Bahamas, The

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

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.

Geography

Area

total: 13,880 sq km

land: 10,010 sq km

water: 3,870 sq km

Climate

tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream

Natural resources

salt, aragonite, timber, arable land

People and Society

Population

355,608 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

African descent 90.6%, White 4.7%, mixed 2.1%, other 1.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2010 est.)

Languages

English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)

Religions

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%, other Protestant .9%), Roman Catholic 12%, other Christian 13% (includes Jehovah's Witness 1.1%), other 0.6%, none 1.9%, unspecified 2.6% (2010 est.)

Population growth rate

0.82% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

Capital

name: Nassau

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Cornelius A. SMITH (since 28 June 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Philip DAVIS (since 17 September 2021)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate (16 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 9 selected on the advice of the prime minister, 4 on the advice of  the leader of the opposition party, and 3 on the advice of the prime minister in consultation with the opposition leader; members serve 5-year terms)
House of Assembly (39 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

high-income tourism and financial services economy; strong US bilateral relations; US supplies the vast majority of imports; struggling to recover from Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19 disruptions; recently introduced special economic recovery zones

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$12.1 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$30,800 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, grapefruit, vegetables, bananas, tomatoes, poultry, tropical fruit, oranges, coconuts, mangoes/guavas

Industries

tourism, banking, oil bunkering, maritime industries, transshipment and logistics, salt, aragonite, pharmaceuticals

Exports

$1.69 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Poland 32%, United States 17%, Ecuador 9%, China 6%, Japan 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

ships, refined petroleum, nitrogen compounds, crustaceans, styrene polymers (2019)

Imports

$3.64 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 31%, South Korea 29%, Japan 14% (2019)

Imports - commodities

ships, refined petroleum, crude petroleum, recreational boats, cars (2019)


Page last updated: Monday, May 16, 2022