Streets of Nassau Bahamas

Bahamas, The : History

The Bahamas is an archipelago of nearly 700 coral islands. Around 30 of the islands are inhabited. The Bahamas sits in the West Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres south-east of Florida in the United States and 80 kilometres north-east of Cuba. The islands are generally flat and low-lying. 

Key facts

  • Region: Caribbean and Americas
  • Population: 385,640 (2018) 
  • Area: 14,000 square kilometres 
  • Capital: Nassau 
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1973, following independence from Britain 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 15 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for The Bahamas 


The Commonwealth sent observers to the elections in The Bahamas in 2017. 

Human rights 

The Secretariat helped The Bahamas to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council. It was the second Commonwealth small island developing state to be elected to the council. 


Since August 2016, the Secretariat has helped build the skills of sport leaders and sport officials in The Bahamas. 

Debt management 

The Secretariat helped The Bahamas draft a law to help it manage its public debt. It also gave The Bahamas advice on its bond market (where traders buy and sell debt).  

Natural resources 

Secretariat experts on managing oceans and natural resources helped The Bahamas develop a Petroleum Bill and Regulations. The government passed its Petroleum Act in 2016. 

In 2018, the Commonwealth helped The Bahamas prepare a law to regulate its mining sector. 

Blue Charter

The Bahamas is a member of the following Action Groups: Coral Reef Protection and Restoration, Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods, Marine Protected Areas, Ocean Acidification, Ocean and Climate Change, Ocean Observation, Sustainable Aquaculture, and Sustainable Blue Economy.

The Bahamas in the Commonwealth 

Bahamian Robert Antoni was winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book award with his novel, Divina Trace, in 1992. 

Nevar Smith, from The Bahamas, was a 2015 Commonwealth Youth Awards finalist. He established the Bahamas Youth Movement – an organisation that encourages young people to find creative ways to contribute to their country. 

The Bahamas hosted the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting in 2017. The same year, it hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games. 

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