Portal:The Bahamas

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The Bahamas Portal

Flag of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Coat of arms of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
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The Bahamas (/bəˈhɑːməz/ (About this soundlisten)), known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago. The archipelagic state consists of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, and is located north of Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the U.S. state of Florida, and east of the Florida Keys. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. The designation of "the Bahamas" can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force describes the Bahamas territory as encompassing 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space.

The Bahamas is the site of Columbus's first landfall in the New World in 1492. At that time, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taíno people. Although the Spanish never colonised the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.

The Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American Revolutionary War, the Crown resettled thousands of American Loyalists in the Bahamas; they brought their slaves with them and established plantations on land grants. Africans constituted the majority of the population from this period. The slave trade was abolished by the British in 1807; slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834. Subsequently, the Bahamas became a haven for freed African slaves; the Royal Navy resettled Africans there liberated from illegal slave ships, North American slaves and Seminoles escaped here from Florida, and the government freed slaves carried on US domestic ships that had reached the Bahamas due to weather. Today, Afro-Bahamians make up nearly 90% of the population.

The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973 with Elizabeth II as its queen. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following the United States and Canada), with an economy based on tourism and finance.

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Prince George Wharf in Nassau Harbor.jpg
The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Steady growth in tourism receipts and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences had led to solid GDP growth in recent years, but the slowdown in the US economy and the attacks of September 11, 2001 held back growth in these sectors in 2001-03. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy, accounting for about 15% of GDP. However, since December 2000, when the government enacted new regulations on the financial sector, many international businesses have left The Bahamas. Manufacturing and agriculture together contribute approximately a tenth of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. Overall growth prospects in the short run rest heavily on the fortunes of the tourism sector, which depends on growth in the US, the source of more than 80% of the visitors. In addition to tourism and banking, the government supports the development of a "2nd-pillar", e-commerce.

Selected biography

Kimbo Slice
Kevin Ferguson (born February 8, 1974), better known as Kimbo Slice, is a Bahamian-American boxer, mixed martial artist and occasional actor. He became famous for street fights which were spread on the Internet, leading Rolling Stone to give him the nickname, "The King of the Web Brawlers".

Slice left the underground fighting scene and signed a professional contract with EliteXC in 2007. After EliteXC declared bankruptcy in 2008, Slice became a free agent. Slice competed in The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights,[1] where he lost in his first fight to veteran fighter, and eventual series winner, Roy Nelson. In his UFC debut, Slice defeated Houston Alexander in the The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights finale,[2][3] but lost in his second UFC fight to Matt Mitrione at UFC 113.

Selected picture

Hield at Oklahoma in 2016
Credit:

Bahamian NBA Player Buddy Hield at Oklahoma in 2016

Did you know

  • ...that there are a total of 324 species of birds in the Bahamas, of which 4 are endemic, 11 have been introduced by humans, and 153 are rare or accidental?

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