Bahamas



Official Country Name
Bahamas

Bahamas Overview
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 have prospered through tourism and 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 its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.

Bahamas Economy
The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation 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. Steady growth in tourism receipts and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences had led to solid GDP growth in recent years, but the slowdown in the US economy and the attacks of 11 September 2001 held back growth in these sectors in 2001-03. The current government has presided over a period of economic recovery and an upturn in large-scale private sector investments in tourism. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy, accounting for about 15% of GDP. However, since December 2000, when the government enacted new regulations on the financial sector, many international businesses have left The Bahamas. Manufacturing and agriculture together contribute approximately a tenth of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. Overall growth prospects in the short run rest heavily on the fortunes of the tourism sector, which depends on growth in the US, the source of more than 80% of the visitors.

Bahamas Location
Bahamas is located in Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of Cuba

Region
Bahamas is located in Caribbean

Bahamas Population
Bahamas has population of 303,770

Bahamas Climate
Bahamas has tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream

Bahamas Terrain
long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills

Bahamas Natural Resources
salt, aragonite, timber, arable land

Ethnic Groups in Bahamas
Bahamas has the following ethnic groups - black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%

Bahamas Religions
Baptist 35.4%, Anglican 15.1%, Roman Catholic 13.5%, Pentecostal 8.1%, Church of God 4.8%, Methodist 4.2%, other Christian 15.2%, none or unspecified 2.9%, other 0.8% (2000 census)

Bahamas Languages
English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)

Bahamas Capital
Bahamas capital is Nassau

Bahamas Currency
Bahamas currency is Bahamian dollar

Map of Bahamas