Bahamas country profile

  • Published
Map of Bahamas

An archipelago of 700 islands and islets, the Bahamas attracts millions of tourists each year.

The visitors come to enjoy its mild climate, fine beaches and beautiful forests.

A former British colony and now a Commonwealth member, the country is a major centre for offshore finance and has one of the world's largest open-registry shipping fleets. The Bahamas enjoys a high per capita income.

The huge growth in the services sector of the economy has prompted people to leave fishing and farming villages for the commercial centres in New Providence Island, Grand Bahama and Great Abaco.

As with other Caribbean countries, The Bahamas faces the challenge of tackling drugs trafficking and illegal immigration.

It has taken steps to clean up its offshore banking system.


Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Capital: Nassau

  • Population 391,000

  • Area 13,939 sq km (5,382 sq miles)

  • Major language English

  • Major religion Christianity

  • Life expectancy 72 years (men), 78 years (women)

  • Currency Bahamian dollar

Getty Images


Head of state: King Charles III, represented by a governor-general

Prime minister: Phillip Davis

Image source, Getty Images

Phillip Davis became prime minister when his Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) won the September 2021 general election, defeating the Free National Movement (FNM), amid the country's struggle to recover from an economic slump.


Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Tourism generates employment for nearly half the labour force in Bahamas

The government operates radio networks and the islands' only TV station. There is a handful of private radio stations. Multichannel cable TV is widely available.


Some key dates in the history of the Bahamas:

1492 - Christopher Columbus makes his first landing in Western Hemisphere in the Bahamas.

1647 - English and Bermudan religious refugees, the Eleutheran Adventurers, establish the first European settlement on the Bahamas.

1717 - Bahamas become a British crown colony.

1834 - Emancipation of slaves.

1964 - Bahamas granted internal autonomy.

1973 - The Bahamas become independent.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The island economy relies on tourism, offshore finance and shipping

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Related Topics