The Bahamas is an English-speaking country consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets. It is located at the north-east of the Caribbean Sea in the AtlanticOcean, it is bordered by Cuba, to northwest with the Turks and Caicos Islands, and to southeast with the United States of America. Its total land area is almost 14 000 km², with an estimated population of330,000. Its capital is Nassau.
All the islands are low and flat, with ridges that usually rise no more than 15 to 20 m. The highest point in the island is Mount Alvernia, formerlycalled Como Hill, which has an altitude of 63 metres on Cat Island.
The climate of the Bahamas is subtropical to tropical, and is moderated significantly by the waters of the Gulf Stream,particularly in winter. Conversely, this often proves very dangerous in the summer and autumn, when hurricanes pass near or through the islands.
While there has never been a freeze reported in theBahamas, the temperature can fall as low as 2–3 °C.
The politics of the Bahamas takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, whereby the PrimeMinister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. The Bahamas is an independent island and Commonwealth Realm. It is a parliamentary democracy whose political and legal traditions closelyfollow those of the United Kingdom. Executive power is exercised by the government.
The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation with an economy heavily dependent on tourism andoffshore 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 theattacks of 11 September 2001 held back growth in these sectors in 2001-03. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy. In addition to tourism and banking,...