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Barbados is an island nation situated on the boundary of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The island is 166 sq. mi. (430 km), and is primarily low, with some hills in the island's interior. It's location is 13N,59W. Which is about 270 miles(434.5 km) northeast of Venezuela.

Barbados is composed mainly of limestone. It is tropical with constant tradewinds and constists of some marshes, mangrove, swamps. Parts of the islands's interior consist of large sugarcane estates. Barbados is one of the Lesser Antilles, it lies to the east of the main chain of islands, with the nations of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines being it's closest neighbors.

Barbados_flag_large.png Image:Barbados_coa.png
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: Pride and Industry
Official language English
Capital Bridgetown
Queen Elizabeth II
Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands
Prime Minister Owen Arthur
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 181st
430 km²

 - Total (2002)
 - Density

Ranked 170th


From the UK
November 30, 1966

 - Total (2002)
 - GDP/head

Ranked 170th

4,000 millions $
14,457 $

Currency Barbadian dollar (BBD)
Time zone UTC -4
National anthem In Plenty and In Time of Need
Internet TLD .bb
Calling Code 1-246



Main article: History of Barbados

Barbados was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627, though Amerindian tribes had lived on the island previously. Slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the 20th century.

The gradual introduction of social and political reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, with the island remaining a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance.


Main article: Politics of Barbados

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is head of state, and is represented by a Governor General. In Barbados the Queen is styled "By the Grace of God, Queen of Barbados and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth." The present government is proposing that Barbados become a republic within the Commonwealth, with a ceremonial president replacing the Queen.

Executive power however is in the hands of the prime minister and his cabinet. The prime minister is usually the leader of the winning party in the elections for the House of Assembly, the lower house of parliament, which has 28 seats. Its members are elected every 5 years. The Senate has 21 members, and its members are appointed by the governor general.

Barbados is a full & participating member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).


Main article: Parishes of Barbados

Barbados is divided into parishes. There are eleven of them:

  • Christ Church
  • Saint Andrew
  • Saint George
  • Saint James
  • Saint John
  • Saint Joseph
  • Saint Lucy
  • Saint Michael
  • Saint Peter
  • Saint Philip
  • Saint Thomas


Main article: Geography of Barbados
Map of Barbados

Barbados is a relatively flat island, rising gently to central highland region, the highest point being Mount Hillaby at 336 m. It is located in a slightly eccentric position in the Atlantic Ocean compared to other Caribbean islands. The climate is tropical, with a rainy season from June to October.

Though one might assume the island deals with severe tropical storms and hurricanes during the rainy season it actually does not. The island gets brushed or hit every 3.09 years and the average number of years between direct hurricane hits is once every 26.6 years.

In the parish of Saint Michael lies Barbados' chief city Bridgetown, which is the nation's capital. Locally Bridgetown is sometimes reffered to as "The City" or "B-town". Other towns include Holetown , in the parish of Saint James and Speightstown , in the parish of Saint Peter .


Main article: Economy of Barbados

Historically, the Barbadian economy had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but production in recent years has diversified into manufacturing and tourism. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners, and there is also a light manufacturing sector. The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, encourage direct foreign investment, and privatise remaining state-owned enterprises. The economy contracted in 2001 due to slowdowns in tourism and consumer spending. Growth will remain anemic in 2002 with a recovery likely near the end of the year.


Main article: Demographics of Barbados

About nine tenths of all Barbadians (also known colloquially as Bajan) are blacks, mostly descendants of the slaves and workers on the sugar plantations. The remainder of the population includes small groups of Europeans and Asians. The official language is English and while most Barbadians are Protestant Christians, chiefly of the Anglican Church, there are other Protestant, Roman Catholic, Hindu and Muslim minorities.


Main article: Culture of Barbados

The influence of the English on Barbados is more noticeable than on other islands in the West Indies. A good example of this is the island's national sport: cricket. Barbados has brought forth several great cricket players, including Garfield Sobers and Frank Worrell.

Citizens are officially called Barbadian, however residents of Barbados colloquially refer to themselves and the products of the country as "Bajan". The term "Bajan", may have come from a locallized pronounciation of the word Barbadian and at times can sound more like "Bar-bajan". The term Barbadian, is used less frequently then is "Bajan".

See also:


Much of the material in these articles comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.

External links

  • Barbados Government Information Network - Official governmental site
  • Official Website of the parliament of Barbados
  • Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia - Official site of the Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia

Countries in West Indies

Antigua and Barbuda | Bahamas | Barbados | Cuba | Dominica | Dominican Republic | Grenada | Haiti | Jamaica | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Trinidad and Tobago

Dependencies: Anguilla | Aruba | British Virgin Islands | Cayman Islands | Guadeloupe | Martinique | Montserrat | Navassa Island | Netherlands Antilles | Puerto Rico | Turks and Caicos Islands | U.S. Virgin Islands

Commonwealth of Nations
Antigua and Barbuda | Australia | Bahamas | Bangladesh | Barbados | Belize | Botswana | Brunei | Cameroon | Canada | Cyprus | Dominica | Fiji | The Gambia | Ghana | Grenada | Guyana | India | Jamaica | Kenya | Kiribati | Lesotho | Malawi | Malaysia | Maldives | Malta | Mauritius | Mozambique | Namibia | Nauru | New Zealand | Nigeria | Pakistan | Papua New Guinea | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Samoa | Seychelles | Sierra Leone | Singapore | Solomon Islands | South Africa | Sri Lanka | Swaziland | Tanzania | Tonga | Trinidad and Tobago | Tuvalu | Uganda | United Kingdom | Vanuatu | Zambia

Last updated: 02-07-2005 09:51:39
Last updated: 02-24-2005 04:05:47