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 geography, 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

People and Society ::Bahamas, The

    noun: Bahamian(s)
    adjective: Bahamian
    black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%
    English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
    Protestant 67.6% (Baptist 35.4%, Anglican 15.1%, Pentecostal 8.1%, Church of God 4.8%, Methodist 4.2%), Roman Catholic 13.5%, other Christian 15.2%, none or unspecified 2.9%, other 0.8% (2000 census)
    319,031 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    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
    0-14 years: 23.6% (male 38,174/female 37,066)
    15-24 years: 17.5% (male 28,306/female 27,562)
    25-54 years: 44.1% (male 70,093/female 70,608)
    55-64 years: 8.1% (male 11,371/female 14,355)
    65 years and over: 6.7% (male 8,233/female 13,263) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 40.9 %
    youth dependency ratio: 30 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.8 %
    potential support ratio: 9.2 (2013)
    total: 30.8 years
    male: 29.7 years
    female: 32 years (2013 est.)
    0.89% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    15.81 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    6.96 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    urban population: 84% of total population (2010)
    rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    NASSAU (capital) 254,000 (2011)
    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: 0.99 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    47 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    total: 12.89 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 126
    male: 12.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 12.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 71.69 years
    country comparison to the world: 141
    male: 69.25 years
    female: 74.19 years (2013 est.)
    1.97 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    7.9% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    1.05 physicians/1,000 population (1998)
    3.1 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    urban: 98% of population
    rural: 86% of population
    total: 96% of population
    urban: 2% of population
    rural: 14% of population
    total: 4% of population (2000 est.)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population (2010 est.)
    3.1% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    6,600 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    34.7% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 95.6%
    male: 94.7%
    female: 96.5% (2003 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 12 years (2006)
    total: 18.9%
    country comparison to the world: 63
    male: 16.7%
    female: 21.7% (2007)

Government ::Bahamas, The

    conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
    conventional short form: The Bahamas
    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)
    10 July 1973
    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 Sir Arthur A. FOULKES (since 14 April 2010)
    head of government: Prime Minister Perry CHRISTIE (since 8 May 2012)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime minister's recommendation
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    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
    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 five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (38 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms); 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 court(s): The Bahamas Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 4 justices, sitting in panels of 3 justices)
    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 justices appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister and in consultation with the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 68-70
    subordinate courts: Supreme Court; 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
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
    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 John DINKELMAN
    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
    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

Energy ::Bahamas, The

Communications ::Bahamas, The

    133,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    298,800 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    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)
    20,661 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    115,800 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 156

Transportation ::Bahamas, The

    61 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    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: 2,717 km
    country comparison to the world: 169
    paved: 1,560 km
    unpaved: 1,157 km (2002)
    total: 1,160
    country comparison to the world: 10
    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)
    major seaport(s): Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Point
    container port(s) (TEUs): Freeport (1,116,272)(2011)
    cruise port(s): Nassau

Military ::Bahamas, The

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