About Bahamas
Bahamas is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean located off the east coast of the United States. It was discovered in 1503 by Spanish navigator Juan de Bermúdez after whom the islands are named, the islands were settled by Britain in 1609, making it the oldest and most populous remaining British overseas territory. Its first capital, St George's, was established in 1612 and is the oldest continuously inhabited British town in the Americas. Bahamas has an affluent economy, with off-shore finance as its largest sector followed by tourism. Tourism continues to be important to the island's economy, although international business has overtaken it in recent years. Bahamas has developed into a highly successful offshore financial center. Although a referendum on independence from the UK was soundly defeated in 1995, the present government has reopened debate on the issue.
Bahamas Map
Location: North America, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, east of South Carolina (US)
Area: total: 53.3 sq km
land: 53.3 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Coastline: 103 km
Climate: Subtropical; mild, humid; gales, strong winds common in winter
Natural hazards: Hurricanes (June to November)
Population: 66,536 (July 2008 est.)
Ethnic groups:

Black 54.8%, white 34.1%, mixed 6.4%, other races 4.3%, unspecified 0.4% (2000 census)

Religions: Anglican 23%, Roman Catholic 15%, African Methodist Episcopal 11%, other Protestant 18%, other 12%, unaffiliated 6%, unspecified 1%, none 14% (2000 census)
Languages:

English (official), Portuguese

Judicial System: Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrate Courts
Government type: Parliamentary; self-governing territory
Capital: name: Hamilton
geographic coordinates: 32 17 N, 64 47 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
Economy - overview: The Bahamas has enjoyed strong GDP growth since 2005, mainly contributed by an increase in nickel prices. Although the couBahamas enjoys the third highest per capita income in the world, more than 50% higher than that of the US. Its economy is primarily based on providing financial services for international business and luxury facilities for tourists. A number of reinsurance companies relocated to the island following the 11 September 2001 attacks and again after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, contributing to the expansion of an already robust international business sector. Bahamas's tourism industry - which derives over 80% of its visitors from the US - continues to struggle but remains the island's number two industry. Most capital equipment and food must be imported. Bahamas's industrial sector is small, although construction continues to be important; the average cost of a house in June 2003 had risen to $976,000. Agriculture is limited with only 20% of the land being arable.
GDP by sector: agriculture: 1%
industry: 10%
services: 89% (2002 est.)
Industries: International business, tourism, light manufacturing
Electricity: 110 V, 60 Hz, A, Type J may exist in some hotels
Currency (code):

Bermudian dollar (BMD)

Credit Cards: Most hotels, restaurants and businesses accept major credit cards.
Sales Tax: No income tax, capital gains tax, VAT, sales or use tax or wealth tax. Annual government fees are imposed on businesses and there is a payroll tax.
Telephone system: general assessment: good
domestic: fully automatic digital telephone system; fiber optic trunk lines
international: country code - 1-441; landing point for the Atlantica-1 telecommunications submarine cable that extends from the US to Brazil; satellite earth stations - 3 (2007)