Skip links

Facts about the Bahama Islands For Kids

  • The Bahamas is an island country of the Lucayan Archipelago consisting of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean; north of Cuba and Hispaniola; northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands; southeast of the U.S. state of Florida and east of the Florida Keys.
  • The designation of “Bahamas” can refer to either the country or the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • As stated in the mandate/manifesto of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Bahamas territory encompasses 470,000 km (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space.
  • Originally inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, the Bahamas were the site of Columbus’ first landfall in the New World in 1492.
  • Although the Spanish never colonized the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola.
  • After the American War of Independence, the Crown resettled thousands of American Loyalists in the Bahamas; they brought their slaves with them and established plantations on land grants.
  • The Bahamas became a haven for freed African slaves: the Royal Navy resettled Africans here liberated from illegal slave ships; American slaves and Seminoles escaped here from Florida; and the government freed American slaves carried on United States domestic ships that had reached the Bahamas due to weather.
  • The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch.
  • The name Bahamas is derived from either the Taino ba ha ma, which was a pronoun for the region used by the indigenous Amerindians, while other theories suggest it derives from the Spanish baja mar reflecting the shallow waters of the area.
  • In 1684 Spanish corsair Juan de Alcon raided the capital, Charles Town.
  • The United States’ National Park Service, which administers the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, is working with the African Bahamian Museum and Research Center (ABAC) in Nassau on development to identify Red Bays as a site related to American slaves’ search for freedom.
  • These incidents, in which a total of 447 slaves belonging to U.S. nationals were freed from 1830 to 1842, increased tension between the United States and Great Britain.
  • Its military is the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (the RBDF), the navy of the Bahamas which is composed with a land unit called Commando Squadron and an Air Wing (Air Force).
  • The districts of the Bahamas provide a system of local government everywhere except New Providence, whose affairs are handled directly by the central government.
  • The national sport is sloop sailing where Durward Knowles and Sloan Farrington picked up the first Olympic medal (bronze) for the Bahamas at the 1956 Summer Olympics.