a tropical and forest island
The Bahamas i/bəˈhɑːməz/, officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a country consisting of more than 3,000 islands, cays and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, north of Cuba and Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeast of the US state of Florida. Its capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. Geographically, the Bahamas lie in the same island chain as Cuba, Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands; the designation of "Bahamas" usually refers to the country and not the geographic chain. The country's population, numbering around 354,000, lives on a land area of 13,939 km2 (5,382 sq mi).
Originally inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, the Bahamas were the site of Columbus' first landfall in the New World in 1492. Although the Spanish never colonized 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 Crown Colony in 1718 when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American War of Independence, thousands of American Loyalists and enslaved Africans moved to the Bahamas and set up a plantation economy. The slave trade was abolished in the British Empire in 1807 and many Africans liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy were settled in the Bahamas during the 19th century. Slavery itself was abolished in 1834 and the descendants form the majority of the Bahamas's population today.
0-14 years: 24% (male 38,483/ female 37,373)
15-64 years: 69.5% (male 108,364/ female 111,340)
65 years and over: 6.5% (male 7,891/ female 12,731) (2012 est.),
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. Hurricane Andrew hit the northern islands during the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Floyd hit most of the islands in 1999 and Hurricane Irene traversed the entire length of the archipelago as a major hurricane in 2011.
While there has never been a freeze reported in the Bahamas, the temperature can fall as low as 2–3 °C (35.6–37.4 °F) during Arctic outbreaks that affect nearby Florida. Snow was reported to have mixed with rain in Freeport in January 1977, the same time that it snowed in the Miami area. The temperature was about 4.5 °C (40.1 °F) at the time
CAPITAL OF BAHAMAS
Nassau ( /ˈnæsɔː/) is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has a population of 248,948 (2010 census), 70 percent of the entire population of The Bahamas (353,658). Lynden Pindling International Airport, the major airport for The Bahamas, is located about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) west of Nassau city centre, and has daily flights to major cities in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The city is located on the island of New Providence, which functions much like a business district. Nassau is the site of the House of Assembly and various judicial departments and was considered historically to be a stronghold of pirates.
Nassau's modern growth began in the late eighteenth century, with the influx of thousands of American Loyalists and enslaved Africans to the Bahamas following the American War of Independence. Many of them settled in Nassau (then and still the commerce capital of the Bahamas) and eventually came to outnumber the original inhabitants.
As the population of Nassau grew, so did the built-up areas. Today the city dominates the entire island and its satellite, Paradise Island. However, until the post-Second World War era, the outer suburbs scarcely existed. Most of New Providence was uncultivated bush until the loyalists came in the 1780s and established several plantations such as Clifton and Tusculum. When the British abolished the international slave Trade in 1807, thousands of liberated Africans freed from slave ships by the Royal Navy were settled on New Providence (at Adelaide Village and Gambier Village) along with other islands such as, Grand Bahama, Exuma, Abaco and Inagua. The largest concentration of Africans lived in the "Over-the-Hill" suburbs of Grants Town and Bain Town to the south of the city of Nassau, while most of the European descent inhabitants lived on the island's northern coastal ridges.