13,939 square kilometres (5,382 square miles).
303,000 people (the 2000 official estimate)
21.7 people per square kilometre
Population of Nassau
172,000 (the 1997 official estimate).
Some key geographical facts:
The Bahamas consists of 700 low lying islands, mostly islets (cays
or keys) and rocks.
whole archipelago extends 970 kilometres (500 miles) southeastward
from the coast of Florida, surrounded by clear,
soil is thin, however on the more developed islands, cultivation
has produced exotic flowers.
On other islands are large areas of pine forest, rocky and barren
land, swamp and unharmed beaches.
Bahamas are divided into 2 oceanic features, the Little Bahama Bank
and the Great Bahama Bank.
The Bahamas has a constitutional monarchy and gained
independence in 1973. The Head of State is HM Queen
Elizabeth II, represented locally by Governor General Dame Ivy Dumont
since 2001. The Head of Government is Prime Minister
Perry Christie since 2002.
Former premier, Pindling, who conquered much of contemporary affairs
in The Bahamas, retired from politics after his 1992 defeat and
died in August 2000. Perry Christie is now Premier
and a previous colleague of Pindling. After Hurricane Frances caused
extensive broad damage in The Bahamas in late 2004, with Hurricane
Jeanne following only weeks later, Christie is likely to set about
devising plans to better detect such hurricanes, and better lessen
The bicameral Parliament, composed of a 16 member
Senate, whose membership is appointed, and a 40 strong House of
Assembly directly elected for a 5 year term, has legislative powers.
The British Monarch has formal executive powers, vested in a Governor
General, although in practice the Governor General regularly acts
upon the advice of a Cabinet of Ministers appointed from the House
The national and official language is English.
The 3 main Christian denominations are Anglican, Baptist and Roman
Greenich Mean Time (GMT) - 5.
110 volts AC, 60Hz. An adaptor is necessary for 220 V appliances.
The pace of life is normally leisurely. Informal
wear is acceptable in the resorts with some degree of dressing up
in the evenings, mainly for dining, dancing and casinos in Nassau
Further from the main towns, dress is more casual,
however there is still a tendency to dress up at night. Small outposts
like Green Turtle Cay, for example, will not necessitate more than
a shirt and long trousers. It is not suitable to wear beachwear