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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Bahamas General Info
Bahamas General Information - TravelPuppy.com
Area

13,939 square kilometres (5,382 square miles).

Population

303,000 people (the 2000 official estimate)

Population Density

21.7 people per square kilometre

Capital

Nassau.

Population of Nassau

172,000 (the 1997 official estimate).

Geography

Some key geographical facts:

The Bahamas consists of 700 low lying islands, mostly islets (cays or keys)    and rocks.

 The whole archipelago extends 970 kilometres (500 miles) southeastward    from the coast of Florida, surrounded by clear, colourful waters.

 The 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.

 The Bahamas are divided into 2 oceanic features, the Little Bahama Bank    and the Great Bahama Bank.

Government

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 their impact.

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 of Assembly.

Language

The national and official language is English.

Religion

The 3 main Christian denominations are Anglican, Baptist and Roman Catholic.

Time Zone

Greenich Mean Time (GMT) - 5.

Electricity

110 volts AC, 60Hz. An adaptor is necessary for 220 V appliances.

Social Conventions

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 or Freeport.

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 in towns.
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