Officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an independent, sovereign, English-speaking country consisting of two thousand cays and seven hundred islands that form an archipelago. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the United States; north of Cuba, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic & Haiti) and the Caribbean Sea; and northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands. It remains a Commonwealth realm.
The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Steady growth in tourism receipts and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences had led to solid GDP growth in recent years, but the slowdown in the US economy and the attacks of 11 September 2001 held back growth in these sectors in 2001-03. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy, accounting for about 15% of GDP. However, since December 2000, when the government enacted new regulations on the financial sector, many international businesses have left The Bahamas. Manufacturing and agriculture together contribute approximately a tenth of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. Overall growth prospects in the short run rest heavily on the fortunes of the tourism sector, which depends on growth in the US, the source of more than 80% of the visitors. In addition to tourism crayfish and banking, the government supports the development of a "third pillar", e-commerce.
The districts of the Bahamas provide a system of local government everywhere in The Bahamas except New Providence, whose affairs are handled directly by the central government. The districts other than New Providence are:
1. Acklins 2. Berry Islands 3. Bimini 4. Black Point, Exuma 5. Cat Island 6. Central Abaco 7. Central Andros 8. Central Eleuthera 9. City of Freeport, Grand Bahama 10. Crooked Island 11. East Grand Bahama 12. Exuma 13. Grand Cay, Abaco 14. Harbour Island, Eleuthera 15. Hope Town, Abaco 16. Inagua 17. Long Island 18. Mangrove Cay, Andros 19. Mayaguana 20. Moore's Island, Abaco 21. North Abaco 22. North Andros 23. North Eleuthera 24. Ragged Island 25. Rum Cay 26. San Salvador 27. South Abaco 28. South Andros 29. South Eleuthera 30. Spanish Wells, Eleuthera 31. West Grand Bahama