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  Bahamas, The  
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  Geography
  People
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  Economy
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Map of Bahamas, The

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Bahamas, The
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Arawak 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.

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   Geography    Bahamas, The
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: 0.8%
permanent crops: 0.4%
other: 98.8% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
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

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   People    Bahamas, The
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
299,697
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 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 28.3% (male 42,474; female 42,423)
15-64 years: 65.7% (male 96,825; female 99,985)
65 years and over: 6% (male 7,351; female 10,639) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 27.3 years
male: 26.5 years
female: 28 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.72% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.22 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.82 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 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 (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 25.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 31.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 65.63 years
male: 62.21 years
female: 69.11 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.23 children born/woman (2004 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 32%, Anglican 20%, Roman Catholic 19%, Methodist 6%, Church of God 6%, other Protestant 12%, none or unknown 3%, other 2%
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.)

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   Government    Bahamas, The
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
Nassau
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 Dame Ivy DUMONT (since NA May 2002)
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
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; magistrates courts
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Free National Movement or FNM [Tommy TURNQUEST]; 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, IOC, ITU, LAES, 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: Ambassador Joshua SEARS
chancery: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 319-2660
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2668
consulate(s) general: Miami and New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Robert M. WITAJEWSKI
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

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   Economy    Bahamas, The
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism alone accounts for more than 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. 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. In addition to tourism and banking, the government supports the development of a "third pillar," e-commerce.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $5.049 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $16,700 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 3%
industry: 7%
services: 90% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.7% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
156,000 (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 5%, industry 5%, tourism 50%, other services 40% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.9% (2001 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $918.5 million
expenditures: $956.5 million, including capital expenditures of $106.7 million (FY99/00)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
citrus, vegetables; poultry
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, banking, e-commerce, cement, oil refining and transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.56 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.451 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$617 million (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
fish and crawfish; rum, salt, chemicals; fruit and vegetables
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 39.4%, Spain 10.8%, Germany 8.7%, France 8.6%, Peru 4.8%, Mexico 4.4%, Switzerland 4.1% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.614 billion (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
South Korea 19.7%, US 18.2%, Italy 10%, Norway 9.7%, France 7.9%, Japan 4.9%, Venezuela 4.6% (2003 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$308.5 million (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$9.8 million (1995)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Bahamian dollar (BSD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
BSD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Bahamian dollars per US dollar - 1 (2003), 1 (2002), 1 (2001), 1 (2000), 1 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June

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   Communications    Bahamas, The
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
131,700 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
121,800 (2002)
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 - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (1997)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 3, FM 4, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.bs
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
302 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
84,000 (2003)

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   Transportation    Bahamas, The
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,693 km
paved: 1,546 km
unpaved: 1,147 km (1999 est.)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Freeport, Matthew Town, Nassau
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,035 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 31,631,252 GRT/43,025,977 DWT
by type: bulk 165, cargo 188, chemical tanker 45, combination bulk 10, combination ore/oil 17, container 97, liquefied gas 27, livestock carrier 2, multi-functional large load carrier 4, passenger 108, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 163, refrigerated cargo 133, roll on/roll off 34, short-sea/passenger 18, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 20
foreign-owned: Algeria 1, Australia 7, Belgium 14, Bermuda 1, Canada 4, Chile 1, China 4, Croatia 1, Cuba 3, Cyprus 14, Denmark 49, Estonia 1, Faroe Islands 1, Finland 9, France 21, Germany 13, Gibraltar 1, Greece 163, Hong Kong 9, India 1, Indonesia 3, Ireland 1, Israel 3, Italy 7, Japan 35, Kenya 2, South Korea 1, Latvia 1, Liberia 1, Malaysia 11, Malta 1, Monaco 68, Netherlands 29, New Zealand 1, Norway 231, Panama 2, Philippines 3, Poland 14, Reunion 1, Russia 1, Saudi Arabia 9, Singapore 13, Slovenia 1, Spain 6, Sweden 9, Switzerland 1, Thailand 1, Trinidad and Tobago 2
registered in other countries: 11 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
63 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 30
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 33
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 21 (2003 est.)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Bahamas, The
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Royal Bahamas Defense Force (including Coast Guard)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA

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   Transnational Issues    Bahamas, The
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
have not been able to agree on a maritime boundary with the US; is concerned about refugees fleeing Haiti's deteriorated economic and political conditions
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; offshore financial center

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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