The Bahamas is made up of over 700 islands, islets and cays in the Atlantic Ocean. "Bahamas" may refer to the country or the largest island chain it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The last official census took place in 1990, finding a population of 255,000.
The capital and largest city is Nassau, with a population of 255,000. The next-largest city is Freeport, with a population of about 50,000.
The population of the Bahamas is 85% African, 12% European and 3% Asian and 3% Latin Americans. Baptists account for 35% of the population, followed by Anglican (15%), Roman Catholic (13%) and Pentecostal (8%). The region was originally inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of Arawakan-speaking Taino, although they were later shipped to Hispaniola for slavery by the Spaniards, who never colonized the Bahamas. For most of the 16th century, the islands were abandoned.
Afro-Bahamians are nationals with primary ancestry in West Africa. Afro-Bahamians represent the largest ethnic group in the country, accounting for 85%, with a Haitian community of around 80,000. There are also 17,000 Whites living in the country.
European Bahamians number 38,000 and are primarily descendants of English Puritans and American Loyalists who came to the islands in the 17th and 18th century. The account for 12% of the population and the largest minority group. The Bahamas is currently growing at a rate of around 1.5%. At this rate, the country will reach 396,000 by 2020.