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Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Motto: "Forward, Upward, Onward, Together"

Location of The Bahamas
and largest city
25°04′41″N 77°20′19″W / 25.07806°N 77.33861°W / 25.07806; -77.33861
Official languages English
Ethnic groups
  • 90.6% Black
  • 4.7% White
  • 2.1% Mixed
  • 1.9% Others
  • 0.7% Unspecified
Demonym(s) Bahamian
Government Unitary parliamentary
constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Charles III
Sir Cornelius A. Smith
Philip Davis
Legislature Parliament
House of Assembly
• Declaration of Independence
10 July 1973
• Total
13,878 km2 (5,358 sq mi) (155th)
• Water (%)
• 2022 estimate
400,516 (177th)
• 2018 census
• Density
25.21/km2 (65.3/sq mi) (181st)
GDP (PPP) 2022 estimate
• Total
$16.130 billion (148th)
• Per capita
$40,274 (40th)
GDP (nominal) 2022 estimate
• Total
$12.803 billion (130th)
• Per capita
$32,077 (26th)
HDI (2019) Increase 0.814
very high · 58th
Currency Bahamian dollar (BSD) United States dollar (USD)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
• Summer (DST)
Driving side left
Calling code +1 242
ISO 3166 code BS
Internet TLD .bs

The Bahamas (officially called Commonwealth of The Bahamas) is a group of islands in the West Indies. The country's capital, Nassau, is on New Providence Island.

The Taino were the first people living there. In 1492, Christopher Columbus found the Americas by landing on another of the islands, San Salvador. The Eleutheran Adventurers soon came along, making a home in Eleuthera.

The islands' mostly black population speaks English, the country's main language.

The Bahamas are a popular place for people to visit for holidays, the 700 islands and cays attract many visitors from nearby America, as well as Europe and other countries.


Lucayanss were the first people to arrive in the Bahamas. They moved into the southern Bahamas from Hispaniola and Cuba around the 11th century AD, having come there from South America. They came to be known as the Lucayan. About 30,000 Lucayan lived the Bahamas when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492. Columbus' first landfall in the New World was on an island named San Salvador, which some scholars believe to be present-day San Salvador Island.

The Spanish forced much of the Lucayan population to move to Hispaniola. They were used for forced labour. This and the exposure to foreign diseases led to most of the population of the Bahamas dying. Smallpox alone wiped out half of the population in what is now the Bahamas.

In 1670, King Charles II rented out the islands to the Carolinas, along with rights of trading, tax, and governing the country. During this time, the Bahamas became a haven for pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard. To restore proper government, Britain made the Bahamas a crown colony in 1718. The first governor was Woodes Rogers.

After the American War of Independence, the British resettled some 7,300 Loyalists and their slaves in the Bahamas from New York, Florida, and the Carolinas. The first group of loyalists left St. Augustine in East Florida in September 1783. These Loyalists established plantations on several islands. British Americans were outnumbered by the African-American slaves they brought with them, and ethnic Europeans remained a minority in the territory. On 10 July 1973 The Bahamas gains full independence within British Commonwealth.


DNA estimates of The Bahamas
Ethnicity % approx.
Black African

Nearly 500,000 people live in the Bahamas. The ethnic groups of the population is:
82% African descent
15% European & Mixed descent
3% Asian and other.


The official language of the Bahamas is English, but they also speak a local dialect called Bahamianese. The Bahamian dialect is based based on the West Country England accents along with South Hiberno English dialects with strong influences from West African languages.

Geography and climate

In 1864 the Governor of the Bahamas reported that there were 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 rocks in the colony.

The closest island to the United States is Bimini. The southeasternmost island is Inagua. The largest island is Andros Island. Nassau, capital city of The Bahamas, is on the island of New Providence.

All the islands are low and flat. The highest point in the country is Mount Alvernia on Cat Island. It is 63 metres (207 ft) high.


The climate of The Bahamas is subtropical to tropical. The Gulf Stream can be very dangerous in the summer and autumn. This is when hurricanes pass near or through the islands. Hurricane Andrew hit the northern islands during the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Floyd hit most of the islands during the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season.

There has never been a freeze reported in The Bahamas. The temperature can fall as low as 2–3 °C (35.6–37.4 °F).


The Bahamas are divided into 32 districts and the town of New Providence.

The districts are:


The Bahamas does not have an army or an air force. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) is the navy. The Defence Force has a fleet of 26 coastal and inshore patrol craft along with 2 aircraft and over 850 personnel including 65 officers and 74 women.

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