General information: After gaining independence in 1973 (until 1973 – a colony of Great Britain), the Bahamas succeeded due to tourism, the development of international banking and investment services. By the beginning of the 1980s. the islands have become an important center for drug trafficking and a transit point for drugs to the United States, and are also used to infiltrate the United States for illegal immigrants. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Bahamas History.
Location: Caribbean region, a chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida.
Geographical coordinates: 24° 15′ N. latitude, 76° 00′ W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean.
Area: total: 13,940 km2; land surface area: 10,070 km2; water surface area: 3,870 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 3,542 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200 m or to the depth of development of deposits; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical marine; softened by the warm Gulf Stream.
Terrain: Long, flat coral formations with several round hills.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Alvernia on CatbZ Island m.
Natural resources: salt, aragonite, timber.
Land use: arable land: 1%; cultivated land: 0%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 32%; others: 67% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: Hurricanes and other tropical storms that cause widespread flooding and destruction.
Current environmental issues: destruction of coral reefs; solid waste dumps.
International environmental agreements: party to: Biodiversity, 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: no.
Note to the Geography section: strategic location near the US and Cuba; long chain of islands.
Population: 297,982; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and population growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall mortality rates correspondingly higher; there may also be changes in age structure and sex ratios (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 29.43% (male 44,179; female 43,486); 15 to 64 years old: 64.46% (male 94,329; female 97,674); over 65: 6.11% (male 7,618; female 10,566) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.93% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 19.1 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 7.14 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -2.65 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male/female; under 15: 1.02 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.97 male/female; over 65: 0.72 male/female; for the general population: 0.96 male/female. (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 17.03 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 70.46 years; men: 67.71 years; women: 73.71 years (2001 est.);
General birth rate: 2.3 children/wives. (2001 OTs.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 4.13% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 6,900 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 500 (1999 est.).
Nationality:noun: Bahamian; adjective: Bahamian.
Ethnic groups: Black 85%, White 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%.Believers: Baptist 32%, Anglicans 20%, Roman Catholic 19%, Methodist 6%, “Church of God” 6%, other Protestant 12%, non-denominational or unknown 3%, other 2%.Language(s): English, Creole (among Haitian immigrants).Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 98.2%; men: 98.5%; women: 98% (1995 est.). State Name:
Common long form: Commonwealth of the Bahamas;
Common short form: Bahamas.
State structure: constitutional parliamentary democracy.
Administrative divisions: 21 counties: Acklins and Crooked Island, Bimini, Green Turtle Key, Governor’s Tor Harbor, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Cat, Long Island, Marsh Harbor, Mayaguana, Nichols Town, and wa Berry, New Providence, Rock Sound, Ragged Island, San Salvador and Ram Key, Sandy Point, Fresh Creek, Freeport, High Rock, Harbor Island, Exuma.
Independence: from July 10, 1973 (until 1973 – a colony of Great Britain).
National Day: Independence Stump, July 10 (1973).
Constitution: adopted July 10, 1973
Legal system: based on English common law.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Governor General Sir Orville TURNQUEST (since 2 January 1995);
head of government: Prime Minister Hubert Alexander INGRA-NAM (since 19 August 1992) and Deputy Prime Minister Frank WATSON (since December 1994);
Government: the Cabinet is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister; elections: no; hereditary monarchy; the governor-general is appointed by the monarch; the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are appointed by the Governor General.
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16 members are appointed by the Governor General on the proposal of the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition for five years) and the House of Assembly (40 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote for five years); elections: last held 14 March 1997 (next to be held in March 2002); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: FNM 35, PLP 5.
Judiciary: Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; justices of the peace.
Political parties and leaders: Free National Movement (FNM) (Hubert Alexander INGRAHAM); Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) (Perry CHRISTIE).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACP, C, Caricom, CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer).
US Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Joshua SEARS; office: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 319-2660; fax:  (202) 319-2668; consulates general: Miami and New York.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador J. Richard BLANKENSHIP; embassy: Queen Street, Nassau; mailing address: P. O. Box N-8197, Nassau or American Embassy Nassau, P. O. Box 599009, Miami, FL 33159-9009 or Nassau, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-3370; phone:  (242) 322-1181, 328-2206; fax:  (242) 356-0222.
Description of the flag: three equal horizontal stripes of aquamarine (top and bottom) and gold (in the middle) with a black equilateral triangle, the base of which is the left side of the flag.