Currency: Bahamian dollar
Continent: Americas, North America
Official language: English Language
Government: Unitary state, Constitutional monarchy, Parliamentary system
- Conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
- Conventional short form: The Bahamas
- The Arawak Indians were the original inhabitants of the islands
- Columbus was the first European to land on the Bahamas on Oct. 12, 1492.
- His exploration of the New World began from the Bahamian island of San Salvador.
- The British first built settlements on the islands in the 17th century.
- In the early 1800, the Bahamas were a favorite pirate haunt.
- The Bahamas were granted internal self-government in 1964.
- The islands gained autonomy in 1968 after the Progressive Liberal Party won the elections.
- The colony became the Commonwealth of the Bahama after a constitutional negotiation with Britain in 1969.
- The Bahamas became an independent nation on July 10, 1973.
- Hubert Ingraham won the parliamentary elections and took over as prime minister in May 2007.
The distribution of ethnic groups in the Bahamas is as follows:
- Black: 85%
- White: 12%
- Asian and Hispanic: 3%
The distribution of religious faiths is as follows:
- Baptist: 35.1%
- Anglican: 15.1%
- Roman Catholic: 13.4%
- Pentecostal: 8.1%
- Church of God: 4.8%
- Methodist: 4%
- Other Christian denominations: 15.2%
- Unspecified: 1.6%
- Buddhism: 2%
- Other: 0.7%
Government and Politics:
- The Bahamas are ruled by a constitutional parliamentary democracy.
- Administrative divisions consist of 21 districts namely Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Exuma, Freeport, Fresh Creek, Governor's Harbour, Green Turtle Cay, Harbour Island, High Rock, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Long Island, Marsh Harbour, Mayaguana, New Providence, Nichollstown and Berry Islands, Ragged Island, Rock Sound, Sandy Point, San Salvador and Rum Cay.
- Independence Day is observed as a national holiday on 10 July (1973).
- The Constitution came into force on 10 July 1973.
- The legal system is based on English common law.
- Queen Elizabeth II is the chief of state since 6 February 1952.
- She is represented by Governor General Arthur D. Hanna since 1 February 2006.
- The prime minister us the head of government.
- Cabinet ministers are appointed by the governor general and recommended by the prime minister.
- The monarch is hereditary.
- The governor general is appointed by the monarch.
- The leader of the majority party or coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general following legislative elections.
- The prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister.
- The legislative branch is represented by a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate and the House of Assembly.
- The government may dissolve the Parliament and call elections at any time.
- The judicial branch is represented by the Privy Council in London, the Courts of Appeal, the Supreme (lower) Court and the Magistrates' Courts.
- Residents weave straw baskets, hats and bags made from palm fronds.
- These items are popular among tourists.
- Regattas are important social events involving sailing by old-fashioned work boats, and an onshore festival.
- Story telling is also a prevalent tradition.
- Some settlements celebrate festivals associated with the traditional crop or food of that area.
- Some popular festivals are the "Pineapple Fest" in Gregory Town and Eleuthera or the "Crab Fest" on Andros.
- Christianity is the most dominant religion.
- Other significant traditions include story telling.
- Traditional spiritual practices like Obeah and Voodoo are also followed in some areas.
- Sailing and Track and field athletics are popular sports in the country.
- Football, rugby, basketball, softball, baseball and American football are also played.
- The Bahamas are one of the richest nations in the Caribbean.
- A large part of the economy is dependant on tourism and offshore banking industries.
- Tourism also generates direct and indirect employment opportunities for the residents.
- Financial services constitute the 2 nd most important sector of the Bahamian economy.
- The GDP (purchasing power parity) as estimated in 2007 was $8.332 billion.
- 7.6% of the population is unemployed.
- 9.3% of the population is below poverty line.
- Agricultural products consist of citrus, vegetables and poultry.
- The main industries are tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals and spiral-welded steel pipe.
- Export commodities include mineral products and salt, animal products, rum, chemicals, vegetables and fruits
- Import commodities include machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animals.
Airports in Bahamas
- Telecommunication system in the Bahamas is fully modernized and automated.
- Internet service network are well established and readily available on the main islands.
- There are eight radio broadcast stations and two television broadcast stations.
- The islands have 62 airports of which 24 have paved runways.
- The roadways span over 2,693 km.
- The Merchant marine of the Bahamas is equipped with 1,213 ships.
- Major ports and terminals are located in Freeport, Nassau and South Riding Point.
- 95.6% of the population is literate.
- Male: 94.7%
- Female: 96.5%
The Bahamas are surrounded by
- United States (northwest)
- Cuba (south)
- Hispaniola (Dominican Republic & Haiti) (south)
- Caribbean Sea (south)
- Turks and Caicos Islands (southeast)
Geo graphyical Settings:
- The Bahamas are part of a chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean.
- Its geographic coordinates are 24 15 N, 76 00 W.
- The islands cover a total area of 13,940 sq km.
- The coastline is 3,542 km.
- The climate is tropical marine and is moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream.
- The terrain comprises of long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills.
- The highest point is Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island standing at 63 m.
- 0.58% of the land is arable.
- Natural resources include salt, aragonite, timber and arable land.
- Floods and wind damage caused by hurricanes and other tropical storms is common.
- Depreciation of the coral reefs and solid waste disposal are the major environmental issues.
- The Bahamas became an independent nation on July 10, 1973.
Country Famous for:
- The Bahamas are a popular tourist destination.
- Hand-woven straw items and local festivals are prime attractions.
- According to a 2008 census, the total population of the Bahamas was estimated to be 307,451.
- The annual population growth rate 0.57% (2008 est.)
- Birth rate: 17.06 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
- Death rate: 9.22 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Bahamas Related Topics:
Bahamas Tourist Attractions:
- National Art Gallery of the bahmas