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Bahamas, The
  • Introduction :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas has prospered through tourism, international banking, and investment management. Because of its location, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.
  • Geography :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of Cuba
    24 15 N, 76 00 W
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 13,880 sq km
    land: 10,010 sq km
    water: 3,870 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 161
    slightly smaller than Connecticut
    0 km
    3,542 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream
    long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Alvernia on Cat Island 63 m
    salt, aragonite, timber, arable land
    agricultural land: 1.4%
    arable land 0.8%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 0.2%
    forest: 51.4%
    other: 47.2% (2011 est.)
    10 sq km (2003)
    0.02 cu km (2011)
    hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind damage
    coral reef decay; solid waste disposal
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain of which 30 are inhabited
  • People and Society :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • noun: Bahamian(s)
    adjective: Bahamian
    black 90.6%, white 4.7%, black and white 2.1%, other 1.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2010 est.)
    English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
    Protestant 69.9% (includes Baptist 34.9%, Anglican 13.7%, Pentecostal 8.9% Seventh Day Adventist 4.4%, Methodist 3.6%, Church of God 1.9%, Brethren 1.6%), Roman Catholic 12%, other Christian 13% (includes Jehovah's Witness 1.1%), other 0.6%, none 1.9%, unspecified 2.6% (2010 est.)
    321,834
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    0-14 years: 23.2% (male 37,962/female 36,857)
    15-24 years: 17.4% (male 28,387/female 27,639)
    25-54 years: 44.1% (male 70,765/female 71,038)
    55-64 years: 8.3% (male 11,882/female 14,885)
    65 years and over: 7% (male 8,591/female 13,828) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 40.9%
    youth dependency ratio: 29.6%
    elderly dependency ratio: 11.3%
    potential support ratio: 8.9% (2014 est.)
    total: 31.2 years
    male: 30.1 years
    female: 32.3 years (2014 est.)
    0.87% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    15.65 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    7 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    urban population: 82.8% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 1.53% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    NASSAU (capital) 267,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    37 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    total: 12.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 12.51 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 12.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    total population: 71.93 years
    male: 69.48 years
    female: 74.46 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    1.97 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    7.3% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    2.82 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 98.4% of population
    rural: 98.4% of population
    total: 98.4% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 1.6% of population
    rural: 1.6% of population
    total: 1.6% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 92% of population
    rural: 92% of population
    total: 92% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 8% of population
    rural: 8% of population
    total: 8% of population (2012 est.)
    3.22% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    7,700 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    500 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    36.6% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    NA
    total: 30.8%
    male: 29.6%
    female: 32.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
  • Government :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
    conventional short form: The Bahamas
    note: name derives from the Spanish "baha mar," meaning shallow sea, which describes the shallow waters of the Bahama Banks
    constitutional parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
    name: Nassau
    geographic coordinates: 25 05 N, 77 21 W
    time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
    31 districts; Acklins Islands, Berry Islands, Bimini, Black Point, Cat Island, Central Abaco, Central Andros, Central Eleuthera, City of Freeport, Crooked Island and Long Cay, East Grand Bahama, Exuma, Grand Cay, Harbour Island, Hope Town, Inagua, Long Island, Mangrove Cay, Mayaguana, Moore's Island, North Abaco, North Andros, North Eleuthera, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, South Abaco, South Andros, South Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, West Grand Bahama
    10 July 1973 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 10 July (1973)
    previous 1964 (preindependence); latest adopted 20 June 1973, effective 10 July 1973; amended many times, last in 2002; note - in 2012, a constitutional commission was appointed to review and recommend constitutional changes (2013)
    common law system based on the English model
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Dame Marguerite PINDLING (since 8 July 2014)
    head of government: Prime Minister Perry CHRISTIE (since 8 May 2012)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime minister's recommendation
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister
    description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16 seats; members appointed by the governor general upon the advice of the prime minister and the opposition leader to serve 5-year terms) and the House of Assembly (38 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms); note - the government may dissolve the parliament and call elections at any time
    elections: last held on 7 May 2012 (next to be held by May 2017)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLP 30, FNM 8
    highest resident court(s): The Bahamas Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 4 justices, organized in 3-member panels); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 9 justices – as of 2015)
    note: as of 2008, the Bahamas was not a party to the agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice as the highest appellate court for the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM); the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) serves as the final court of appeal for The Bahamas
    judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal president and Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister after consultation with the leader of the opposition party; other Court of Appeal and Supreme Court justices appointed by the governor general upon recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, a 5-member body headed by the chief justice; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement normally at age 68, but can be extended until age 70; Supreme Court justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement normally at age 65, but can be extended until age 67
    subordinate courts: Industrial Tribunal; Stipendiary and Magistrates' Courts; Family Island Administrators
    Free National Movement or FNM [Hubert MINNIS]
    Progressive Liberal Party or PLP [Perry CHRISTIE]
    Friends of the Environment
    other: trade unions
    ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Eugene Glenwood NEWRY (since 3 December 2013)
    chancery: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 319-2660
    FAX: [1] (202) 319-2668
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Miami, New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d' Affaires Lisa A. JOHNSON (since 9 July 2014
    embassy: 42 Queen Street, Nassau, New Providence
    mailing address: local or express mail address: P. O. Box N-8197, Nassau; US Department of State, 3370 Nassau Place, Washington, DC 20521-3370
    telephone: [1] (242) 322-1181, 328-2206 (after hours)
    FAX: [1] (242) 328-2206
    three equal horizontal bands of aquamarine (top), gold, and aquamarine, with a black equilateral triangle based on the hoist side; the band colors represent the golden beaches of the islands surrounded by the aquamarine sea; black represents the vigor and force of a united people, while the pointing triangle indicates the enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop the rich resources of land and sea
    blue marlin, flamingo, Yellow Elder flower; national colors: aquamarine, yellow, black
    name: "March On, Bahamaland!"
    lyrics/music: Timothy GIBSON
    note: adopted 1973; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)
  • Economy :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy and, when combined with business services, account for about 35% of GDP. Manufacturing and agriculture combined contribute less than a 10th of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. The economy of The Bahamas shrank at an average pace of 0.8% annually between 2007 and 2011, and tourism, financial services, and construction - pillars of the national economy - remain subdued. Conditions are improving in the tourism sector, however, due to steady foreign investment led activity. New resort and marina developments are likely to provide sustained employment opportunities.
    $9.034 billion (2014 est.)
    $8.927 billion (2013 est.)
    $8.868 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 160
    $8.649 billion (2014 est.)
    1.2% (2014 est.)
    0.7% (2013 est.)
    1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    $25,100 (2014 est.)
    $25,100 (2013 est.)
    $25,200 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 69
    8.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    8.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
    10.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    household consumption: 69.7%
    government consumption: 16.5%
    investment in fixed capital: 27%
    investment in inventories: 1.3%
    exports of goods and services: 42.5%
    imports of goods and services: -57%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 2.1%
    industry: 7.3%
    services: 90.6% (2014 est.)
    citrus, vegetables; poultry
    tourism, banking, oil bunkering, maritime industries, transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals
    1.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    196,900 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    agriculture: 3%
    industry: 11%
    tourism: 49%
    other services: 37% (2011 est.)
    16.2% (2013 est.)
    14% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    9.3% (2010 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1%
    highest 10%: 22% (2007)
    revenues: $1.7 billion
    expenditures: $2.1 billion (2014 est.)
    19.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    -4.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    57.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    1 July - 30 June
    1.8% (2014 est.)
    0.4% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    4.5% (1 January 2014)
    4.5% (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    5.5% (31 December 2014 est.)
    4.75% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    $1.659 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.641 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    $6.453 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $6.076 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    $9.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $8.926 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    $2.78 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    $-1.49 billion (2014 est.)
    $-1.637 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    $960 million (2014 est.)
    $909.3 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    crawfish, aragonite, crude salt, polystyrene products
    Cote dIvoire 25.6%, US 21.5%, Dominican Republic 18%, Turkey 4.8%, Ecuador 4.2% (2013)
    $3.05 billion (2014 est.)
    $3.127 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animals
    US 36.6%, South Korea 10%, Singapore 9.7%, India 8%, Colombia 5.8%, Japan 5.7% (2013)
    $1.025 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $807.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    $17.56 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $16.35 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Bahamian dollars (BSD) per US dollar -
    1 (2014 est.)
    1 (2013 est.)
    1 (2012 est.)
    1 (2011 est.)
    1 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • 2.19 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    2.037 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    493,000 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    100% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    25,760 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    41,770 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    64,600 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    3.836 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • 137,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    254,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    general assessment: modern facilities
    domestic: totally automatic system; highly developed; the Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network links 14 of the islands and is designed to satisfy increasing demand for voice and broadband Internet services
    international: country code - 1-242; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic submarine cable that provides links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 (2007)
    2 TV stations operated by government-owned, commercially run Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas (BCB); multi-channel cable TV subscription service is available; about 15 radio stations operating with BCB operating a multi-channel radio broadcasting network alongside privately owned radio stations (2007)
    AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 0 (2009)
    2 (2006)
    .bs
    20,661 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    115,800 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 152
  • Transportation :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • 61 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    total: 24
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
    914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2013)
    total: 37
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 16
    under 914 m:
    17 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    total: 2,700 km
    paved: 1,620 km
    unpaved: 1,080 km (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    total: 1,160
    by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 238, cargo 170, carrier 2, chemical tanker 87, combination ore/oil 8, container 57, liquefied gas 71, passenger 102, passenger/cargo 26, petroleum tanker 225, refrigerated cargo 97, roll on/roll off 13, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 61
    foreign-owned: 1,063 (Angola 6, Australia 1, Belgium 6, Bermuda 15, Brazil 1, Canada 96, Croatia 1, Cyprus 23, Denmark 69, Finland 8, France 15, Germany 30, Greece 225, Guernsey 6, Hong Kong 3, Indonesia 2, Ireland 3, Italy 1, Japan 88, Jordan 2, Kuwait 1, Malaysia 13, Monaco 8, Montenegro 2, Netherlands 23, Nigeria 2, Norway 186, Poland 34, Saudi Arabia 16, Singapore 7, South Korea 1, Spain 6, Sweden 11, Switzerland 1, Thailand 4, Turkey 3, UAE 23, UK 18, US 109)
    registered in other countries: 6 (Panama 6) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    major seaport(s): Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Point
    container port(s) (TEUs): Freeport (1,116,272)(2011)
    cruise port(s): Nassau
  • Military :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • Royal Bahamas Defense Force: Land Force, Navy, Air Wing (2011)
    18 years of age for voluntary male and female service; no conscription (2012)
    males age 16-49: 85,568 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 63,429
    females age 16-49: 64,645 (2010 est.)
    male: 2,829
    female: 2,750 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: BAHAMAS, THE

  • disagrees with the US on the alignment of the northern axis of a potential maritime boundary
    transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; offshore financial center
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