Interesting Facts About the Bahamas
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Interesting Facts About The Bahamas
- The Bahamas is an independent country, formerly a British colony, located in the Caribbean, southeast off the coast of Florida.
- The Bahamian archipelago has over 700 islands, but only about 30 of them are inhabited.
- The Bahamas has an estimated population of over 392,000 people, about 70% of them live on the island of New Providence, the country capital Nassau.
- Although an independent country today, The Bahamas is a British Commonwealth realms, and Queen Elizabeth II serves as the country’s head of state.
- Lucayan people are believed to be the first inhabitants of the islands, occupying the southern islands as early as the 11th century.
- Christopher Columbus led a Spanish expedition which arrived in the Bahamas in 1492 and became the first Europeans to do so. These early Spanish explorers forced most native Lucayans into slavery. Over 50% of Lucayans died from smallpox during this period.
- In 1718, The Bahamas officially became a British colony. The British placed a ban on slavery, which led to an influx of freed slaves into the country.
- On July 10, 1973. The Bahamas gained independence from Britain colonial rule
- The origin of the name “Bahamas” comes from the Spanish term “baja mar.” which means shallow sea in Spanish. As can be seen in any satellite image, the water around the Bahamas is indeed shallow—the entire region has a delightful turquoise color to it. The turquoise comes from the white calcium carbonate sand and the color of light when it’s reflected off the bottom and unabsorbed by the water. The water around the Bahamas is so saturated with calcium carbonate (the stuff that makes up sea shells) that it will often precipitate directly out of the water.
- Nassau is the largest city in the Bahamas and is the country’s capital city.
- English is the official language in the Bahamas.
- The official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar.
- The Bahamas’ national flower is the yellow elder and its national animal is the flamingo.
- The Bahamas has a tropical climate with over 340 days of sunlight annually. August is both the hottest and wettest month in the Bahamas.
- Due to its tropical beaches, the Bahamas attracts over 5 million visitors annually.
- The Bahamas covers an area of 5,358 square miles and is made up of over 700 islands.
- The Bahamas lies in a relatively flat landscape, with the highest elevation in the country being the 207-foot high Mount Alvernia
- Defense of the country is mandated to the Royal Bahamas Armed Forces, which is made up of an army, navy, and air force.
- The Bahamas is a member of numerous international organizations including the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations (joined both in 1973).
- The Bahamas has strong international relations, particularly with the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The country lies in a hurricane-endemic region, and the Bahamas has been hit by devastating hurricanes, including the deadly 1999 Hurricane Floyd and Hurricane Dorian in 2019 that has destroyed most of the islands of Grand Bahamas and Abaco
- Tourism is the Bahamas’ chief foreign exchange earner, accounting for 50% of the country’s GDP.
- The Bahamas is among the richest countries in the Americas in terms of GDP per capita.
- The financial sector is another economic pillar in the Bahamas, which accounts for 15% of the GDP.
- Agriculture accounts for about 7% of the GDP, and Bahamas is a food deficient country that relies on food imports.
- There is no income tax in the Bahamas.
- The Bahamas has an estimated population of over 392,000 people and a population density of 65.3 persons per square mile.
- The Bahamas has a life expectancy of 69.87 years.
- 93.1 % of its population is under 64 years of age.
- Christianity is the dominant religion in the Bahamas. About 70% of Bahamians identify as Protestant Christians.
- Junkanoo is the most popular festival in the country and is observed every New Year’s Day and Boxing Day.
- Cricket is the most popular sport in the Bahamas and is the country’s national sport.
- Education is a right mandated by the Constitution of the Bahamas, and 98.2% of the population is considered to be literate.
- In the Bahamas there are 120 species of plants and 109 species of birds.
- The world’s deepest blue hole is found in the Bahamas. Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas is the deepest blue hole in the world.
- The Bahamas is one of two countries in the Western Hemisphere that lies on the Tropic of Cancer. Mexico is the only other country in the western hemisphere that it crosses it.
- Inagua has the largest breeding colony of West Indian flamingoes in the world and is known as a birdwatcher’s paradise. The ratio of people to the flamingoes in the great Inagua is 1:61
- Bahamians drive on the left side of the road, however, most vehicles in the country are left hand drive.
- The Nassau Public Library, which is octagonal in shape, is a former jail.
- The Bahamian flag colors are: yellow – for sandy beaches, aquamarine – for Caribbean Sea, and black – for people strength.
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