Top 10 facts about the Bahamas
The Bahamas is a former British colony, a well-known resort with its own flavor. It is well known among tourists and is in demand among them.
Geography and population
All Bahamas are flat islands, the maximum height is reached on Cat Island with Mount Alvernia (63 m); North Andros (3,439 km²) is the largest island in the country and the largest of the three islands that make up Andros (5,957 km²), which in turn is an archipelago. It is followed by the area of Great Inagua (1544 km²), South Andros (1448 km²), Greater Abaco (1146 km²), Grand Bahama (1096 km²), Long Island (596 km²) and Eleuthera (457 km²), and the island, where the capital, New Providence, is only 207 km² wide.
The overall coastal development of the archipelago is remarkable, stretching for 3,500 kilometers, thanks to the shape of the many islands that make it up; the distance between the most remote islands is about 900 kilometers, and the shortest distance from Florida (USA) is just under 100 kilometers.
There are no rivers in the Bahamas, there are only a handful of freshwater pools, more numerous ponds and lagoons, among other things, Lake Rosa (or Windsor), which occupies almost 1/4 of the entire island of Great Inagua.
The country is divided into 31 districts, with the island of New Providence directly administered by the central government, the urbanization rate is 83%, while just under 3/4 of the population lives on the aforementioned island of New Providence, where the capital is located. Another large city is Nassau (274,000 people), which in general is only 1.5% of the territory of the Bahamas; also Freeport (pop. 26,900). Most of the remaining islands are actually sparsely populated.
As a result of the colonial era, blacks (85%) make up the majority of the population, many of them (about 80,000) arrived from Haiti and settled in the country recently, whites (12%) are the other main ethnic component. The most common religion is Protestant (70%), especially Baptist (35%), Anglican (13.5%) and Pentecostal (9%), and Catholic - only 12%.
The official language of the Bahamas is English.
The official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar.
Since the Bahamas are popular among tourists, they tried to provide good communication and the Internet. For long trips, it is best to choose cards from local operators, which are sold at airports and company stores for about $15. To purchase, you must provide a passport.
The two most popular mobile operators in this country are Alive and BTC Everyday. Both support the 4G communication standard, and when the country will switch to 5G is still unknown.
The Internet is quite expensive: 1 GB costs on average more than $5.5, while the average cost of 1 GB around the world is only $4. For example, BTC offers a 10GB monthly plan for a crazy $60, or you can buy a weekly package for $12 that only includes 2GB.
Alive offers 12GB for $60 or 15GB for $90. Of course, there are more budgetary tariffs. The coverage is good, 3G is available almost throughout the inhabited islands, 4G covers most of them.
Also, a tourist should not have problems finding Wi-Fi in hotels and restaurants.
Among the Caribbean countries, the Bahamian monarchy is the most prosperous, despite the fact that it was hit by the 2008-09 global crisis, and going through a recession. The economic driving force is financial services - domestic and offshore - and tourism, a sector that alone generates about one-third of the national GDP. If the government succeeds in defeating organized crime associated with local drug trafficking by improving security conditions for foreigners (80% of whom come from the US), tourism revenues could increase even more. On the other hand, the unemployment rate, which has increased significantly in recent years and reached 15%, remains a problem for the country's growth.
Due to the exceptionally mild climate, since the average winter temperature is about 22 °, the Bahamas are a very fertile land; however, the main resource is not agriculture, but tourism. It is constantly growing and occupies about three-quarters of the active population and thus provides almost all of the gross wealth. In terms of economic importance, after tourism, we have the exploitation of forests, the cultivation of the first fruits, and fishing, especially crustaceans, intended primarily for export. Recently, the industry has seen some growth due to oil refineries and the production of pharmaceutical products. One CHP is enough to meet the needs of the entire archipelago. Both inbound and outbound trade cover almost 100% of the US territory. However, there are also unclear points, such as aiding and abetting the drug trade, illegal immigration, and money laundering. The areas where poverty is most prevalent are the smallest islands.
Salary and prices
The minimum wage in the Bahamas is $5.25, the average is about $2000. Officials, state administration employees, and heads of administration receive the most - some of them can earn up to $16,000.
Salaries of employees of educational institutions are not an example less. An average school teacher earns an average of $1,300 a month, but a school principal earns twice as much. Kindergarten teachers can expect an average of $800 per month. Physicians' services are in demand: an average general practitioner in a public hospital earns an average of $2,000.
Interestingly, even representatives of unskilled professions often receive good salaries. For example, a waiter in an average restaurant earns about $1,400, while a barista earns $2,000.
The Bahamas is also popular among the so-called “digital nomads” – remote workers, primarily from the IT field. The average programmer earns about $3,000 a month.
As for prices, a good three-star hotel will cost $180 for a night for two. Lunch at an inexpensive cafe is about $25, and dinner at an average restaurant is about $100. It is cheaper to buy food in supermarkets: for example, 12 eggs cost about $3, a kilogram of chicken fillet - $8, a kilogram of potatoes - $3.
Renting one-room apartments in major cities usually costs at least $900 per month, plus about $200 for utilities. If you have children, especially small ones, you can also take into account the cost of preschool education - a month of education in a private kindergarten costs about $300.
According to studies, out of 398,000 people living in the Bahamas, 338,000 people have access to the Internet, that is, about 85% of the population - this indicates good Internet penetration and the advisability of conducting online advertising campaigns.
Of the total number of Internet users, 277 thousand of people are registered and regularly browse social networks - they are also the main consumers of advertising. Of the 209 thousand Facebook users, 63% of the audience are users over the age of 13, which is taken into account in the analysis of coverage. The latter, according to statistics, make up about 52% of the total population. Coverage in the social network Instagram is 32% of the population.
It should be borne in mind that 60% of the advertising audience of the Bahamas are women.
Education and medicine
School education in the Bahamas is compulsory. This rule is followed in principle by the majority of the population, and the literacy rate on the islands is around 95%.
In total, there are 210 primary schools in the country, and education in which is free. They go to elementary school in the Bahamas early - at the age of five - and spend the next 6 years in it, studying basic sciences, including English.
After elementary school, children can move on to secondary school, which lasts from three to six years at the choice of the student. In order to be able to receive a complete secondary education, it is mandatory to pass an exam in the ninth year of study.
And only after 12 years of school in total, graduates can enter universities. There are several colleges and universities in the country, the most famous of which is the so-called University of the Bahamas, where you can study the main liberal arts and technical specialties.
Also on the islands, there is a campus of the University of the West Indies, created specifically to promote higher education in the Caribbean region. In addition to the humanitarian, technical, social, and medical specialties are also represented in it.
However, with higher education, local students face a number of problems: it becomes more and more difficult for them as the process digitizes since not everyone has computers and constant access to expensive Internet.
Medicine on the islands is moderately developed. In total, there are more than 60 public and private hospitals and medical centers in the country.
Public institutions are funded by the authorities and access to basic services is free of charge. More complex manipulations, operations, and other interventions are offered for a fee and can be quite expensive. Prices are also high in private clinics.
The main advantage of the Bahamas over most neighboring archipelago countries is that here you can access primary, secondary and tertiary services, you can find a dentist, and even a plastic surgeon. High-quality emergency care is provided, including to pregnant women and women in childbirth. It is not necessary to fly to other countries in severe cases, as happens in Anguilla.
When planning a trip to the Bahamas, it is recommended that a tourist take out good medical insurance.
Working days and holidays
The main working days and weekends in the Christian Bahamas differ little from traditional European holidays:
January 1st - New Year
March-April - Easter holidays
May 1st - Labor Day
July 10 - Independence Day
August - Liberation Day (date is not fixed)
October 12 - Columbus Day
December 25 - Christmas
Festivals are also not uncommon in the Bahamas, local holidays that are not official holidays. An annual film festival, a music festival are held - tourists have something to see.
The mentality of the inhabitants of the Bahamas is typical for this region - they are friendly and open, friendly and polite towards tourists. Easy to communicate. When moving to this country, there will be no problems with finding friends - the hospitable hosts will gladly invite you to visit and treat you to dinner.
As for security, the main scourge of this country is theft, often armed. A tourist is little threatened in tourist centers, where the police are constantly patrolling - at most the theft of a wallet. But when visiting remote corners, you need to be vigilant, especially at night. From some minibusses and in some cases even from trips by public transport at dusk, it is better to refuse altogether if you do not live in the capital.
Locals are also very fond of holidays and positive emotions; they actively participate in street carnivals.
The Bahamas are cryptocurrency friendly. In April 2022, the Bahamas Fiscal Policy Board published a document with regulations and rules up to 2026.
Of course, the government pays attention to the issues of combating money laundering. However, it is also interested in exploring the possibilities of this area, promoting its economic growth, and gaining benefits.
In order to establish a digital asset company in the Bahamas, you need to obtain the appropriate permission. A soft tax policy and simplicity of the procedure will also play into the hands here.
In addition, the local population can safely use digital assets, buy, sell and store them in wallets.
The Bahamas is a place that may seem like heaven on earth to a tourist. Incredible nature, rich flora, and fauna, and pristine beaches are combined with a fairly developed economy and infrastructure for the region.