Bahamas

Region: Caribbean

Capital: Nassau

Population: 321,834 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 13,880 sq km

Currency: Bahamian dollar (BSD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity USD $32,000 (2013 CIA est.)

Background:

Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas have prospered through tourism and international banking and investment management.

Economy – Overview:

The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago’s labor force. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy and, when combined with business services, account for about 36% of GDP. Manufacturing and agriculture combined contribute less than a 10th of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. The economy of The Bahamas shrank at an average pace of 0.8% annually between 2007-11, and tourism, financial services, and construction – pillars of the national economy – remained weak. These challenges, coupled with a growing public debt, high government expenditures and unemployment, a narrow revenue base, and heavy dependence on customs and property taxes have led to prospects of lmited growth for The Bahamas. (CIA, 2014)

Major Export Commodities: mineral products and salt, animal products, rum, chemicals; fruit and vegetables

Remittances: Not available

Human Development Index 2013 ranking: 49 out of 187 countries (UNDP 2013)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Not available

Total External Debt: USD $17.56 billion (31 December 2012 CIA est.)

Environmental Indicators:
Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 10
Forested Area (percentage of land area): 51.5
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 6.5 (UNDP 2013)

United Nations membership date: 18 September 1973

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the United Nations
231 East 46th Street
New York, N.Y. 10017 USA
Telephone: (212)-421-6925, -6926, -6929
Fax: (212)-759-2135
E-mail: mission@bahamasny.com
Website: http://www.un.int/bahamas

Sources:

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov
World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org
Human Development Report 2013.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

Updated January 2015