By Kevin Stith
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands and cays located in the Atlantic Ocean between Florida and Hispaniola. The total area covered by the Bahamas is around 100,000 square miles. The Bahamas have a population of 310,000, concentrated on the islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama. Andros Island is the largest island of the Bahamas and has the world's third-largest barrier reef.
The Bahamas has a framework of a parliamentary representative democracy monarchy and follows a multi-party democratic system like Great Britain's. Although Queen Elizabeth II is the nominal head of the state of the Bahamas, however, a cabinet headed by a prime minister governs the country. Geographically, the Bahamas is divided into 31 districts to provide a system of local government everywhere in the Islands, except for New Providence, where the central government handles the affairs directly.
The island nation's economy is heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. According to industry analysts, tourism provides around 60% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the country and employs around half the Bahamian work force. The second-most important segment of the Bahamian economy is the financial services sector, which contributes around 15% of the GDP. Although there is no large-scale agriculture undertaken in the Bahamas, the agriculture and fishing industries account for 5% of the GDP.
Around 85% of Bahamian natives are black, and around 12% of the population is white. Although the official language of Bahamas is English, a small number of immigrants also speak Creole, Spanish and Portuguese. Christianity is the main religion, with Baptists forming the largest denomination (about one third), followed by the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. The Bahamians have a hybrid African/European culture, and a rhythmic form of music called junkanoo.
The Bahamas is indeed a group of beautiful islands, and also a great place for undertaking a vacation.
z-Bahamas.com provides detailed information on Bahamas, Bahamas Weather, Bahamas Vacations, Bahamas Cruises and more. z-Bahamas is affliated with Bahamas Cruise Lines.
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