Bahamas History

Grand Bahama Island Facts & Figures

Country: The Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Capital: Many believe that Freeport is the capital of Grand Bahama Island, but West End is the official capital.

Currency: Bahamian Dollar (BSD). The Bahamian dollar is typically on par with the U.S. Dollar (USD). The U.S. Dollar is accepted throughout The Bahamas.

Climate: Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream currents and balmy trade winds, Grand Bahama Island has sub-tropical weather, which is generally pleasant all year long.

There are two seasons here:

Summer: May through September, with temperatures around 80-85°F

Winter: October through April with temperatures averaging 70-75°F. The rainy season spans from May through October.

Economy: The Bahamas is a stable, developing nation driven primarily by the tourism, financial services, and fishing industries, respectively.

Ethnic Background: The largest ethnic groups in The Bahamas are African, European, Asian and Hispanic. Eighty-five percent of the Bahamian population is of African heritage. Many ancestors arrived in The Bahamas when the islands served as a staging area for the slave trade in the early 1800s. Others accompanied thousands of British loyalists who fled the American colonies during the Revolutionary War. Haitians form the largest immigrant community in the country.

Flag: The design of the Bahamian flag is a black equilateral triangle against the mast superimposed on a horizontal background, which is made up of two colours on three equal stripes: aquamarine, gold and aquamarine.

Black, a strong colour, represents the vigour and force of a united people. The triangle represents the enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop and process the rich resources of land and sea, symbolized by gold and aquamarine, respectively.

Government: As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Bahamas recognizes His Majesty King Charles III as Head of State. The Governor-General is His Majesty’s representative in The Bahamas. The Cabinet constitutes the executive branch and has general direction and control of the Government of The Bahamas. It is necessary for the Cabinet to comprise at least nine ministers, including the Prime Minister and Attorney General. The Governor-General of The Bahamas is His Excellency Sir Cornelius A. Smith, GCMG, and the Prime Minister of The Bahamas is Hon. Philip E. Davis QC, MP.

Highest Point: 40 ft.

Independence: Independence from the United Kingdom was received on July 10, 1973.

Island Size: Grand Bahama Island is 530 square miles, 96 miles long from east to west, and 17 miles across at its widest point.

Language: The official language of The Bahamas is English. You will often hear British accents and Bahamian dialects.

Location: Grand Bahama Island is located in the Caribbean, in the Atlantic Ocean, 200 miles west of Nassau, 55 miles from Southwest Florida, and is located northeast of Cuba. Its coordinates are 26°39′N 78°19′W.

Motto: The Bahamian National Motto is “Forward, Upward, Onward Together”.

Nationality: Bahamian

National Anthem: March On, Bahamaland

National Bird: West Indian Pink Flamingo

National Dish: Conch, served a variety of ways

National Flower: The yellow elder, a tubular yellow flower with ultra-fine red stripes on each petal.

Population: The population census for Grand Bahama Island was 46,994 in the year 2000 and the population census for all of the Islands of The Bahamas was 303,611.

Religions: Various religions are practiced in The Bahamas. The most popular are Baptist, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Church of God, Methodist, and other Christian religions.

Terrain: The terrain in The Bahamas is generally low and flat. Grand Bahama Island features breathtaking white sandy beaches, beautifully clear turquoise blue waters and plenty of lush, tropical foliage.

Time Zone: Grand Bahama Island is in the Eastern Standard Time zone (EST). Daylight Savings Time (DST) is observed in the summer months from March to November, when the time is shifted forward by 1 hour to Eastern Daylight-savings Time (EDT). It shifts back by 1 hour after the summer months, and returns to EST.

Traffic: Automobiles drive on the LEFT side of the road.