The Bahamas, 700 islands and 2,400 cays, dot the Atlantic Ocean from Florida almost to Haiti. Only 30 of the islands are inhabited.
Today, about 85 percent of Bahamians are of African heritage. New Providence, one of the smallest of the major islands, is home to almost 70 percent of the population. The Bahamas takes in more than three billion dollars annually from nearly four million tourists. International banking and investment management augment the economy, with more than 400 banking institutions from 36 countries.
Population: 319,000 Capital: Nassau; 222,000 Area: 5,382 square miles Language: English, Creole Religion: Baptist, Anglican, Roman Catholic Currency: Bahamian dollar