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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Bahamas, The  
Flag of Bahamas, The
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Bahamas, The

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Bahamas, The
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas have prospered through tourism and 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 its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.
   Geography    Bahamas, The
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
24 15 N, 76 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing
total: 13,940 sq km
water: 3,870 sq km
land: 10,070 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
3,542 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island 63 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
salt, aragonite, timber, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind damage
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
coral reef decay; solid waste disposal
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain of which 30 are inhabited
   People    Bahamas, The
Population:
Definition Field Listing
300,529
note: 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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 29% (male 43,964; female 43,250)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 95,508; female 98,859)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 7,948; female 11,000) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.86% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
18.69 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.49 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-2.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
17.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 69.87 years
female: 73.49 years (2002 est.)
male: 66.32 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.28 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.13% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
6,900 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
500 (1999 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Bahamian(s)
adjective: Bahamian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Baptist 32%, Anglican 20%, Roman Catholic 19%, Methodist 6%, Church of God 6%, other Protestant 12%, none or unknown 3%, other 2%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English, Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.2%
male: 98.5%
female: 98% (1995 est.)
   Government    Bahamas, The
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
conventional short form: The Bahamas
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional parliamentary democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Nassau
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
21 districts; Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Exuma, Freeport, Fresh Creek, Governor's Harbour, Green Turtle Cay, Harbour Island, High Rock, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Long Island, Marsh Harbour, Mayaguana, New Providence, Nichollstown and Berry Islands, Ragged Island, Rock Sound, Sandy Point, San Salvador and Rum Cay
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
10 July 1973 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 10 July (1973)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
10 July 1973
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on English common law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Ivy DUMONT (since NA May 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Perry CHRISTIE (since 3 May 2002) and Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia PRATT (since 7 May 2002)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime minister's recommendation
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16-member body appointed by the governor general upon the advice of the prime minister and the opposition leader for five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (40 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held NA March 2002 (next to be held by March 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - PLP 50.8%, FNM 41.1%, independents 5.2%; seats by party - PLP 29, FNM 7, independents 4
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; magistrates courts
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Free National Movement or FNM [leader-designate Tommy TURNQUEST]; Progressive Liberal Party or PLP [Perry CHRISTIE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, C, Caricom, CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Joshua SEARS
consulate(s) general: Miami and New York
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2668
telephone: [1] (202) 319-2660
chancery: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador J. Richard BLANKENSHIP
embassy: Queen Street, Nassau
mailing address: local or express mail address: P. O. Box N-8197, Nassau; stateside address: American Embassy Nassau, P. O. Box 599009, Miami, FL 33159-9009; pouch address: Nassau, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-3370
telephone: [1] (242) 322-1181, 328-2206
FAX: [1] (242) 356-0222
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of aquamarine (top), gold, and aquamarine, with a black equilateral triangle based on the hoist side
   Economy    Bahamas, The
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism alone accounts for more than 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs almost half of the archipelago's labor force. Steady growth in tourism receipts and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences have led to solid GDP growth in recent years. Manufacturing and agriculture together contribute approximately a tenth of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. Overall growth prospects in the short run rest heavily on the fortunes of the tourism sector, which depends on growth in the US, the source of the majority of tourist visitors.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $5 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.5% (2001)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $16,800 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 3%
industry: 7%
services: 90% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
1.5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
156,000 (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
tourism 40%, other services 50%, industry 5%, agriculture 5% (1995 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.9% (2001 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $918.5 million
expenditures: $956.5 million, including capital expenditures of $106.7 million (FY99/00)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, banking, cement, oil refining and transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
1.54 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
1.432 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
citrus, vegetables; poultry
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$535.8 million (2000)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
fish and crawfish; rum, salt, chemicals; fruit and vegetables (1999)
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 28.2%, France 16.5%, Germany 14.1%, UK 12.4% (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$1.88 billion (2000)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animals (1999)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 31.6%, South Korea 18.2%, Italy 17.4%, Japan 5.8% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$381.9 million (2000)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$9.8 million (1995)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Bahamian dollar (BSD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
BSD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Bahamian dollars per US dollar - 1.000 (fixed rate pegged to the dollar)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June
   Communications    Bahamas, The
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
96,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
6,152 (1997)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: modern facilities
domestic: totally automatic system; highly developed
international: tropospheric scatter and submarine cable to Florida; 3 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (1997)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 3, FM 4, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
215,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (1997)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
67,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.bs
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
19 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
13,100 (2001)
   Transportation    Bahamas, The
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2,693 km
paved: 1,546 km
unpaved: 1,147 km (1997)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Freeport, Matthew Town, Nassau
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,076 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 31,309,187 GRT/45,859,485 DWT
ships by type: bulk 159, cargo 246, chemical tanker 41, combination bulk 13, combination ore/oil 22, container 80, liquefied gas 28, livestock carrier 2, multi-functional large-load carrier 8, passenger 88, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 178, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 120, roll on/roll off 49, short-sea passenger 16, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 22
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Angola 1, Argentina 1, Australia 4, Belgium 18, Bermuda 1, Canada 5, Chile 1, China 3, Croatia 2, Cuba 3, Cyprus 2, Denmark 27, Ecuador 1, Estonia 2, Finland 9, France 15, Germany 26, Greece 173, Hong Kong 6, India 2, Indonesia 2, Ireland 1, Israel 3, Italy 9, Jamaica 1, Japan 32, Kenya 3, Malaysia 10, Malta 2, Monaco 67, Netherlands 32, New Zealand 2, Norway 237, Panama 2, Philippines 3, Poland 13, Reunion 1, Russia 6, Saudi Arabia 9, Singapore 13, Slovenia 1, South Korea 2, Spain 7, Sweden 12, Switzerland 8, Thailand 1, Trinidad and Tobago 2, Turkey 2, Ukraine 2, United Arab Emirates 10, United Kingdom 107, United States 159, Uruguay 1 (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
67 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 32
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 3 (2001)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 35
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 23 (2001)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2001)
   Military    Bahamas, The
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Royal Bahamas Defense Force (Coast Guard only), Royal Bahamas Police Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$20 million (FY95/96)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
0.7% (FY99)
   Transnational Issues    Bahamas, The
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; banking industry vulnerable to money laundering

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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