Moving to the Bahamas
Expats moving to the Bahamas will find a population with a reputation for being charming and hospitable, and always up for a celebration.
The Bahamas has a small population of around 400,000 people who are predominantly of West African descent, with the rest mostly being descendants of European and Latin American settlers.
The country is one of the richest in the Americas. Tourism accounts for over 60 percent of the country’s GDP and 50 percent of employment. After tourism, the next most important economic sector is the financial services industry. It is within these two sectors that most expats moving to the Bahamas will find employment. However, most of the expats living on the islands aren't there for work purposes but to enjoy their twilight years.
Expats living in the Bahamas will find that the country has an excellent healthcare system with a number of well-equipped hospitals and highly trained staff. Education is a high priority in the Bahamas, and with the main language being English, expats will find that integration into the local schooling system will be a lot easier for their children. There are also a handful of international schools in the Bahamas, mostly in Nassau, the country's capital and largest city.
The islands offer expats a relaxed lifestyle with tropical beaches and turquoise seas. Sailing, diving and game fishing are just some of the outdoor activities expats can enjoy in their time off. Cricket is a national pastime, and locals gather for matches every weekend during the cricket season from March to November. Music also plays a big part in Bahamian culture, which is largely influenced by African traditions and European colonial influences, while religion also forms a central role.
Official name: The Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Population: Around 400,000
Capital city: Nassau
Political system: Unitary constitutional parliamentary monarchy
Neighbouring countries: The Bahamas shares maritime borders with Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic to the south, the Turks and Caicos Islands to the southeast, and the US state of Florida to the northwest.
Geography: The Bahamas is an archipelago of more than 700 islands and 2,400 cays in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are all low-lying, with the highest point only reaching 207 feet (63 metres) above sea level (on Cat Island), and are made up mostly of rocky or mangrove swamp terrain.
Main languages: English
Major religions: Protestant Christianity
Electricity: 110 and 220 volts
Money: Bahamian Dollar (BSD)
International dialling code: +1-242
Emergency numbers: 911
Internet domain: .bs
Transport and driving: Public buses (jitneys) and taxis are the most popular form of public transport across the islands, although most expats choose to have their own car. Cars in the Bahamas drive on the left side of the road.