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Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau Bahamas
Full nameCity of Nassau
Official nameCity of Nassau
MottoForward, Upward, Onward, Together
IslandNew Providence
Total Area79.9 sq mi (207 km2)
Total Population248948 (2010)
Density (pop.)auto/km2 (0/sq mi)
Other information
Time zoneEST (UTC−5)
- Summer (DST)EDT (UTC−4)
Area code242

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Nassau is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has a population of 248,948 (2010 census), 70 percent of the entire population of The Bahamas (353,658). Lynden Pindling International Airport, the major airport for The Bahamas, is located about 16 km (9.9 mi) west of Nassau city centre, and has daily flights to major cities in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The city is located on the island of New Providence, which functions much like a business district. Nassau is the site of the House of Assembly and various judicial departments and was considered historically to be a stronghold of pirates.

Nassau's modern growth began just over 200 years ago with the influx of thousands of American Loyalists and enslaved Africans to the Bahamas following the American War of Independence. Many of them settled in Nassau (the then and still commerce capital of the Bahamas) and eventually came to outnumber the original inhabitants.

As the population of Nassau grew, so did the built-up areas. Today the city dominates the entire island and its satellite, Paradise Island. However, until the post-Second World War era, the outer suburbs scarcely existed. Most of New Providence was uncultivated bush until the loyalists came in the 1780s and established several plantations such as Clifton and Tusculum. When the British abolished the international slave Trade in 1807, thousands of liberated Africans freed from slave ships by the Royal Navy were settled on New Providence (at Adelaide Village and Gambier Village)along with other islands such as, Grand Bahama, Exuma, Abaco and Inagua. The largest concentration of Africans lived in the "Over-the-Hill" suburbs of Grants Town and Bain Town to the south of the city of Nassau, while most of the European descent inhabitants lived on the island's northern coastal ridges.

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