Fast Facts

Population:
319,000
Capital:
Nassau; 222,000
Area:
13,939 square kilometers (5,382 square miles)
Language:
English, Creole
Religion:
Baptist, Anglican, Roman Catholic
Currency:
Bahamian dollar
Life Expectancy:
72
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $15,300
Literacy Percent:
96
Flag: Bahamas
Map: Bahamas

The Bahamas, 700 islands and 2,400 cays, dot the Atlantic Ocean from Florida almost to Haiti. Only 30 of the islands are inhabited. When Christopher Columbus first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492, the Arawak Indians were the only inhabitants there. Today, about 85 percent of Bahamians are of African heritage. New Providence, one of the smallest of the major islands, is home to almost 70 percent of the population. The Bahamas takes in more than three billion dollars annually from nearly four million tourists. International banking and investment management augment the economy, with more than 400 banking institutions from 36 countries.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Tourism, banking, e-commerce, cement, oil refining and transshipment
  • Agriculture: Citrus, vegetables; poultry
  • Exports: Fish and crawfish, rum, salt, chemicals, fruit and vegetables

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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