A map of the BahamasThe Bahamas are made up of about 700 islands, along with more than 2000 rocks and small coral banks (cays). They form a chain stretching for nearly 970 kilometres (600 miles). The largest islands are Grand Bahama, Andros and Abaco; the most populated is New Providence, home to the nation’s capital, Nassau along with around two-thirds of its people. The islands of the Bahamas are made of coral. In some places, there are low rounded hills. Most of the islands are fringed by white, sandy beaches, while inland are tropical shrubs and trees. The Bahamas have a warm, sunny climate all year round. But they are occasionally at risk from hurricanes sweeping in from the Atlantic.
Only about 30 of the islands are inhabited. Most people live on New Providence, in and around the capital Nassau. Nearly all Bahamians are descended from Africans who settled in the country after escaping slavery in the 19th century. The rest have ancestors from Europe and the USA, or have migrated to the country from Haiti. English is the main language.
An island in the Bahamas, Guanahani, was where Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas—the “New World”—in October 1492. He named it San Salvador.
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