Country Reports

Bahamas Country Report

Content provided by
IHS Markit Logo

Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis confirmed the Bahamas has entered the search, rescue, and recovery phase after the passage of Hurricane Dorian. The relief effort co-ordinated by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is likely to include UN agencies, the World Health Organization, and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to provide water and food aid. The Pacific Disaster Center estimated the country’s capital exposure at USD8.1 billion with utilities and shipping infrastructure particularly vulnerable.Looting and home invasions are more likely in Hurricane Dorian’s aftermath, especially if post-disaster aid and reconstruction assistance is delayed. Personal death and injury as well as armed robbery assault risks will remain elevated into 2020. Homicide incidents fell steadily by 26% from 123 in 2014 to 91 in 2018, with over half of incidents related to organised crime and drug sales. Minnis leads the Free National Movement (FNM) party, which holds 35 of the 39 seats in the House of Assembly. His legislative agenda is unlikely to face significant opposition from the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), whose leader Perry Christie is focused on rebuilding his party ahead of the next election in 2022. This leaves Minnis well-positioned to implement the FNM’s legislative agenda including accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which the party hopes to achieve by June 2020, as well as improvements to taxation regulations to meet minimum international standards.The European Union (EU) kept the Bahamas on a greylist of states over money-laundering and terrorism financing concerns in March 2019. The move somewhat increases scrutiny of financial transactions. The Minnis government is likely to attempt to improve domestic regulations to address these concerns while also striving to improve economic performance through greater productive-sector diversification to expand economic growth, which IHS Markit forecasts at 2.1% of GDP in 2019, down from 2.20% of GDP in 2018.
Last update: September 18, 2019

Operational Outlook

The passage of hurricanes Dorian and Humberto in September 2019 caused severe destruction, especially in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, affecting infrastructure and utilities. The government’s management of post-hurricane reconstruction over the next year will affect civil unrest risks. Environmental protests have become more likely since the approval of oil exploration laws in 2016 and since VAT was increased in July 2018. State contract alteration risks are somewhat elevated, as FNM’s deputy leader KP Turnquest has said that his party would review, amend, and potentially cancel contracts if they were economically disadvantageous; however, the government is unlikely to deter foreign investment following the September hurricanes.

Last update: September 18, 2019



The risk of terrorist attacks is low. There are no domestic terrorist groups with the intention or capability to conduct terrorist attacks in the Bahamas. In 2018, the Bahamas passed a new Anti-Terrorism Act, updating legislation originally passed in 2004. In January 2017, then prime minister Perry Christie denied the accusation that the Bahamas held terrorism links with the Islamic State.

Last update: September 18, 2019


Homicide incidents fell steadily by 26% from 123 in 2014 to 91 in 2018, with over half of incidents related to organised crime and drug sales. Following the passage of Hurricane Dorian in August 2019, looting and home invasions are more likely. Although crime levels do not pose a serious risk to foreign investment, visitors are advised to take security precautions when in urban areas, especially the Sand Trap area in Nassau.

Last update: September 18, 2019

War Risks

The risk of civil or interstate war in Bahamas is low. There is no known group inside the country with intention to use force to change the government. Drug traffickers present a limited challenge to the state’s monopoly on the use of force, but these criminal gangs do not have political aspirations. Disputes over migration issues with Haiti and the countries’ historical maritime boundaries with the United States and Cuba are unlikely to lead to war.

Last update: September 18, 2019

Social Stability


The risk of large-scale violent protests is generally low but government plans to implement austerity measures and suspend tax cuts could spark demonstrations. Labour union strikes are relatively short-lived and predominantly non-violent, with a National Tripartite Council helping to mediate disputes and limit any escalation of industrial unrest. Sporadic environmental protests are likely to target the Bahamas Petroleum Company developing an exploratory well southwest of Andros. In 2016, there were recurrent non-violent demonstrations relating to a series of fires at a landfill site in New Providence.

Last update: September 18, 2019

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

Yellow fever: There is no risk of contracting yellow fever in the Bahamas. However, the government requires proof of vaccination for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).

Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks


The Bahamas is vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes during the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which officially runs from June 1 to November 30. Two of the most destructive storms to hit the archipelago in recent memory have been Hurricane Joaquin (October 2015) and Hurricane Matthew (October 2016), which together caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, though no deaths. The country's southern islands were also struck by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, causing significant damage in some places (e.g. Ragged Island and Acklins Island), though sparing the capital and the areas most popular with visitors. Information regarding current or forecast storms is available on the US National Hurricane Center's website

Last update: April 5, 2019



Traffic accidents are relatively common, in part due to reckless driving habits and a general non-enforcement of traffic laws, including blood-alcohol limits.

Flooding is relatively common and can render roads impassable.

Cars drive on the left side of the road in this British Commonwealth.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information


The climate in the Bahamas is temperate throughout the year due to trade winds that blow across the archipelago all year long. Temperatures range from 32°C in the summer to 16°C in the winter. The country also enjoys 320 sunny days per year.

The rainy season lasts from May until November during which time brief rain showers generally occur at night.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +1 242
Police: 919
Fire Dept.: 919
Ambulance: 919


Voltage: 120 V ~ 60 Hz


Last update: April 5, 2019