Bahamas <<buh HAH muhz>> are a chain of about 3,000 coral islands and reefs. They make up a country in the Caribbean region. The islands extend from about 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of Florida to the tip of Cuba. Nassau is the capital and largest city of the Bahamas. It lies on the island of New Providence.
The main islands of the Bahamas include Acklins, Andros, Cat, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, Great Abaco, Great Exuma, Great Inagua, Little Abaco, New Providence, and San Salvador. People live on only about 20 of the islands. Most live on New Providence and Grand Bahama. The Bahamas are made up mainly of long, narrow strips of rock called limestone. The limestone is covered by a thin layer of soil.
Many visitors come to the Bahamas each year for its natural beauty and its great weather.Tourism is the country’s main business, and it provides jobs for many people who live in the Bahamas.
Blacks make up most of the population of the Bahamas. Many are descendants of slaves brought by the British. The rest of the people are whites and mulattoes. Mulattoes are people who have mixed black and white ancestors.
Lucayo Indians lived in what are now the Bahamas long before Europeans first arrived. When Christopher Columbus sailed to America in 1492, his first stop was probably on what is now San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. The Bahamas were controlled by Britain from 1717 until 1973. In 1973, they became independent.
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