Districts of Bahamas

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Updates: 

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 is dated 2011-12-15. For the Bahamas, the updates in this newsletter are almost the same as the ones that appeared in Newsletter II-2. The difference is that now Green Turtle Cay (former code GT) has been removed.

Update 3 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes, the successor to FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2011-02-28. It has codes for most of the current districts.

Newsletter II-2, an update to the ISO 3166-2 standard, is dated 2010-06-30. It assigns ISO codes to the current districts, as shown in the main table below. For some reason, ISO removed New Providence (former code NP) from the list of districts.

Sorin Cosoveanu provided evidence that Green Turtle Cay is a separate district. It used to be part of North Abaco. It appears on a list of districts for the 2008 election, and in a table of district administrators for 2010 (source [3]), but it's depicted as part of North Abaco on a map dated 2009 (source [4]).

Background information: the Bahamas consist of twenty-some inhabited islands, 700 smaller islands, and over a thousand cays. Sources disagree on the exact numbers. The nature of the islands makes them hard to count. On a good map, Bimini resolves itself into at least two inhabited islands named North Bimini and South Bimini. Andros Island is crisscrossed with waterways and wetlands, dividing it into sub-islands. How many? That depends on how wet you have to get your feet before you've crossed from one island to the next. On my map, Mangrove Cay, Yellow Cay, Red Shank Cay, Big Wood Cay, and others all appear to be part of Andros Island. Paradise Island is generally considered part of New Providence, to which it's connected by a causeway.

The Local Government Act, 1996 created 23 districts in the Family Islands. New Providence was not part of the district structure. A government document explains, "This historic development of Local Government has radically changed the system of government put in place for the Family Islands 90 years ago.... Local Government is an acknowledgement by the present government that a central government distant from many communities particularly in the Family Islands, cannot adequately respond to the daily needs of Family Island communities in a timely fashion.... Because of the geographical separation of the island from New Providence, the capital, it was felt that the Family Island situation was more urgent.... Local government for New Providence was therefore not considered at that time." In short, the national government is still able to govern New Providence, but the remainder of the country needs local government. To deal with this situation, I have treated New Providence as if it were also a district.

Country overview: 

Short nameBAHAMAS
ISO codeBS
FIPS codeBF
LanguageEnglish (en)
Time zone-5 ~
CapitalNassau

 

The Bahama Islands were a British possession until 1973-07-10, when they gained independence.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Bahama-øerne
  2. Dutch: Bahama eilanden, Bahama's, Gemenebest der Bahama's (formal)
  3. English: Commonwealth of the Bahamas (formal), Lucayas (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Bahama
  5. French: Bahamas fp
  6. German: Bahama-Inseln fp, Bahamas f
  7. Icelandic: Bahamaeyjar
  8. Italian: Bahamas p
  9. Norwegian: Bahamaøyene, Bahamas, Bahamassambandet (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Baamas, Bahamas, Comunidade f das Bahamas fp (formal)
  11. Russian: Багамы, Содружество Багамских Островов (formal)
  12. Spanish: Bahamas, Commonwealth de las Bahamas fp (formal)
  13. Swedish: Bahamas
  14. Turkish: Bahamalar

Origin of name: 

Spanish baja mar: low sea

Primary subdivisions: 

The Bahamas are divided into 33 districts. The Local Government Act, 1996, classifies districts as "Second Schedule Districts", which are subdivided into Town Areas, and "Third Schedule Districts", which are not. New Providence is neither.

DistrictHASCSchISOFIPSBeforeCapitalIsland
AcklinsBS.AK3AKBF24ACMason BayAcklins Crooked Island / Long Cay
Berry IslandsBS.BR3BYBF32NBNicholls TownBimini / Berry Islands
BiminiBS.BI3BIBF05BIAlice TownBimini / Berry Islands
Black PointBS.BP3BPBF36EXBlack PointExuma / Ragged Island
Cat IslandBS.CI2CIBF06CIThe BightCat Island
Central AbacoBS.CB2COBF37MHMarsh HarbourAbaco
Central AndrosBS.CN2CSBF38FCFresh CreekAndros
Central EleutheraBS.CE2CEBF39GHGovernor's HarbourEleuthera
City of FreeportBS.FP3FPBF25FPFreeportGrand Bahama
Crooked IslandBS.CK3CKBF40ACMoss TownAcklins Crooked Island / Long Cay
East Grand BahamaBS.EB2EGBF41HRHigh RockGrand Bahama
ExumaBS.EM2EXBF10EXGeorge TownExuma / Ragged Island
Grand CayBS.GC3GCBF42GTCooper's TownAbaco
Green Turtle CayBS.GT3GTCooper's TownAbaco
Harbour IslandBS.HB3HIBF22HIHarbour IslandEleuthera
Hope TownBS.HT3HTBF43MHMarsh HarbourAbaco
InaguaBS.IN3INBF13INMatthew TownInagua
Long IslandBS.LI2LIBF15LIClarence TownLong Island
Mangrove CayBS.MC3MCBF44KBKemp's BayAndros
MayaguanaBS.MG3MGBF16MGAbraham's BayMayaguana
Moore's IslandBS.MI3MIBF45SPSandy PointAbaco
New ProvidenceBS.NWNPNassauNew Providence
North AbacoBS.NA2NOBF46GTCooper's TownAbaco
North AndrosBS.NN2NSBF47NBNicholls TownAndros
North EleutheraBS.NE3NEBF48HIUpper BogueEleuthera
Ragged IslandBS.RI3RIBF18RIGeorge TownExuma / Ragged Island
Rum CayBS.RC3RCBF49SRRum CaySan Salvador
San SalvadorBS.SS3SSBF35SRCockburn TownSan Salvador
South AbacoBS.SB2SOBF50SPSandy PointAbaco
South AndrosBS.SN2SABF51KBKemp's BayAndros
South EleutheraBS.SE2SEBF52RSRock SoundEleuthera
Spanish WellsBS.SW3SWBF53HILower BogueEleuthera
West Grand BahamaBS.WB2WGBF54FPEight Mile RockGrand Bahama
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • Sch: Schedule number (type of district).
  • ISO: ISO 3166-2 code.
  • FIPS: Codes from "Geopolitical Entities and Codes".
  • Before: Approximate pre-1996 district corresponding to this one, represented
    by an ISO code (for key, see table under Change history).
  • Capital: Location of district office.
  • Island: Island or island group containing this district (these are general
    descriptions, not a standardized list of divisions).

Territorial extent: 

The Bahamas are separated from Cuba by the Nicholas Channel and Old Bahama Channel. Cay Sal Bank, Guinchos Cay, Cay Lobos, Cay Santo Domingo, and Great Inagua Island are among the closest points to Cuba in the Bahamas. They are separated from the United States by the Straits of Florida. Cay Sal Bank, Ocean Cay, Bimini Islands, and Grand Bahama Island are among the closest to the United States. The Caicos Passage separates the Bahamas from the Turks and Caicos Islands on the east. Mayaguana and Little Inagua Islands are among the easternmost of the Bahamas.

The Out Islands, or Family Islands (a synonymous phrase that the tourist industry finds more appealing), are all the Bahamas except New Providence and Grand Bahama. Originally, New Providence was the only exception, and all the rest of the country was Out Islands; more recently, Grand Bahama has grown in importance, and is usually not considered an Out Island.

Abaco includes Moore's Island (Mores Island).

Bimini includes Cay Sal Bank.

Origins of names: 

Eleuthera: Greek for place of freedom; named by Puritans from Bermuda

Change history: 

1973-07-10: At independence, the Bahamas was divided into 21 electoral districts which corresponded to islands or island groups. These districts are also cited in a census report dated 1963-11-15, as "island of residence".

DistrictHASCFIPSPop-1953Pop-1990Area(km.²)Area(mi.²)Chief town
AbacoBS.ABBF013,40710,0611,681649Marsh Harbour
Acklins IslandBS.AKBF021,273428389150Masons Bay
AndrosBS.ANBF037,1368,1555,9572,300Nicholls' Town
Berry IslandsBS.BRBF043276343112Bullocks Harbor
BiminisBS.BIBF051,3251,638239Alice Town
Cat IslandBS.CIBF063,2011,678388150Arthur's Town
Cay LobosBS.CLBF07525187Cay Lobos
Crooked IslandBS.CKBF0883642323892Colonel Hill
EleutheraBS.ELBF096,0709,300518200Governor's Harbour
ExumaBS.EXBF102,9193,539290112Georgetown
Grand BahamaBS.GBBF114,09541,0351,373530Freeport
Harbour IslandBS.HBBF12840(a)42Dunmore Town
InaguaBS.INBF139999851,671645Matthew Town
Long CayBS.LCBF1480(b)239Albert Town
Long IslandBS.LIBF153,7553,107448173Clarence Town
MayaguanaBS.MGBF1661530811042Abraham's Bay
New ProvidenceBS.NWBF1746,125171,54220780Nassau
Ragged IslandBS.RIBF1832089239Duncan Town
Rum CayBS.RCBF19133(c)7830Port Nelson
San SalvadorBS.SSBF2069453916363Cockburn Town
Spanish WellsBS.SWBF21686(a)10Spanish Wells
21 districts253,48613,6345,264
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pop-1953: 1953-12-06 census (source [10]).
  • Pop-1990: 1990-05-01 census. Population included in: (a) Eleuthera. (b) Crooked
    Island. (c) San Salvador.

 

In February, 1993, a new release of FIPS PUB 10-3 showed changes to many of the districts of the Bahamas. When ISO DIS 3166-2 was released in 1996, it used the same districts. Areas and populations are not available for these districts. This table shows how they probably relate to the old ones.

DistrictISOFIPSBefore change, was:
Acklins and Crooked IslandsACBF24BF02, BF08, and BF14
BiminiBIBF05BF05
Cat IslandCIBF06BF06
ExumaEXBF10BF10
FreeportFPBF25Part of BF11
Fresh CreekFCBF26Part of BF03
Governor's HarbourGHBF27Part of BF09
Green Turtle CayGTBF28Part of BF01
Harbour IslandHIBF22BF12, BF21, and possibly part of BF09
High RockHRBF29Part of BF11
InaguaINBF13BF13
Kemps BayKBBF30BF07 and part of BF03
Long IslandLIBF15BF15
Marsh HarbourMHBF31Part of BF01
MayaguanaMGBF16BF16
New ProvidenceNPBF23Part of BF17
Nichollstown and Berry IslandsNBBF32BF04 and part of BF03
Ragged IslandRIBF18BF18
Rock SoundRSBF33Part of BF09
Sandy PointSPBF34Part of BF01
San Salvador and Rum CaySRBF35BF19 and BF20
  1. 1996: The Local Government Act, 1996 (source [6]) divided the Bahamas into 23 local government districts and New Providence, which was administered by the national government.
  2. 1999: Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay district split into Acklins and Crooked Island districts. Hope Town district split from Central Abaco. Exuma and Exuma Cays district split into Black Point and Exuma. Grand Cay district split from North Abaco. Harbour Island and Spanish Wells districts split from North Eleuthera. Moore's Island district split from South Abaco. Mangrove Cay district split from South Andros. Name of Bimini and Cat Cay changed to Bimini. This change was made by the Minister for Family Island Affairs, who is given authority to create new districts by the LGA.
  3. ~2008: Green Turtle Cay district split from North Abaco (former HASC code BS.NB).

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Biminis: Bimini, Bimini and Cat Cay (new)
  2. Cat Island: Ilha do Gato (Portuguese); Isla del Gato (Spanish)
  3. Cay Lobos: Caio Lobos (Portuguese); Cayo Lobos (Spanish)
  4. Crooked Island: Crooked Island and Long Cay (new)
  5. Eleuthera: Eleutéria (Portuguese); Eleutère (French)
  6. Inagua: Inague (French)
  7. Long Cay: Caio Longo (Portuguese); Cayo Largo (Spanish); Fortune Island (variant)
  8. Long Island: Ilha Longa (Portuguese); Isla Larga (Spanish)
  9. New Providence: Nova Providência (Portuguese); Nueva Providencia (Spanish)
  10. San Salvador: São Salvador (Portuguese); Watling Island (variant)

Population history:

The 1990 and 2000 censuses are reported by "Island" (or island group), and then by "Supervisory District". There are 19 islands and 51 supervisory districts. There is not necessarily a direct correspondence between these entities and the local government districts.

IslandPop-2010Pop-2000Pop-1990Area(km.²)Supervisory DistrictPopulation
Abaco16,69213,17010,0031,681North Abaco6,612
South Abaco6,558
Acklins560428405497Acklins428
Andros7,3867,6868,1775,957Fresh Creek2,576
Kemp's Bay1,666
Nicholls Town3,444
Berry Islands79870962831Berry Islands709
Biminis2,0081,7171,63923Biminis1,717
Cat Island1,5031,6471,698388Cat Island1,647
Crooked Island323350412241Crooked Island350
Eleuthera7,8267,9997,993484North Eleuthera2,981
South Eleuthera5,018
Exuma and Cays7,3143,5713,556290Exuma and Cays3,571
Grand Bahama51,75646,99440,8981,373Eight Mile Rock8,345
High Rock6,912
Lucaya9,924
Marco City8,170
Pineridge8,816
West End4,827
Harbour Island1,7021,6391,21934Harbour Island1,639
Inagua9119699851,537Inagua969
Long Island3,0242,9922,949596Long Island2,992
Mayaguana271259312285Mayaguana259
New Providence248,948210,832172,196207Adelaide11,983
Bain Town8,173
Bamboo Town8,198
Blue Hills11,159
Carmichael6,772
Centreville10,080
Delaporte9,483
Englerston8,748
Fort Charlotte7,833
Fox Hill8,371
Garden Hills8,204
Golden Gates7,499
Grants Town10,411
Holy Cross8,339
Kennedy8,521
Malcolm Creek11,834
Marathon6,571
Montagu8,106
Mount Moriah7,179
Saint Cecelia8,827
Saint Margaret8,390
Shirlea9,359
South Beach8,473
Yamacraw8,319
Ragged Island70728936Ragged Island72
Rum Cay998053*Rum Cay80
San Salvador930970465241San Salvador970
Spanish Wells1,5371,5271,372*Spanish Wells1,527
Totals353,658303,611255,04913,939
  • Pop-2010: 2010-05-04 census (source [9]).
  • Pop-2000: 2000-05-01 census (source [7]).
  • Pop-1990: 1990-05-01 census (source [8]).
  • Area: (Source [8]) * Area of Rum Cay included in San Salvador.
    Area of Spanish Wells included in Harbour Island.
  • Population: 2000-05-01 census.

Sources: 

  1. [1] The Local Government System in the Bahamas  is a country profile from the Commonwealth Local Government forum (retrieved 2010-07-29).
  2. [2] The official Web site of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas  had inconsistent information about the subdivisions of the Bahamas (retrieved 2002-08).
  3. [3] Posting of Administrators As at 5th January, 2010 . Click on wedges to expand islands (retrieved 2010-07-29).
  4. [4] District Map of Abaco  from the Abaconian newspaper (retrieved 2010-07-29).
  5. [5] The Districts by Island  page lists 31 districts (retrieved 2002-08-25).
  6. [6] Local Government Act, 1996  (PDF, slow download; retrieved 2002-08-25).
  7. [7] General Statistics .
  8. [8] Commonwealth of the Bahamas Census of Population and Housing 2000 Preliminary Results.
  9. [9] Comparison between the 2000 and 2010 Population Censuses , Department of Statistics of the Bahamas (retrieved 2011-03-25).
  10. [10] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955.
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