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Moving to the Bahamas

Made up of 700 islands and over 2,000 rocks and cays, The Bahamas lies within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies in the Atlantic Ocean. Known for its picturesque island scenes, shimmering waters and coral reefs, The Bahamas is truly paradisiacal and a big lure for expats from all over the globe.

Thanks to its low elevation and geographic position in the tropical Gulf Stream, The Bahamas presents a warm climate. Its population is equally hospitable and welcoming to new arrivals, and has a reputation for being charming and always up for a party.

The country, which lies north of Cuba and southeast of the US state of Florida, is one of the richest in the Americas. With leisure activities ranging from sailing and snorkelling to relaxing on a beach or in a luxury spa, it’s no surprise that tourism accounts for over half of the country’s GDP. Additionally, around half of the island’s residents are employed in this sector, directly or indirectly. 

After tourism, finance is the next most important industry. It is within these two sectors that most expats moving to The Bahamas will find a job. However, many of the expats living on the islands aren't there for work purposes but to enjoy their twilight years, retiring and living a dream come true with their families. 

Expats living in The Bahamas will find that the country has an excellent healthcare system with a number of well-equipped hospitals and highly trained staff. Education is another high priority in The Bahamas. With the main language being English, integration into the local schooling system will be much easier for expat children. There are also a handful of international schools in The Bahamas, mostly in Nassau, the country's capital and largest city.

Expats who move to The Bahamas, whether just for a few months or a longer-term relocation, will appreciate a lifestyle that is relaxed but also vibrant and colourful. Music, for example, plays a big part in Bahamian culture, which is largely influenced by African traditions and European colonial influences. Cricket is a national pastime, and locals typically gather for matches every weekend during the cricket season from March to November.

Whether relocating for work or retirement, expats are lured by the promise of a stress-free environment with tropical beaches and turquoise seas, and The Bahamas will not disappoint.

Fast facts

Official name: The Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Population: Around 400,000

Capital city: Nassau

Political system: Unitary constitutional parliamentary monarchy

Neighbouring countries: The Bahamas shares maritime borders with Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic to the south, the Turks and Caicos Islands to the southeast, and the US state of Florida to the northwest.

Geography: The Bahamas is an archipelago of more than 700 islands and 2,400 cays in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are all low-lying, with the highest point only reaching 207 feet (63 metres) above sea level (on Cat Island), and are made up mostly of rocky or mangrove swamp terrain.

Main languages: English

Major religions: Protestant Christianity

Time: GMT-5

Electricity: 120 V and 60 Hz. Plug types A and B are used with two or three flat pins. European appliances typically require a 220-volt converter.

Money: Bahamian Dollar (BSD)

International dialling code: +1-242

Emergency numbers: 911

Internet domain: .bs

Transport and driving: Public buses (jitneys) and taxis are the most popular form of public transport across the islands, although most expats choose to have their own car. Cars in The Bahamas drive on the left side of the road.