The 700 islands that make up the Bahamas are the northernmost islands in the Caribbean Sea. The islands all have palm beaches. Thirty islands are inhabited. The Bahamas cover some 13,940 km2. The archipelago is located east of Florida and northeast of Cuba.
The islands are quite flat, but rocky. The highest point is on Cat Island, The Alvernia protrudes 62 meters above sea level. There are also about 2500 mini islands (cay's). The largest island is Andros about 180 kilometers south-east of Florida. The Bimini Islands are northwest of it. To the north is Grand Bahama with the second largest city of Freeport. Great Abaco is east of that. The second largest island of Great Inagua is located in the South. Other islands are also Eleuthera, Cat, San Salvador, Acklins, Crooked and Mayaguana.
Photo: Ton Engwirda, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands (no changes made)
The islands have a tropical maritime climate, which means that it is warm, but not too hot. The sun shines an average of 320 days a year, reaching an average of seven to nine hours of sunshine a day. Yet it is not only sunny. Every now and then there is a rain shower. Most rain falls between May and October. The minimum temperature is fifteen degrees in winter. In summer it is rarely warmer than forty degrees. This is due to the cool wind coming from the sea.
Hurricanes are less common than in the Caribbean islands, except in recent years, as in the United States. The hurricane season is from June to November. One speaks of a hurricane at wind speeds of more than 120 kilometers per hour (Category I hurricanes). Wind speeds can reach a devastating 250 kilometers per hour (Category V hurricanes).
no changes Photo:Caleb Spiegel/USFWS Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
The rocky bottom of the archipelago means that the flower and plant population is not very extensive. Still, there are 1370 trees and plant species found in the Bahamas. 121 of these are native and do not exist anywhere else. Examples of this are the Bahamian mahogany and the Bahamian pine. Pine trees are the most common trees in the north and west of the Bahamas, supplemented by scrub and palms. Mahogany trees were also common here, nowadays this species is somewhat more rare.Animals
photo:Yomangani in the public domain
The Bahamas has thirteen native animal species that are threatened with extinction. Twelve of these animals are bat species. The other, most special, species that only occurs in the Bahamas is the hutia, related to the guinea pig. The animal is the size of a cat. This rodent is also threatened with extinction. Furthermore, the Bahamas is home to many wildlife such as donkeys and horses. Many fish species live in the sea, including the dolphin.
Originally, the islands in the Caribbean Sea were inhabited by Indian tribes (Lucayans). Christopher Columbus first set foot in the eastern Bahamas in 1492. With the arrival of Columbus, the Indians had a hard time, most of them died in the mines of the Spaniards. The islands remained uninhabited for a long time, until a quarrel broke out in Britain between the Puritans and the Anglican Church in the seventeenth century. Many British took refuge in the new world and many of them ended up in the Bahamas. Since that time, there has been a lot of struggle across the islands. The Bahamas became self-governing in 1963, and since 1973 the Bahamas have been an independent state in the Commonwealth. Lynden Pindling of the progressive liberal party is the first prime minister of the Bahamas. In 1992 Hubert Ingraham of the center-left FNM takes over the night. After which Perry Christie from the PLP took over in 2002. In 2007, Hubert Ingraham's FNM recaptured power. In May 2012, the PLP won the parliamentary elections and Perry Christie became prime minister again. New elections were held in May 2017 with the winner of the FNM, Hubert Minnes becomes the new prime minister. The next elections are scheduled for May 2023.
Photo:Mattletiss1976 in the public domain
329,988 people live in the Bahamas (2017). The Bahamas have a low population density. The population density is 24 inhabitants per square kilometer. The most populous islands are New Providence, where Nassau, the capital and largest city, is located and Grand Bahama, home to the second largest city of Freeport
- Natural population growth is 0.81%. (2017)
- Birth rate per 1,000 population is 15.3 (2017)
- Mortality rate per 1,000 population is 7.2 (2017)
- Life expectancy is 72.6 years - men 70.2 and women 75.1 years (2017)
- Population composition:
- Blacks 90%
- Whites 5% (Most have a British background)
- Other 5% (Asians and mixed breeds)
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English is the official language in the Bahamas. The population also speaks Creole, especially immigrants from Haiti.
Foto:Plucas58 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made
The major religions in the Bahamas are Baptism (32%), Anglican (20%), Roman Catholicism (19%), Methodism (6%) and other Protestants (6%).
The Bahamas has been an independent state within the British Commonwealth since 1973. The head of state of England appoints a governor general. The executive tasks take place under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The Bahamas are a constitutional democracy and are administratively divided into 21 districts. Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Exuma, Freeport, Fresh Creek, Governor's Harbor, Green Turtle Cay, Harbor Island, High Rock, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Long Island, Marsh Harbor, Mayaguana, New Providence, Nichollstown and Berry Islands, Ragged Island, Rock Sound, Sandy Point, San Salvador and Rum Cay.
no changes photo:Mike Burton Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)
The main driving force on the economy in the Bahamas is undoubtedly tourism, which accounts for more than half of the gross national product. Most of the tourists are from the United States. Forty percent of the workforce is employed in this industry. Industry and agriculture together account for only about ten percent of gross national product. Many agricultural products are therefore imported. Another large part of the import consists of factory products, oil and electronic products. In particular, many pharmaceutical products are exported, but also rum, cement, crayfish and petroleum products. Another important sector is the banking sector. The Bahamas are known as a tax haven.
Photo:Roger W, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) (no changes made)
Of the Bahama Archipelago, which consists of approximately 700 islands, the islands of Grand Bahama, New Providence and Paradise Island are the best choice as a holiday destination. As far as the climate is concerned, there is no need to worry, the sun shines all year round and a refreshing sea breeze provides much needed cooling. More than 80% of tourists come from the United States and the Bahamas, after Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic is the fourth most popular destination in the Caribbean. The hurricane season runs from early June to early December, which is something to take into account.
Nassau is the capital and here you will find colonial buildings, shops and markets and a vibrant nightlife. Outside of New Providence are beautiful beaches, of which Cable Beach and Western Esplanade Beach are the most famous. Notable sights here include Ardastra Gardens & Zoo, Potters Cay Market, Nassau Botanical Garden and Fort Montagu.
photo: Mike's Birds, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic (no changes made)
Harbor Island beach is mainly special because of its pink color, caused by pink-red coral insects. Grand Bahama is known for its nature parks, including Lucayan National Park with the largest underwater cave system in the world, Peterson Cay National park, Parrot Jungle's Garden and Walker's Cay.
The many so-called Family Islands are the most suitable for relaxation and tranquility. These are smaller and simpler islands such as the popular Abaco Bahamas, located in the north of the archipelago. On the island of Euleuthera, the blue Atlantic Ocean and the turquoise colored Caribbean Sea are split by a long, narrow strip of land. The island of Bimini has a number of medicinal sources.
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Macculla, P.E. / Bahamas
Baker, C.P. / Bahamas
CIA - World Factbook
BBC - Country ProfilesLast updated May 2021
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