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  Bahamas, The  
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 Introduction
 Geography
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This page was last updated on 17 October, 2006


Map of Bahamas, The



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Bahamas, The Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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.
   Geography    Bahamas, The Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of Cuba
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
24 15 N, 76 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 13,940 sq km
land: 10,070 sq km
water: 3,870 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
3,542 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island 63 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
salt, aragonite, timber, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0.58%
permanent crops: 0.29%
other: 99.13% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
10 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind damage
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
coral reef decay; solid waste disposal
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain of which 30 are inhabited
   People    Bahamas, The Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
303,770
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 27.5% (male 41,799/female 41,733)
15-64 years: 66.1% (male 98,847/female 102,074)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 7,891/female 11,426) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 27.8 years
male: 27.1 years
female: 28.6 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.64% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17.57 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.05 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-2.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 24.68 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 30.29 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 65.6 years
male: 62.24 years
female: 69.03 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.18 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Bahamian(s)
adjective: Bahamian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
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)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.6%
male: 94.7%
female: 96.5% (2003 est.)
   Government    Bahamas, The Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
conventional short form: The Bahamas
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional parliamentary democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
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 first Sunday in April; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
21 districts; Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Exuma, Freeport, Fresh Creek, Governor's Harbour, Green Turtle Cay, Harbour Island, High Rock, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Long Island, Marsh Harbour, Mayaguana, New Providence, Nichollstown and Berry Islands, Ragged Island, Rock Sound, Sandy Point, San Salvador and Rum Cay
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
10 July 1973 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 10 July (1973)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
10 July 1973
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on English common law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Arthur D. HANNA (since 1 February 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Perry CHRISTIE (since 3 May 2002) and Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia PRATT (since 7 May 2002)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime minister's recommendation
elections: none; the monarch 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
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16-member body appointed by the governor general upon the advice of the prime minister and the opposition leader for five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (40 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 1 May 2002 (next to be held by May 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - PLP 50.8%, FNM 41.1%, independents 5.2%; seats by party - PLP 29, FNM 7, independents 4
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Privy Council (London); Courts of Appeal; Supreme (lower) Court; magistrates courts
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Free National Movement or FNM [Hubert INGRAHAM]; Progressive Liberal Party or PLP [Perry CHRISTIE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOM, IOC, ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: vacant
chancery: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 319-2660
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2668
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador John D. ROOD
embassy: 42 Queen Street, Nassau
mailing address: local or express mail address: P. O. Box N-8197, Nassau; Department of State, 3370 Nassau Place, Washington, DC 20521-3370
telephone: [1] (242) 322-1181, 328-2206 (after hours)
FAX: [1] (242) 356-0222
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of aquamarine (top), gold, and aquamarine, with a black equilateral triangle based on the hoist side
   Economy    Bahamas, The Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6.098 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$5.783 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$20,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 3%
industry: 7%
services: 90% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
176,300 (2004)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 5%, industry 5%, tourism 50%, other services 40% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.2% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
9.3% (2004)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: 27%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.2% ( 2004)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $1.03 billion
expenditures: $1.03 billion; including capital expenditures of $130 million (FY04/05)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
citrus, vegetables; poultry
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.81 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.683 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
transhipments of 29,000 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$469.3 million (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
mineral products and salt, animal products, rum, chemicals, fruit and vegetables
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 31%, Spain 29.7%, Poland 9.3%, Germany 5.6%, Guatemala 4.1% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.82 billion (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 22.5%, South Korea 20.2%, Spain 7.8%, Brazil 7.1%, Italy 6.5%, Germany 5.4% (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$342.6 million (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$5 million (2004)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Bahamian dollar (BSD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Bahamian dollars per US dollar - 1 (2005), 1 (2004), 1 (2003), 1 (2002), 1 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June
   Communications    Bahamas, The Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
139,900 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
186,000 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: modern facilities
domestic: totally automatic system; highly developed
international: country code - 1-242; tropospheric scatter and submarine cable to Florida; 3 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth station - 2 (2005)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 3, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2006)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2006)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.bs
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
359 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
93,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Bahamas, The Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
64 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 29
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 35
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 22 (2006)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2006)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,693 km
paved: 1,546 km
unpaved: 1,147 km (1999)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,177 ships (1000 GRT or over) 37,743,270 GRT/50,918,747 DWT
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 253, cargo 250, chemical tanker 64, container 79, liquefied gas 35, livestock carrier 2, passenger 115, passenger/cargo 34, petroleum tanker 175, refrigerated cargo 114, roll on/roll off 20, specialized tanker 5, vehicle carrier 30
foreign-owned: 1,093 (Angola 5, Australia 2, Belgium 13, Canada 18, China 3, Cuba 1, Cyprus 13, Denmark 59, Estonia 1, Finland 8, France 37, Germany 22, Greece 232, Hong Kong 8, Iceland 1, India 1, Indonesia 4, Ireland 2, Israel 1, Italy 5, Japan 51, Jordan 2, Kenya 1, Latvia 1, Malaysia 12, Monaco 17, Montenegro 2, Netherlands 24, Nigeria 2, Norway 259, Philippines 1, Poland 15, Reunion 1, Russia 6, Saudi Arabia 12, Singapore 12, Slovenia 1, Spain 12, Sweden 6, Switzerland 2, Thailand 1, Turkey 8, UAE 16, UK 69, Uruguay 2, US 121, Venezuela 1)
registered in other countries: 4 (Barbados 1, Liberia 1, Panama 2) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Point
   Military    Bahamas, The Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Royal Bahamaian Defense Force (naval forces) (2004)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (est.); no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 73,121 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 44,309 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 2,804 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
   Transnational Issues    Bahamas, The Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
disagrees with the US on the alignment of the maritime boundary; continues to monitor and interdict Haitian refugees fleeing economic privation and political instability
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; offshore financial center

This page was last updated on 17 October, 2006


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