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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 has prospered through tourism and international banking and investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.


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Economy

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. Prior to 2006, a steady growth in tourism receipts and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences led to solid GDP growth but since then tourism receipts have begun to drop off. The global recession in 2009 took a sizeable toll on The Bahamas, resulting in a contraction in GDP and a widening budget deficit. The decline was reversed in 2010-11 as tourism from the US and sector investment returned. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy and, when combined with business services, account for about 36% of GDP. However, the financial sector currently is smaller than it has been in the past because of the enactment of new and stricter financial regulations in 2000 that caused many international businesses to relocate elsewhere. Manufacturing and agriculture combined contribute approximately a 10th 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 and foreign investment in tourism related infrastructure projects. The government also completed the sale of 51% of the telecommunications company in 2011 after 14 years of trying to privatize the state-owned enterprise.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 151
$10.92 billion (2011 est.)
$10.71 billion (2010 est.)
$10.61 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$8.074 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 147
2% (2011 est.)
1% (2010 est.)
-5.4% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 42
$31,400 (2011 est.)
$31,100 (2010 est.)
$31,100 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 2.2%
Industry 6.5%
Services 91.3% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 173
184,000 (2009)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 5%
Industry 5%
Tourism 50%
Other services 40% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 142
14.2% (2009 est.)
8.7% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line
9.3% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% NA%
Highest 10% 27% (2000)

Budget
Revenues $1.514 billion
Expenditures $1.68 billion (FY11/12 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 175
18.8% of GDP (FY11/12 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 78
-2.1% of GDP (FY11/12 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 65
3.2% (2011 est.)
1.3% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 68
4% (31 December 2011 est.)
5.25% (31 December 2010 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 149
5.06% (31 December 2011 est.)
5.5% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 139
$1.408 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.335 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 119
$6.266 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$5.966 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 102
$8.8 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$8.466 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares
$NA

Agriculture - products
Citrus, vegetables; poultry

Industries
Tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe

Industrial production growth rate
NA%

Electricity - production World Ranking: 135
1.945 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 137
1.907 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 151
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 108
35,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 81
Transshipments of 41,610 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 77
70,990 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 105
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 149
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 149
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 55
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 151
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 149
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 125
-$1.146 billion (2011 est.)
-$812.1 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 165
$709.7 million (2011 est.)
$702.4 million (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Mineral products and salt, animal products, rum, chemicals, fruit and vegetables

Exports - partners
Singapore 26.8%, US 25.6%, Dominican Republic 11.2%, Ecuador 8.1%, Mexico 4.9%, Switzerland 4.9% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 147
$2.854 billion (2011 est.)
$2.591 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animals

Imports - partners
US 25.9%, India 18.8%, South Korea 14.4%, Venezuela 9.6%, Singapore 7.8%, China 4.2% (2011)

Debt - external World Ranking: 174
$342.6 million (2004 est.)

Exchange rates
Bahamian dollars (BSD) per US dollar -
1 (2011 est.)
1 (2010 est.)
1 (2008)
1 (2007)

Fiscal year
1 July - 30 June


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  The Bahamas (Nassau):


  GPS points from The Bahamas (Nassau)

Little Loggerhead Creek Fresh Creek District

Egg Island Harbour Island District

Marions Bluff Governor's Harbour District

The Bight Of Acklins Acklins Island District

Little Inagua Inagua District

Rat Cay Exuma District

Delaport Bay New Providence District

Sugar Loaf San Salvador And Rum Cay District




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