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August 13, 2022

The Bahamas, the full name of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is an island nation located southeast of Florida and northeast of Cuba. The territory of the state is part of the Lucay Archipelago: 30 larger, 700 smaller (called cays or keys according to their size, from where the Lucay Archipelago also originates) and about 2,400 coral islands. It lies in the Atlantic Ocean.

History

The Taín people settled in the Bahamas around the 10th century. Already this settlement has caused the extinction of local species. The first place that Christopher Columbus discovered in America was one of the islands of the Bahamian archipelago. In 1492 he landed on the island of San Salvador and declared it a Spanish possession. Most of the original population was taken by the Spanish as slaves to the gold mines in Cuba and Haiti, the rest died out. At the beginning of the 17th century, the British began to settle on the island, and in 1717 the Bahamas became a British colony. On January 7, 1964, the Bahamas was granted self-government and on July 10, 1973, independence was declared. Since the early 1980s, refugees from Haiti have been coming here, trying to escape the poverty and political unrest in their country.

Administrative division

The Bahamas is administratively divided into districts. This applies to all areas of the country except New Providence. There are 31 of them, of which 23 were created in 1996, the rest in 1999.

Geography

The Bahamas consists of a long chain of low limestone and coral islands and more than 2,000 small cays. There are no mountain ranges or steep coasts in the Bahamas - vast beaches prevail. The altitude of the islands is therefore low. The climate is tropical, under the influence of the northeast trade winds and the warm Gulf Stream. Average temperatures reach 28 °C in the warmest August, 21 °C in the coldest February. Precipitation varies between 1100 and 1600 mm per year, less than 1000 mm in the south-eastern end of the archipelago.

Economy

The only natural wealth of the Bahamas is the beaches, which now become a place of pleasure for several million visitors every year, mostly from the USA. Tourism provides work for more than two thirds of the gainfully employed population. Salt and wood are mined. There are also oil refineries. The cultivation of sugarcane and fruits such as pineapples and bananas is significant. The country is also home to a number of banks and financial institutions that take advantage of the country's favorable tax system, and operates a large merchant fleet flying a flag of low cost. The capital Nassau has an advantageously located, once strategically important port. Until the 1950s, the main economic sector was the fishing of sea sponges. The economy of the Bahamas is dependent on tourism and so-called offshore banking. The Bahamas is the richest country in the West Indies (Bahama Archipelago, Greater and Lesser Antilles) and has the 14th highest GDP in North America. It is a stable, developing nation in the Lucay Archipelago with a population of 391,232 (2016). Ever-increasing tourism and a boom in the construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences has resulted in solid economic growth for many years, but the slowdown in the United States economy and the attacks of September 11, 2001, caused a slowdown in gross domestic product growth from 2001 to 2003. Financial Services they represent the second most important sector of the Bahamian economy, accounting for approximately 15% of gross domestic product (GDP). However, since December 2000, when the government introduced new regulations in the financial sector, many international firms and businesses have decided to leave the Bahamas. Industry and agriculture together make up about 10% of GDP and show slow growth despite the help of the local government. The overall growth thus depends very much on how tourism is doing, which is mainly influenced by the growth of the GDP in the USA, since 80% of all tourists heading