The Bahamas Population: 332,634

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 History
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. Piracy thrived in the 17th and 18th centuries because of The Bahamas close proximity to shipping lanes. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas has prospered through tourism, international banking, and investment management, which comprise up to 85% of GDP. Because of its proximity to the US - the nearest Bahamian landmass being only 80 km (50 mi) from Florida - the country is a major transshipment point for illicit trafficking, particularly to the US mainland, as well as Europe. US law enforcement agencies cooperate closely with The Bahamas, and the US Coast Guard assists Bahamian authorities in coastal defense through Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, or OPBAT.

 Geography
    Strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain of which 30 are inhabited
Location: chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of Cuba
Geographic coordinates: 24 15 N, 76 00 W
Area: total: 13,880 sq km
land: 10,010 sq km
water: 3,870 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 3,542 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream
Terrain: long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills
Natural resources: salt, aragonite, timber, arable land
Land use: agricultural land: 1.4% (2016 est.) arable land: 0.8% (2016 est.)
permanent crops: 0.4% (2016 est.) permanent pasture: 0.2% (2016 est.) forest: 51.4% (2016 est.)
other: 47.2% (2016 est.)
Irrigated land: 10 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind damage
Current Environment Issues: coral reef decay; solid waste disposal
International Environment Agreements: 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
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 People
Nationality: noun: Bahamian(s)
adjective: Bahamian
Ethnic groups: black 90.6%, white 4.7%, black and white 2.1%, other 1.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2010 est.) note: data represent population by racial group
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%), Roman Catholic 12%, other Christian 13% (includes Jehovah's Witness 1.1%), other 0.6%, none 1.9%, unspecified 2.6% (2010 est.)
Population: 332,634 (July 2018 est.) 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
Age structure: 0-14 years: 22.39% (male 37,777 /female 36,686)
15-24 years: 16.01% (male 26,984 /female 26,281)
25-54 years: 44.1% (male 73,627 /female 73,068)
55-64 years: 9.45% (male 14,298 /female 17,140)
65 years and over: 8.05% (male 10,318 /female 16,455) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 40.8 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 29.1 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 11.7 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 8.5 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 32.3 years
male: 31.1 years
female: 33.5 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.79% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 15.1 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 83% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 1.13% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 280,000 NASSAU (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: 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: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 80 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 11.1 deaths/1,000 live births male: 11.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.9 years male: 70.4 years
female: 75.4 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.94 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Physicians density: 1.94 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density: 2.9 beds/1,000 population (2013)
Drinking water source: 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 (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 92% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 92% of population (2015 est.)
total: 92% of population (2015 est.)

unimproved:
urban: 8% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 8% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.9% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 5,300 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 31.6% (2016)
Education expenditures: n/a Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 25.8% male: 20.8% female: 31.6% (2016 est.)
Literacy:
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
conventional short form: The Bahamas
etymology: name derives from the Spanish "baha mar," meaning "shallow sea," which describes the shallow waters of the Bahama Banks
Government type: parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Capital: 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
etymology: named after William III (1650-1702), king of England, Scotland, and Ireland, who was a member of the House of Nassau
Administrative divisions: 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
Independence: 10 July 1973 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 10 July (1973)
Constitution: history: previous 1964 (preindependence); latest adopted 20 June 1973, effective 10 July 1973 amendments: proposed as an "Act" by Parliament; passage of amendments to articles such as the organization and composition of the branches of government requires approval by at least two-thirds majority of the membership of both houses of Parliament and majority approval in a referendum; passage of amendments to constitutional articles such as fundamental rights and individual freedoms, the powers, authorities, and procedures of the branches of government, or changes to the Bahamas Independence Act 1973 requires approval by at least three-fourths majority of the membership of both houses and majority approval in a referendum; amended many times, last in 2016 (2018)
Legal system: common law system based on the English model
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
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 Hubert MINNIS (since 11 May 2017)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by governor general on recommendation of prime minister elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister

note: Prime Minister Hubert MINNIS is only the fourth prime minister in Bahamian history following its independence from the UK; he is also the first prime minister in 25 years besides Perry CHRISTIE and Hubert INGRAHAM, who repeatedly traded the premiership from 1992 to 2017
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament consists of: 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) House of Assembly (39 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last appointments on 24 May 2017 (next appointments in 2022) House of Assembly - last held on 10 May 2017 (next to be held by May 2022)

election results: Senate - appointed; composition - men 9, women 7, percent of women 43.8% House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - FNM 57%, PLP 36.9%, other 6.1%; seats by party - FNM 35, PLP 4; composition - men 34, women 5, percent of women 12.8%; note - total Parliament percent of women 21.8% note: the government may dissolve the parliament and call elections at any time
Judicial branch: highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 4 justices, organized in 3-member panels); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and a maximum of 11 and a minimum of 2 justices) 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 note: the Bahamas is a member of the 15-member Caribbean Community but is not party to the agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice as its highest appellate court;  the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) serves as the final court of appeal for The Bahamas
Political parties and leaders: Democratic National Alliance or DNA [Christopher MORTIMER, interim leader] Free National Movement or FNM [Hubert MINNIS] Progressive Liberal Party or PLP [Philip "Brave" DAVIS]
International organization participation: 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)
National symbol(s): blue marlin, flamingo, Yellow Elder flower;
national colors: aquamarine, yellow, black
National anthem: 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)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Sidney Stanley COLLIE (since 20 November 2017)
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, Washington, DC honorary consulate(s): Aurora, CO; Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d' Affaires Stephanie BOWERS (since 1 March 2018)
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) 356-7174
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 Economy
The Bahamas has the second highest per capita GDP in the English-speaking Caribbean with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and financial services. Tourism accounts for approximately 50% 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, accounting for about 15% of GDP. Manufacturing and agriculture combined contribute less than 7% of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. The new government led by Prime Minister Hubert MINNIS has prioritized addressing fiscal imbalances and rising debt, which stood at 75% of GDP in 2016. Large capital projects like the Baha Mar Casino and Hotel are driving growth. Public debt increased in 2017 in large part due to hurricane reconstruction and relief financing. The primary fiscal balance was a deficit of 0.4% of GDP in 2016. The Bahamas is the only country in the Western Hemisphere that is not a member of the World Trade Organization.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $12.06 billion (2017 est.) $11.89 billion (2016 est.) $12.09 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $12.16 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.4% (2017 est.) -1.7% (2016 est.) 1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $32,400 (2017 est.) $32,300 (2016 est.) $33,200 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 11.4% of GDP (2017 est.) 18.2% of GDP (2016 est.) 12.3% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 68% (2017 est.) government consumption: 13% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 26.3% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0.7% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 33.7% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -41.8% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 2.3% (2017 est.) industry: 7.7% (2017 est.) services: 90% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: citrus, vegetables; poultry; seafood
Industries: tourism, banking, oil bunkering, maritime industries, transshipment and logistics, salt, aragonite, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate: 5.8% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 196,900 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 3%
industry: 11%
services: 49% tourism: 37% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate: 10.1% (2017 est.) 12.2% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line: 9.3% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 22% (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: 2.139 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.46 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 17.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -2.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 54.6% of GDP (2017 est.) 50.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.4% (2017 est.) -0.3% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.909 billion (2017 est.) -$868 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $550 million (2017 est.) $444.3 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: Rock lobster, aragonite, crude salt, polystyrene products
Exports - partners: US 63.9%, Namibia 19.3% (2017)
Imports: $3.18 billion (2017 est.) $2.594 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animals
Imports - partners: US 83.2% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.522 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $1.002 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $17.56 billion (31 December 2013 est.) $16.35 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $2.78 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange rates: Bahamian dollars (BSD) per US dollar - 1 (2017 est.) 1 (2016 est.) 1 (2015 est.) 1 (2014 est.) 1 (2013 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 1.778 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 1.654 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 577,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 20,040 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 19,150 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 48,020 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 48,020 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 3.089 million Mt (2017 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 353,540
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 107 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern facilities;  the telecom sector provides a relatively high contribution to overall GDP; activation of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in April 2017, allowing mobile subscribers to port their numbers between competing MNO (mobile network operators) (2018)

domestic: totally automatic system; highly developed; operators focus investment on mobile networks; 30 per 100 fixed-line, 93 per 100 mobile-cellular (2018)

international: country code - 1-242; landing points for the ARCOS-1, BICS, Bahamas 2-US, and BDSN fiber-optic submarine cables that provide links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2; the Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network links all of the major islands; (2019)
Broadcast media: The Bahamas has 4 major TV providers that provide service to all major islands in the archipelago; 1 TV station is operated by government-owned, commercially run Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas (BCB) and competes freely with 4 privately owned TV stations; multi-channel cable TV subscription service is widely available; there are 32 licensed broadcast (radio) service providers, 31 are privately owned FM radio stations operating on New Providence, Grand Bahama Island, Abaco Island, and on smaller islands in the country; the BCB operates a multi-channel radio broadcasting network that has national coverage; the sector is regulated by the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (2019)
Internet country code: .bs
Internet users: total: 261,853
percent of population: 80% (July 2016 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 61 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 24
(2017) over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 37
(2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 16 (2013)
under 914 m: 17 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 2,700 km
(2011) paved: 1,620 km (2011)
unpaved: 1,080 km (2011)
Merchant marine: total 1,418

by type: bulk carrier 328, container ship 49, general cargo 96, oil tanker 271, other 674 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Point cruise port(s): Nassau container port(s) (TEUs): Freeport (1,116,272)(2011)
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 Military
Military branches: Royal Bahamas Defense Force: Land Force, Navy, Air Wing (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary male and female service; no conscription (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: disagrees with the US on the alignment of the northern axis of a potential maritime boundary
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; offshore financial center
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook
 

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