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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of the Bahamas

Ethnicity

Most of the Bahamas' population is of African descent, although there's a decent number of ethnic Europeans, making up nearly 15% of the population. There is also a small, but distinct "mestizo" or Hispanic population on the islands. The ethnic Africans in the Bahamas are not necessarily a single ethnic group as most of the people on the islands today are descended from slaves so their ancestors come from all parts of Africa. Most of these slaves arrived to the Bahamas from Bermuda and the United States (after the American Revolutionary War, British supporters moved themselves and their slaves to the Bahamas) so their actual origin is unknown, but most likely the people today are primarily of West African descent. Today these people share a culture, but their ethnic make-up may be very different from individual to individual.

Language

English is the only official language in the Bahamas although Haitian Creole is the native language of numerous Haitian immigrants and second generation immigrants. Haitian Creole is similar to English, but with various language introductions and a heavy dialect. English is the language of communication between linguistic groups though and is the most common native language in the islands by a significant margin.

Religion

Just over two thirds of the Bahamas' population is Protestant with Baptists making up a third of the total population. Another 14% is Roman Catholic and another 15% adhere to other forms of Christianity.

Protestantism is a general term referring to nearly every Christian religion that is not Catholic or Orthodox. Like all Christian faiths, Protestants believe there is one God and that His son, Jesus is the savior and forgiver of sins. Protestants also believe that the Bible, which includes the Old and New Testaments, is the only true word of God. Due to this reliance on the Bible, nearly every protestant faith, and even individual, may interpret the Bible differently, which has led to a huge number of Protestant churches.

This page was last updated: May, 2014