The Bahamas or the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is an archipelagic nation comprising
approximately 700 islands, rocks (islets), and cays, covering about 100,000 square miles in the western Atlantic Ocean, north of Cuba and the Dominican Republic and Haiti (Hispaniola); northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands; southeast of the U.S. state of Florida and east of the Florida Keys.
The Bahamas which was originally inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, but now has over 85% of its total population being black Africans of mostly West African ancestry has a total land area of about 5,350 square miles and as stated in the mandate/manifesto of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, has territory that encompasses 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space. Of the thirty islands which are inhabited there are twenty distinctive administrative and social districts. Two hundred thousand Bahamians, that is approximately two-thirds of the nation’s entire population, reside in Nassau, the nation’s capital found on New Providence, a land mass of 80 square miles.
The name Bahamas is said to originate from two languages. One school of thought avers that it derived from the Spanish phrase "baja mar" ("shallow water or sea" or "low tide") reflecting the shallow waters of the area. Another school of thought also posit that it may originate from Guanahani, a local name of unclear meaning. In English, the Bahamas is one of only two countries in the world whose official name begins with "the", along with The Gambia in the West Africa.
As stated earlier, The Bahamas was originally inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people. It was first sited by Christopher Columbus' as his first landfall on the island of San Salvador in the New World on October, 12, 1492. Although the Spanish never colonized the Bahamas, they landed on the land raid it and shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.