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Bahamas, The (2001)

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Bahamas, The 2001 year

 Bahamas, The
Administrative divisions 21 districts; Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Exuma, Freeport, Fresh Creek, Governor's Harbour, Green Turtle Cay, Harbour Island, High Rock, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Long Island, Marsh Harbour, Mayaguana, New Providence, Nicholls Town and Berry Islands, Ragged Island, Rock Sound, Sandy Point, San Salvador and Rum Cay
Age structure 0-14 years:
29.43% (male 44,179; female 43,486)

15-64 years:
64.46% (male 94,329; female 97,674)

65 years and over:
6.11% (male 7,618; female 10,566) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products citrus, vegetables; poultry
Airports 65 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
3 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
23 (2000 est.)
Area total:
13,940 sq km

10,070 sq km

3,870 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Connecticut
Background Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas have prospered through tourism and international banking and investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.
Birth rate 19.1 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$766 million

$845 million, including capital expenditures of $97 million (FY97/98)
Capital Nassau
Climate tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream
Coastline 3,542 km
Constitution 10 July 1973
Country name conventional long form:
Commonwealth of The Bahamas

conventional short form:
The Bahamas
Currency Bahamian dollar (BSD)
Death rate 7.14 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $385.8 million (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador-designate J. Richard BLANKENSHIP

Queen Street, Nassau

mailing address:
local or express mail address: P. O. Box N-8197, Nassau; stateside address: American Embassy Nassau, P. O. Box 599009, Miami, FL 33159-9009; pouch address: Nassau, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-3370

[1] (242) 322-1181, 328-2206

[1] (242) 356-0222
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Joshua SEARS

2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

[1] (202) 319-2660

[1] (202) 319-2668

consulate(s) general:
Miami and New York
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $9.8 million (1995)
Economy - overview The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism alone accounts for more than 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs 40% of the archipelago's labor force. Moderate growth in tourism receipts and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences led to an increase of the country's GDP by an estimated 3% in 1998, 6% in 1999, and 4.5% in 2000. Manufacturing and agriculture together contribute only 10% of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. Overall growth prospects in the short run will depend heavily on the fortunes of the tourism sector and continued sturdy growth in the US, which accounts for the majority of tourist visitors.
Electricity - consumption 1.362 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 1.465 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island 63 m
Environment - current issues coral reef decay; solid waste disposal
Environment - international agreements party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, 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:
none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%
Exchange rates Bahamian dollars per US dollar - 1.000 (fixed rate pegged to the dollar)
Executive branch chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Orville TURNQUEST (since 2 January 1995)

head of government:
Prime Minister Hubert Alexander INGRAHAM (since 19 August 1992) and Deputy Prime Minister Frank WATSON (since December 1994)

Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime minister's recommendation

none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $376.8 million (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities pharmaceuticals, cement, rum, crawfish, refined petroleum products
Exports - partners US 22.3%, Switzerland 15.6%, UK 15%, Denmark 7.4% (1998)
Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June
Flag description three equal horizontal bands of aquamarine (top), gold, and aquamarine, with a black equilateral triangle based on the hoist side
GDP purchasing power parity - $4.5 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


90% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $15,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4.5% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 24 15 N, 76 00 W
Geography - note strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain
Heliports 1 (2000 est.)
Highways total:
2,693 km

1,546 km

1,147 km (1997)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Illicit drugs transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; banking industry vulnerable to money laundering
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $1.73 billion (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, manufactured goods, crude oil, vehicles, electronics
Imports - partners US 27.3%, Italy 26.5%, Japan 10%, Denmark 4.2% (1998)
Independence 10 July 1973 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries tourism, banking, cement, oil refining and transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe
Infant mortality rate 17.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.9% (2000 est.)
International organization participation 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)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 19 (2000)
Irrigated land NA sq km
Judicial branch Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; magistrates courts
Labor force 156,000 (1999)
Labor force - by occupation tourism 40%, other services 50%, industry 5%, agriculture 5% (1995 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

67% (1993 est.)
Languages English, Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
Legal system based on English common law
Legislative branch bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16-member body appointed by the governor general upon the advice of the prime minister and the opposition leader for five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (40 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)

last held 14 March 1997 (next to be held by March 2002)

election results:
percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - FNM 35, PLP 5
Life expectancy at birth total population:
70.46 years

67.27 years

73.71 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


98% (1995 est.)
Location Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims continental shelf:
200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine total:
1,049 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 30,000,221 GRT/44,601,471 DWT

ships by type:
bulk 185, cargo 214, chemical tanker 36, combination bulk 15, combination ore/oil 22, container 66, liquefied gas 33, livestock carrier 1, multi-functional large-load carrier 4, passenger 79, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 182, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 118, roll on/roll off 50, short-sea passenger 15, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 24

includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Algeria 2, Australia 1, Austria 1, Bermuda 6, Belgium 14, Canada 1, Cuba 1, Cyprus 2, Denmark 17, Finland 7, France 9, Germany 9, Greece 89, Hong Kong 7, Indonesia 2, India 1, Israel 4, Italy 8, Japan 23, Jamaica 1, Kenya 1, Lebanon 2, Luxembourg 2, Monaco 15, Malaysia 1, Netherlands 16, Norway 139, Poland 3, Portugal 2, Russia 2, Saudi Arabia 5, Singapore 12, Spain 7, Sweden 14, Syria 1, Switzerland 7, UAE 1, Trinidad and Tobago 2, UK 67, Ukraine 3, US 50, British Virgin Islands 1, British Virgin Islands 1 (2000 est.)
Military branches Royal Bahamas Defense Force (Coast Guard only), Royal Bahamas Police Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $20 million (FY95/96)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP NA%
National holiday Independence Day, 10 July (1973)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards hurricanes and other tropical storms that cause extensive flood and wind damage
Natural resources salt, aragonite, timber, arable land
Net migration rate -2.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Political parties and leaders Free National Movement or FNM [Hubert Alexander INGRAHAM]; Progressive Liberal Party or PLP [Perry CHRISTIE]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 297,852

estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 0.93% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Freeport, Matthew Town, Nassau
Radio broadcast stations AM 3, FM 4, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios 215,000 (1997)
Railways 0 km
Religions Baptist 32%, Anglican 20%, Roman Catholic 19%, Methodist 6%, Church of God 6%, other Protestant 12%, none or unknown 3%, other 2%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.72 male(s)/female

total population:
0.96 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
modern facilities

totally automatic system; highly developed

tropospheric scatter and submarine cable to Florida; 3 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (1997)
Telephones - main lines in use 96,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 6,152 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 1 (1997)
Terrain long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills
Total fertility rate 2.3 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 9% (1998 est.)
Waterways none
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