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.)


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


CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
World Development Indicators. World Bank
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Human Development Report 2013.United Nations Development Programme.

Updated January 2015