Bahamas

behmas-map

The Commonwealth of The Bahamas (The Bahamas) is an archipelago spanning 100,000 square miles and extending 760 miles south-east from the southern coast of Florida in the United States of America to northern Hispaniola.

The Bahamas has an estimated land area of 13,878 square kilometers (5,358 square miles) and comprises some 700 islands and 2,400 cays. Of the 700 islands, 30 are inhabited, with approximately 90% of the population on the islands of New Providence (where the capital, Nassau, is located), Grand Bahama, and Abaco.

The Bahamas is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model, with a functional two‐party system. Under this system of government, the Prime Minister and his cabinet are responsible to the legislature. The Bahamas gained independence in 1973 from the United Kingdom and has the constitutional safeguards of freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association.

COUNTRY BACKGROUND

POPULATION

The Bahamas has a population of 399,285. The ethnic make-up of the population is 85%
Black, 12% White and 3% Asian and Latin Americans.

CURRENCY

The legal currency of The Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar (BSD). However, the US dollar
(USD) is pegged on a par to the Bahamian dollar by legislation. Within the banking system,
conversion of foreign currency, including US dollars to Bahamian dollars and vice versa (1
USD: 1 BSD), is subject to an official rate of exchange.

LANGUAGE

English is the official language of the Bahamas. A second language is French Creole.

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