- Bahamas, The
Introduction ::Bahamas, TheBackground:Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas has prospered through tourism, international banking, and investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.Geography ::Bahamas, TheLocation:chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of CubaGeographic coordinates:24 15 N, 76 00 WArea:total: 13,880 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 161land: 10,010 sq kmwater: 3,870 sq kmArea - comparative:slightly smaller than ConnecticutLand boundaries:0 kmCoastline:3,542 kmMaritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nmexclusive economic zone: 200 nmClimate:tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf StreamTerrain:long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hillsElevation extremes:lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 mhighest point: Mount Alvernia on Cat Island 63 mNatural resources:salt, aragonite, timber, arable landLand use:arable land: 0.65%permanent crops: 0.29%other: 99.06% (2011)Irrigated land:10 sq km (2003)Total renewable water resources:0.02 cu km (2011)Natural hazards:hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind damageEnvironment - current issues:coral reef decay; solid waste disposalEnvironment - international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlandssigned, but not ratified: none of the selected agreementsGeography - note:strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain of which 30 are inhabitedPeople and Society ::Bahamas, TheNationality:noun: Bahamian(s)adjective: BahamianEthnic groups:black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%Languages:English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)Religions:Protestant 67.6% (Baptist 35.4%, Anglican 15.1%, Pentecostal 8.1%, Church of God 4.8%, Methodist 4.2%), Roman Catholic 13.5%, other Christian 15.2%, none or unspecified 2.9%, other 0.8% (2000 census)Population:319,031 (July 2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 178note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expectedAge structure:0-14 years: 23.6% (male 38,174/female 37,066)15-24 years: 17.5% (male 28,306/female 27,562)25-54 years: 44.1% (male 70,093/female 70,608)55-64 years: 8.1% (male 11,371/female 14,355)65 years and over: 6.7% (male 8,233/female 13,263) (2013 est.)Dependency ratios:total dependency ratio: 40.9 %youth dependency ratio: 30 %elderly dependency ratio: 10.8 %potential support ratio: 9.2 (2013)Median age:total: 30.8 yearsmale: 29.7 yearsfemale: 32 years (2013 est.)Population growth rate:0.89% (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 127Birth rate:15.81 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 126Death rate:6.96 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 134Net migration rate:0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 77Urbanization:urban population: 84% of total population (2010)rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)Major urban areas - population:NASSAU (capital) 254,000 (2011)Sex ratio:at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/femaletotal population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2013 est.)Maternal mortality rate:47 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)country comparison to the world: 112Infant mortality rate:total: 12.89 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 126male: 12.9 deaths/1,000 live birthsfemale: 12.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)Life expectancy at birth:total population: 71.69 yearscountry comparison to the world: 141male: 69.25 yearsfemale: 74.19 years (2013 est.)Total fertility rate:1.97 children born/woman (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 132Health expenditures:7.9% of GDP (2010)country comparison to the world: 63Physicians density:1.05 physicians/1,000 population (1998)Hospital bed density:3.1 beds/1,000 population (2009)Drinking water source:improved:urban: 98% of populationrural: 86% of populationtotal: 96% of populationunimproved:urban: 2% of populationrural: 14% of populationtotal: 4% of population (2000 est.)Sanitation facility access:improved:urban: 100% of populationrural: 100% of populationtotal: 100% of population (2010 est.)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:3.1% (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 24HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:6,600 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 114HIV/AIDS - deaths:fewer than 500 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 93Obesity - adult prevalence rate:34.7% (2008)country comparison to the world: 13Education expenditures:NALiteracy:definition: age 15 and over can read and writetotal population: 95.6%male: 94.7%female: 96.5% (2003 est.)School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):total: 12 yearsmale: 12 yearsfemale: 12 years (2006)Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:total: 18.9%country comparison to the world: 63male: 16.7%female: 21.7% (2007)Government ::Bahamas, TheCountry name:conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamasconventional short form: The BahamasGovernment type:constitutional parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realmCapital:name: Nassaugeographic coordinates: 25 05 N, 77 21 Wtime difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in NovemberAdministrative divisions:31 districts; Acklins Islands, Berry Islands, Bimini, Black Point, Cat Island, Central Abaco, Central Andros, Central Eleuthera, City of Freeport, Crooked Island and Long Cay, East Grand Bahama, Exuma, Grand Cay, Harbour Island, Hope Town, Inagua, Long Island, Mangrove Cay, Mayaguana, Moore's Island, North Abaco, North Andros, North Eleuthera, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, South Abaco, South Andros, South Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, West Grand BahamaIndependence:10 July 1973 (from the UK)National holiday:Independence Day, 10 July (1973)Constitution:10 July 1973Legal system:common law system based on the English modelInternational law organization participation:has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCtSuffrage:18 years of age; universalExecutive branch:chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Arthur A. FOULKES (since 14 April 2010)head of government: Prime Minister Perry CHRISTIE (since 8 May 2012)cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime minister's recommendation(For more information visit the World Leaders website )elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime ministerLegislative branch:bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16 seats; members appointed by the governor general upon the advice of the prime minister and the opposition leader to serve five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (38 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms); the government may dissolve the parliament and call elections at any timeelections: last held on 7 May 2012 (next to be held by May 2017)election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLP 30, FNM 8Judicial branch:highest court(s): The Bahamas Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 4 justices, sitting in panels of 3 justices)note - as of 2008, the Bahamas was not a party to the agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice as the highest appellate court for the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM); the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) serves as the final court of appeal for the Bahamasjudge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal justices appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister and in consultation with the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 68-70subordinate courts: Supreme Court; Industrial Tribunal; Stipendiary and Magistrates Courts; Family Island AdministratorsPolitical parties and leaders:Free National Movement or FNM [Hubert MINNIS]Progressive Liberal Party or PLP [Perry CHRISTIE]Political pressure groups and leaders:Friends of the Environmentother: trade unionsInternational organization participation:ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)chancery: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008telephone:  (202) 319-2660FAX:  (202) 319-2668consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Miami, New YorkDiplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d' Affaires John DINKELMANembassy: 42 Queen Street, Nassau, New Providencemailing address: local or express mail address: P. O. Box N-8197, Nassau; US Department of State, 3370 Nassau Place, Washington, DC 20521-3370telephone:  (242) 322-1181, 328-2206 (after hours)FAX:  (242) 328-2206Flag description:three equal horizontal bands of aquamarine (top), gold, and aquamarine, with a black equilateral triangle based on the hoist side; the band colors represent the golden beaches of the islands surrounded by the aquamarine sea; black represents the vigor and force of a united people, while the pointing triangle indicates the enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop the rich resources of land and seaNational symbol(s):blue marlin; flamingoNational anthem:name: ""March On, Bahamaland!""lyrics/music: Timothy GIBSONnote: adopted 1973; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, ""God Save the Queen"" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)Economy ::Bahamas, TheEconomy - overview:The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy and, when combined with business services, account for about 36% of GDP. Manufacturing and agriculture combined contribute less than a 10th of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. The economy of The Bahamas shrank at an average pace of 0.8% annually between 2007-11, and tourism, financial services, and construction - pillars of the national economy - remained weak. These challenges, coupled with a growing public debt, increases in government expenditures, a narrow revenue base, and heavy dependence on customs and property taxes have led to prospects of limited growth for The Bahamas.GDP (purchasing power parity):$11.24 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 151$10.96 billion (2011 est.)$10.79 billion (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGDP (official exchange rate):$8.043 billion (2012 est.)GDP - real growth rate:2.5% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 1231.6% (2011 est.)0.2% (2010 est.)GDP - per capita (PPP):$31,900 (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 45$31,500 (2011 est.)$31,300 (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGDP - composition, by end use:household consumption: 68.3%government consumption: 15.9%investment in fixed capital: 28.2%investment in inventories: 0%exports of goods and services: 45.8%imports of goods and services: -58.2%(2012 est.)GDP - composition, by sector of origin:agriculture: 2.1%industry: 7.1%services: 90.8% (2012 est.)Agriculture - products:citrus, vegetables; poultryIndustries:tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticalsIndustrial production growth rate:NA%Labor force:192,200 (2012)country comparison to the world: 173Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 5%industry: 5%tourism: 50%other services: 40% (2005 est.)Unemployment rate:14% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 13614.2% (2009 est.)Population below poverty line:9.3% (2004)Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 1%highest 10%: 22% (2007)Budget:revenues: $1.5 billionexpenditures: $1.8 billion (2012 est.)Taxes and other revenues:18.6% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 175Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):-3.7% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 135Fiscal year:1 July - 30 JuneInflation rate (consumer prices):2.8% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 813.2% (2011 est.)Central bank discount rate:4.5% (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 934% (31 December 2011 est.)Commercial bank prime lending rate:4.8% (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 1575.06% (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of narrow money:$1.575 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 131$1.435 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of broad money:$6.482 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 119$6.104 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of domestic credit:$8.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 105$8.511 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Market value of publicly traded shares:$2.78 billion (31 December 2012 est.)Current account balance:-$1.139 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 116-$1.091 billion (2011 est.)Exports:$750 million (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 166$834.9 million (2011 est.)Exports - commodities:crawfish, aragonite, crude salt, polystyrene productsExports - partners:Singapore 23.7%, US 19.5%, Dominican Republic 13.4%, Ecuador 9.8%, Canada 5.4%, Guatemala 4.4% (2012)Imports:$2.882 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 147$2.966 billion (2011 est.)Imports - commodities:machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animalsImports - partners:US 29.9%, India 20.1%, Singapore 8.7%, South Korea 6.7%, China 5%, Colombia 4.3%, Canada 4.2% (2012)Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$846.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 141$1.07 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Debt - external:$16.88 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 84$15.13 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Exchange rates:Bahamian dollars (BSD) per US dollar -1 (2012 est.)1 (2011 est.)1 (2010 est.)1 (2008 est.)1 (2007 est.)Energy ::Bahamas, TheElectricity - production:1.93 billion kWh (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 134Electricity - consumption:1.79 billion kWh (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 141Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 162Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 159Electricity - installed generating capacity:490,000 kW (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 137Electricity - from fossil fuels:100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 7Electricity - from nuclear fuels:0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 47Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 159Electricity - from other renewable sources:0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 109Crude oil - production:0 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 110Crude oil - exports:0 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 81Crude oil - imports:0 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 158Crude oil - proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 108Refined petroleum products - production:0 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 155Refined petroleum products - consumption:36,300 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 112Refined petroleum products - exports:41,610 bbl/day (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 63Refined petroleum products - imports:64,600 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 59Natural gas - production:0 cu m (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 101Natural gas - consumption:0 cu m (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 118Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 61Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 159Natural gas - proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 111Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:5.573 million Mt (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 119Communications ::Bahamas, TheTelephones - main lines in use:133,000 (2011)country comparison to the world: 140Telephones - mobile cellular:298,800 (2011)country comparison to the world: 173Telephone system:general assessment: modern facilitiesdomestic: totally automatic system; highly developed; the Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network links 14 of the islands and is designed to satisfy increasing demand for voice and broadband Internet servicesinternational: country code - 1-242; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic submarine cable that provides links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 (2007)Broadcast media:2 TV stations operated by government-owned, commercially run Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas (BCB); multi-channel cable TV subscription service is available; about 15 radio stations operating with BCB operating a multi-channel radio broadcasting network alongside privately owned radio stations (2007)Internet country code:.bsInternet hosts:20,661 (2012)country comparison to the world: 117Internet users:115,800 (2009)country comparison to the world: 156Transportation ::Bahamas, TheAirports:61 (2013)country comparison to the world: 79Airports - with paved runways:total: 24over 3,047 m: 22,438 to 3,047 m: 21,524 to 2,437 m: 13914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2013)Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 371,524 to 2,437 m: 4914 to 1,523 m: 16under 914 m:17 (2013)Heliports:1 (2013)Roadways:total: 2,717 kmcountry comparison to the world: 169paved: 1,560 kmunpaved: 1,157 km (2002)Merchant marine:total: 1,160country comparison to the world: 10by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 238, cargo 170, carrier 2, chemical tanker 87, combination ore/oil 8, container 57, liquefied gas 71, passenger 102, passenger/cargo 26, petroleum tanker 225, refrigerated cargo 97, roll on/roll off 13, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 61foreign-owned: 1,063 (Angola 6, Australia 1, Belgium 6, Bermuda 15, Brazil 1, Canada 96, Croatia 1, Cyprus 23, Denmark 69, Finland 8, France 15, Germany 30, Greece 225, Guernsey 6, Hong Kong 3, Indonesia 2, Ireland 3, Italy 1, Japan 88, Jordan 2, Kuwait 1, Malaysia 13, Monaco 8, Montenegro 2, Netherlands 23, Nigeria 2, Norway 186, Poland 34, Saudi Arabia 16, Singapore 7, South Korea 1, Spain 6, Sweden 11, Switzerland 1, Thailand 4, Turkey 3, UAE 23, UK 18, US 109)registered in other countries: 6 (Panama 6) (2010)Ports and terminals:major seaport(s): Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Pointcontainer port(s) (TEUs): Freeport (1,116,272)(2011)cruise port(s): NassauMilitary ::Bahamas, TheMilitary branches:Royal Bahamas Defense Force: Land Force, Navy, Air Wing (2011)Military service age and obligation:18 years of age for voluntary male and female service; no conscription (2012)Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 85,568 (2010 est.)Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 63,429females age 16-49: 64,645 (2010 est.)Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:male: 2,829female: 2,750 (2010 est.)Military expenditures:0.6% of GDP (2011)country comparison to the world: 157Transnational Issues ::Bahamas, TheDisputes - international:disagrees with the US on the alignment of the northern axis of a potential maritime boundaryIllicit drugs:transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; offshore financial center"
The World Factbook. 2014.
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Bahamas, The — officially Commonwealth of The Bahamas Archipelago and nation consisting of about 700 islands and numerous cays, northwestern edge of the West Indies, lying southeast of Florida and north of Cuba. Area: 5,386 sq mi (13,950 sq km). Population… … Universalium
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