Abaco Island is actually a series of islands in the northern Bahamas. The two main islands are Great Abaco and Little Abaco. There are also several small barrier islands that surround the larger islands, but they do not have a significant population. In total, the Bahamas has approximately 31 government districts. Close to a quarter of them are located in this region of the country. They include Grand Cay, North Abaco, Green Turtle Cay, Central Abaco, South Abaco, Moore's Island, and Hope Town. In addition, the island is home to Marsh Harbour, which is the main commercial hub of the Bahamas.
The population in the area has fluctuated throughout the years, but it has been estimated that approximately 17,000 people live in this region of the Bahamas. Throughout the year, the number of people on the island is actually significantly higher. One of the main drivers of the economy is tourism. Therefore, tourists come from all over the world to check out the islands. The population can swell significantly during the summer, particularly because the islands are so close to the United States. It is easy for tourists from Florida and Georgia to get to the islands, which contributes to a population swell.
Because the area is surrounded by warm water, it is also a magnet for large hurricanes. In September 2019, hurricane Dorian made landfall on Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands. During this Hurricane, the wind speeds reached up to 225 mph, which tied the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane for the strongest hurricane to form in the Atlantic. The hurricane caused absolutely catastrophic damage, devastating approximately 87 percent of the Abaco Islands. 75 percent of all buildings on the island were completely destroyed, and approximately 67 people died. Close to 30,000 people suffered significant property damage, and it led to widespread economic losses. Because the coronavirus pandemic started shortly after Hurricane Dorian made landfall, the recovery process has been slow. The area is still in the process of rebuilding, despite a significant amount of aid, including from the United States.
There are people who come to the Abaco Islands for a variety of reasons. For example, swimming in the Caribbean Sea itself is a major tourist attraction. The water is incredibly blue and clear, making it easy for people to see underneath the surface. In addition, lots of people love to go scuba diving and snorkeling, where they can explore some of the plants and animals that live in the area. Furthermore, the area is known for its swimming pigs and sea turtles. Visitors and residents can sign up for adventures where they can swim with these gentle creatures, which are more like dogs in the Bahamas. Finally, the opportunity to try the local cuisine is also a significant driver of tourism in the area.