The World Factbook (1982)/The Bahamas

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
The Bahamas


World Factbook (1982) The Bahamas.jpg
(See reference map III)


111,396 km2; 1% cultivated, 29% forested, 70% built on, wasteland, and other


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 3 nm (fishing 200 nm)

Coastline: 3,542 km (New Providence Island, 76 km)


Population: 237,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.8%

Nationality: noun—Bahamian(s); adjective—Bahamian

Ethnic divisions: 80% Negro, 10% white, 10% mixed

Religion: Baptists 29%, Church of England 23%, Roman Catholic 23%, smaller groups of other Protestant, Greek Orthodox, and Jews

Language: English

Labor force: 101,000 (1979), 25% organized; 19% unemployment (1979)


Official name: The Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Type: independent commonwealth since July 1973, recognizing Elizabeth II as Chief of State

Capital: Nassau (New Providence Island)

Legal system: based on English law

National holiday: Independence Day, 10 July

Branches: bicameral legislature (appointed Senate, elected House); executive (Prime Minister and Cabinet); judiciary Government leaders: Prime Minister Lynden O. PINDLING; Governor General Gerald C. CASH

Suffrage: universal over age 18; registered voters (July 1977) 73,309

Elections: House of Assembly (19 July 1977); next election due constitutionally in five years

Political parties and leaders: Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), predominantly black, Lynden O. Pindling; Bahamian Democratic Party (BDP), Henry Bostwick; Free National Movement (FNM), Cecil Wallace-Whitfield; Social Democratic Party (SDP), Norman Solomon Voting strength (1977 election): PLP (55%) 30 seats, BDP (27%) 6 seats, FNM (15%) 2 seats, others (3%) seats

Communists: none known

Member of: CDB, G-77, GATT (de facto), IBRD, ICAO, IDB, ILO, IMCO, IMF, ITU, UN, UPO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


GNP: $1,083 million (1979), $4,650 per capita; real growth rate 3-4% (1980)

Agriculture: food importer, main crops—fish, fruits, vegetables Major industries: tourism, cement, oil refining, lumber, salt production, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral weld, and steel pipe

Electric power: 320,000 kW capacity (1981); 650 million kWh produced (1981), 3,307 kWh per capita

Exports (nonoil): $194 million (f.o.b., 1979); pharmaceuticals, cement, rum

Imports (nonoil): $364 million (f.o.b., 1979); foodstuffs, manufactured goods

Major trade partners: nonoil exports—US 41%, UK 12%, Canada 3%; nonoil imports—US 73%, UK 13%, Canada 2% (1973)

Aid: economic—bilateral commitments including Ex-Im (1970-80) from US, $34.3 million; from other Western countries (1970-79), $137.7 million; no military aid

Budget: (1979 actual) revenues, $208 million; expenditures, $216 million

Monetary conversion rate: 1 Bahamian dollar=US$1

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: none

Highways: 3,350 km total; 1,350 km paved, 2,000 km gravel

Ports: 2 major (Freeport, Nassau), 9 minor

Civil air: 8 major transport aircraft, including 1 leased in

Airfields: 55 total, 51 usable; 27 with permanent-surface runways; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 22 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: telecom facilities highly developed, including 62,000 telephones (28 per 100 popl.) in totally automatic system; tropospheric scatter link with Florida; 3 AM stations, 2 FM stations and 1 TV station; 3 coaxial submarine cables