc (BIF)
  • Political System: Presidential republic