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The Spanish were the first Europeans to explore that area and, in communicating with their New World territories, they were the first to use it as a maritime highway. But they found little time to marvel at nature's wonders. They looked with awe at a sea-bed which often seemed to rise beneath them. Coral growths of fantastic shapes and abundance reached for the surface and threatened their ships and lives at every turn. Appropriately, they called it bajamar, shallow sea. And from this word derives the name Bahama Islands- islands of the shallow sea.*

1. Area: 13,940 sq. km.

2. Population: 305,655 (July 2007 est.)

3. Capital: Nassau

4. Language: English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)

6. Date of OAS membership: 1982

7. Description of The Bahamas*:
    
North of the Greater Antilles and east of southern Florida there is a region of great natural beauty, abounding in islands, reefs and Shoals, banks and deep water channels.

     Much of the mystery and danger has gone from the Bahama sea. And even though the reefs and shallows are as numerous as ever, the safe passages through and around them are now well charted. Many lighthouses have been built and seagoing craft are now equipped with an assortment of safety devices. Present day explorers cruise the Bahamas with delight and leave it with genuine regret.*

8. History

9. Government

10. Economy

 11. Photographs


*
Source: Permanent Mission of The Bahamas to the OAS 

 

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Updated: 29 February 2008

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