Bahamas Population 2017

The population of the Bahamas (2017) is 378,040. This makes the Bahamas the 169th largest country in the world by population.

The Bahamas is the 6th largest country in the Caribbean, although the territories of Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe and Martinique (administered by the USA and France) are each larger than the Bahamas.

Bahamas population chart

Nassau, the largest city in the Bahamas, is home to 70% of the population. In 2016 it was home to 274,400 people.

The Bahamas is a archipelago of islands in the Caribbean ,just off the east cost of Florida and the north east coast of Cuba. The island chain is divided into two – the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in the north west of the archipelago and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the south east.

How many people live in the Bahamas today?

The latest estimate for the population of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is 378,040 people. The estimate comes from the government’s Department of Statistics. This is an population increase of 4,400 people (1.18%) over the 2015 population of 373,630.

Between the last two censuses (2000 and 2010) the population grew by 47,850 or 15.8%. On average, growth over the decade was 1.6% per annum.

Although the population of the Bahamas has been growing for decades, the rate of growth has slowed gradually over the years, as you can see in the population table below.

Census Year Population Percentage change Average annual change
1901 53,735 12.97% 1.3%
1911 55,944 4.11% 0.4%
1921 53,031 -5.21% -0.6%
1931 59,828 12.82% 1.2%
1943 68,846 15.07% 1.2%
1953 84,841 23.23% 2.0%
1963 130,220 53.49% 4.4%
1970 168,812 29.64% 3.8%
1980 209,505 24.11% 2.2%
1990 255,049 21.74% 2.0%
2000 303,611 19.04% 1.8%
2010 351,461 15.8% 1.6%

Population growth is not consistent across the Bahamas. While the population in some islands is increasing (the number of people living on Exuma island increased by 94% between 2000 and 2010) it is decreasing on a number of other islands.

Largest cities in the Bahamas

Nassau is the largest city in the Bahamas. In 2016 its population was 274,400 people. Located on the island of New Providence and its smaller neighbour Paradise Island, Nassau operates as both the capita city and the commercial hub of the Bahamas.

Almost three quarters of the entire Bahamas population lives in Nassau, which as a result dominates the country’s political, cultural and economic life.

The next largest cities in the Bahamas are both on the island of Grand Bahama – just off the coast of Florida in the United States. Lucaya has a population of 46,525 people and Freeport has a population of 26,910.

City Population
Nassau 274,400
Lucaya 46,525
Freeport 46,525

Ethnic groups

Just over nine in ten people (90.6%) in the Bahamas reported in the 2010 census that they were Black. The next largest ethnic groups are white (4.7%), white and black (2.1%), other (1.9%) and unspecified (0.7%).

Black90.6%
White4.7%
White and Black2.1%
Other1.9%
Unspecified0.7%

17.3% of the people living in the Bahamas are citizens of another country. Just under 40,000 (64.4%) are from nearby Haiti. Another 9.2% are from Jamaica and 7.2% are US citizens.

The Bahamas were originally inhabited by the Lucayan people. In just two years between 1509 and 1511, the Spanish transported almost the entire population of the islands (approximately 40,000 people) to Hispaniola, mostly to be used as slaves on neighbouring islands. By 1520 the Bahamas had been entirely depopulated and they remained uninhabited for 130 years.

Religion

The largest single religion in the Bahamas is Christianity, which is followed by 94.9% of the population.

Seven in ten (69.9%) Bahamians are members of a Protestant Church, 12% are Roman Catholic, and 13% belong to another Christian denomination.

Bahamians with no religion make up 1.9% of the population, and a further 2.6% did not specify their religion. Only 0.6% of the population reports that they are a member of a non-Christian religion.

Christian94.9%
Not specified2.6%
No religion1.9%
Other religion0.7%

The largest of the Protestant churches in the Bahamas is the Baptist Church 34.9%. Other major Protestant denominations in the Bahamas include Anglican (13.7%), Pentecostal (8.9%), Seventh Day Adventist (4.4%), and Methodist (3.6%).

Baptist34.9%
Anglican13.7%
Pentecostal8.9%
Seventh Day Adventist4.4%
Methodist3.6%

Languages

English is the official language of the Bahamas and is widely spoken, particularly in formal settings. Bahamian Creole, which is derived from English and a number of other languages is also widely spoken, most commonly in less formal settings.

Many of the Haitian immigrants (around 40,000 people) also speak Haitian Creole.

No accurate statistics on the number of people who speak each language is available.

Population density

The total area of the Bahamas is 13,878 km² or 5,358 m².

Taking the 2016 population of 378,040 and dividing it by the area provides us with a population density of 27.24 people per km² or 70.56 people per m².

Literacy rate

The Bahamas literacy rate is 95.5% for adults (15 and over), increasing to 97.3% for young adults (15-24 years). (2003 data).

Adults (15 and over)95.5%
Young adults (15-24 years)97.3%

Life expectancy

Bahamas life expectancy in 2015 was 72.2 years. Life expectancy for women was 74.4 years and life expectancy for men was 69.8 years.

Overall life expectancy72.2 years
Female life expectancy74.4 years
Male life expectancy69.8 years

Bahamas population pyramid

Bahamas Population Pyramid 2016

Sources

Unless otherwise noted, data in this article comes from the report of the latest (2010) Bahamas census. Click here for a PDF copy of the report. Other related data can be found on the Bahamas Government Department of Statistics website.

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