Bahrain is a monarchy and has been headed by the Khalifah family since 1783. The Sunni Muslim ruling family dominates the main political posts, and ongoing tensions prevail between the country’s Sunni minority and the Shi’a majority. 
 
In 2001 Bahrain became formally a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament and an independent judiciary. 
 
In early 2011 major protests erupted in Bahrain, the protestors demanding greater political freedom, respect for human rights and an end to discrimination against the Shi’a population.
 
The protests continued into 2012 with one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations to date taking place on March 9th 2012. 
 

   

Total population (2014 est.)

1,144,000

Female population

509,376

Total 0-14 years

129,140

Total 15-64 years

382,082

Total 64 years and over (2015 est.)

19,154
   

Life expectancy at birth (women)

77 years

Fertility rate (2012)

 2.1 child born/woman

Total literacy rate (2015 est.)

 95.7%

Total literacy rate among females (2015 est.)

 93.5%

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education, 2013)

Female enrolment at higher education*

N/A
 
*Higher education is the degree after achieving the high-school diploma