Originally inhabited by Lucayan Indians, Christopher Columbus first set foot in the new world on San Salvador Island, one of the countries more southern islands in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647 with the islands becoming a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas has prospered through tourism, international banking, and investment management.

LOCATION
An archipelago of 700 islands, cays and islets, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is spread over 100,000 square miles in the Atlantic Ocean. The country lies just 50 miles southeast of the Florida Keys and northeast of Cuba.

POPULATION 324,597
31 districts: Acklins Islands, Berry Islands, Bimini, Black Point, Cat Island, Central Abaco, Central Andros, Central Eleuthera, City of Freeport, Crooked Island and Long Cay, East Grand Bahama, Exuma, Grand Cay, Harbour Island, Hope Town, Inagua, Long Island, Mangrove Cay, Mayaguana, Moore’s Island, North Abaco, North Andros, North Eleuthera, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, South Abaco, South Andros, South Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, West Grand Bahama

CAPITAL CITY
Nassau on the island of New Providence.

GOVERNMENT
Parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

LANGUAGES
English, Creole

CURRENCY
Bahamian Dollar = $1 USD

TIME ZONE
UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

DIALLING CODE
1-242