(Commonwealth of The Bahamas). State of Central America (13,943 km²). Capital: Nassau. Population: 395,361 (2017 estimate). Language: English. Religion: Protestants 34.9%, Catholics 12%, Anglicans 13.7%, others 27.7%. Currency unit: Bahamian dollar (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.807 (54th place). Borders: Atlantic ocean. Member of: Commonwealth, OAS and UN, EU associate, WTO observer .
The GDP is US $ 12,803 million and the per capita GDP, which is among the highest in the Caribbean area, is US $ 34,494 (2018); socio-economic indicators point to an overall positive situation, although the foreign debt is not insignificant, given the large but necessary recourse to imports and international financing for infrastructure works. In more recent years, the government has privatized the main public service companies, also to combat widespread corruption in the political world. In 2005 the Bahamas, together with other Caribbean countries, signed the PetroCaribe agreement with Venezuela, for the supply of oil at concession prices. § Resources of the archipelago are agriculture (cane, tomatoes, pineapples,, coconut palms, watermelons), breeding (sheep, goats, poultry), forestry, fishing (crustaceans, tortoises, sponges) and the extraction of sea salt and aragonite;
According to allcountrylist, the industries, which have experienced a slight development thanks to government incentives and are concentrated in Freeport (Greater Bahama), are active in the food (rum, fruit preserves), petrochemical and cement sectors. § However, the main economic sources of the Bahamas are tourism and offshore financial and insurance activities; the tertiary sector, in fact, constitutes 85.9% (2017) of GDP. Tourism, after a positive trend that recorded about 3.5 million arrivals in 1997, has suffered a decline due to the uncertain international situation created in 2001 (in 2017, admissions fell by more than half). The evolution of the sector has stimulated investments especially in the hotel sector. The Bahamas have become an important international financial center (around 350 banks were based there in 2006). The country also enacted anti-money laundering laws after the OSCE was censored as a tax havenin 2000. § The United States, from which about 80% of tourists and the largest capital investments come, supplies almost a quarter (2006) of imports and absorbs a fifth (2006) of exports; other important importing countries are Brazil, Japan, South Korea and Spain, while other export recipients are Spain, Poland, Germany, Great Britain and Guatemala. Since the establishment of the naval register (1976) there has been an increase in the merchant navy; in fact there is a large fleet (which represents 5.1% of the world total. § The organization of the territory has undergone profound transformations with the rise of large accommodation facilities and new manufacturing industries and with the improvement of communication infrastructures,
The population density is low (28.36 residents/km²), mainly due to the lack of water which – in the past – discouraged population. Today’s residents are mainly blacks of African origin and mulattoes while the original Arawak tribes have completely disappeared. Population growth, fueled for many years by a consistent migratory flow, has resumed slower rates, also following the policies of repression of illegal immigration attempts, in particular from Haiti. The spread of AIDS it has a significant impact on data relating to infant mortality and life expectancy. Only the main islands are inhabited and more than half of the population resides in that of New Providence, with a marked tendency to concentrate in the capital city. In addition to Nassau, which has an international airport, major centers are Freeport, on the Greater Bahama, and Standard Creek, on Andros.
The vegetation, on the major islands, is represented by the tropical forest, with an abundance of palms, mahogany and cedars; the great biodiversity present in the islands is protected by the Bahamas National Trust, which manages the national parks and other protected areas (which represent 1% of the territory). Numerous bird colonies populate the islands including parrots, hummingbirds and above all flamingos, the symbol of the country; sea turtles nest on the beaches while the coral reef and underwater caves are home to a great variety of fish.