Arawak 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 have prospered through tourism and international b

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. 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 tourist arrivals have been on the decline since 2006. 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, since December 2000, when the government enacted new regulations on the financial sector, many international businesses have left The Bahamas. Manufacturing and agriculture combined 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. Tourism, in turn, depends on growth in the US, the source of more than 80% of the visitors.

Language of the Bahamas

The lingua franca of the Bahamas is English.

Most Bahamian's speak English quite well, with some "improvements" (depending on your point of view) which tend to be looked upon as errors in other English speaking countries, i.e. "Whay yuh tink use'a goin'? (Translated: Where are you are going?). Very colorful.

There is no official second language in the Bahamas (which is a good thing), though everyone is free to speak whatever language they like (unlike those poor French whose government forces them to speak their language!).

anking and investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.