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Flag of Barbados

Country Profile

Capital City: Bridgetown

Local Time: UTC -4h

Location: Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
Area: 431 sq. km. (166 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Generally flat, hilly in the interior.

Climate: Tropical; rainy season (July to November).

Type: Parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth.
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II represented by a Governor General.
Independence: 30 November 1966 (from the UK)

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Barbadian(s); informally "Bajan(s)."
Population: 270 000.
GNI per capita PPP: $ 17 170 (year) Ethnic groups: Black 90%, White 4%, Asian or mixed 6%. Religions: Protestant 67%, Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%. Language: English. Literacy: 99,7%


Currency: Barbadian Dollar (BBD)

Natural resources: Petroleum, fish, natural gas.

Agriculture products: Sugarcane, vegetables, cotton.

Industries: Tourism, sugar, financial services, information services, light manufacturing, component assembly for export.

Major trading partners: Caribbean Community (CARICOM), UK, USA

Exports partners:
USA 20.6%, UK 14.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.9%, Saint Lucia 6.9%, Jamaica 6.6%, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5.1% (2004)

Imports partners: USA 35.2%, Trinidad and Tobago 20%, UK 5.6%, Japan 4.3% (2004)

Internet Sites

Official Sites of Barbados
Government of Barbados Information Network

Barbadian Prime Minister's Office

Parliament of Barbados

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Diplomatic Missions
Barbados Missions Abroad

Barbados Statistical Service

Map of Barbados

Map of Central America and the Caribbean



Background:  The island was uninhabited when first settled by the
British in 1627. Its economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum,
and molasses production through most of the 20th century. In the 1990s,
tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic

Geography Barbados

Location:  Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North
Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela

Geographic coordinates:  13 10 N, 59 32 W

Map references:  Central America and the Caribbean

Area:  total: 431 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 431 sq km

Area - comparative:  2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  97 km

Maritime claims:  exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate:  tropical; rainy season (June to October)

Terrain:  relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point:
Mount Hillaby 336 m

Natural resources:  petroleum, fish, natural gas

Land use:  arable land: 37% permanent crops: 2% other: 61% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  10 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides

Environment - current issues:  pollution of coastal waters from waste
disposal by ships; soil erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens
contamination of aquifers

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Climate Change,
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection,
Ship Pollution signed, but not ratified: Geography - note:  easternmost
Caribbean island

People Barbados

Population:  276,607 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 21.4% (male 29,888; female 29,338) 15-64
years: 69.8% (male 94,214; female 98,811) 65 years and over: 8.8%
(male 9,378; female 14,978) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.46% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  13.32 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  8.38 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.63 male(s)/female total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  11.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   76.12 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.64 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  1.17% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  1,800 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  130 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial) adjective:
Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)

Ethnic groups:  black 90%, white 4%, Asian and mixed 6%

Religions:  Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%,
other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%

Languages:  English

Literacy:   age 15 and over has ever attended school total population:
Government Barbados

Country name:  conventional long form: none conventional short form:

Government type:  parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state
within the Commonwealth

Capital:  Bridgetown

Administrative divisions:  11 parishes; Christ Church, Saint Andrew,
Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint
Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas; note - the city of
Bridgetown may be given parish status

Independence:  30 November 1966 (from UK)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 30 November (1966)

Constitution:  30 November 1966

Legal system:  English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February
1952), represented by Governor General Sir Clifford Straughn HUSBANDS
(since 1 June 1996) head of government: Prime Minister Owen Seymour ARTHUR
(since 6 September 1994); Deputy Prime Minister Billie MILLER (since 6
September 1994) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the
advice of the prime minister elections: none; the monarch is hereditary;
governor general appointed by the monarch; prime minister appointed by
the governor general

Legislative branch:  bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate
(21-member body appointed by the governor general) and the House of
Assembly (28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve
five-year terms) elections:  2004) election results: House of Assembly -
percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - BLP 26, DLP 2

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court of Judicature (judges are appointed by
the Service Commissions for the Judicial and Legal Services)

Political parties and leaders:  Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Owen ARTHUR];
Democratic Labor Party or DLP [Clyde MASCOLL]; National Democratic Party
or NDP [Richard HAYNES]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Barbados Workers Union
[Leroy TROTMAN]; Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMMISSIONG];
People's Progressive Movement [Eric SEALY]; Worker's Party of Barbados
[Dr. George BELLE]

International organization participation:  ACP, C, Caricom, CCC, CDB,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Michael
Ian KING consulate(s): Los Angeles consulate(s) general: Miami and New
York FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467 telephone: [1] (202) 939-9200 chancery:
2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
(vacant); Charge d'Affaires Marcia BERNICHT embassy: Canadian Imperial
Bank of Commerce Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown; (courier) ALICO
Building-Cheapside, Bridgetown mailing
 P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown; CMR 1014, APO AA 34055 telephone:
Flag description:  three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side),
gold, and blue with the head of a black trident centered on the gold
band; the trident head represents independence and a break with the past
(the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)

Economy Barbados

Economy - overview:  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 privatize 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.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $4 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  -2% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $14,500 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 6% industry: 16% services: 78%
(2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  3.5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  128,500 (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  services 75%, industry 15%, agriculture 10%
(1996 est.)

Unemployment rate:  10% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $847 million (including grants) expenditures: $886
million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries:  tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly
for export

Industrial production growth rate:  -3.2% (2000 est.)

Electricity - production:  740 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  688.2 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  sugarcane, vegetables, cotton

Exports:  $272 million (2000)

Exports - commodities:  sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and
beverages, chemicals, electrical components, clothing

Exports - partners:  Caribbean Community 43.2%, US 15.3%, UK 13.2% (2000)

Imports:  $1.16 billion (2000)

Imports - commodities:  consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs,
construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components

Imports - partners:  US 40.8%, Caribbean Community 19.8%, UK 8.1%,
Japan 5.2%, Canada 4.2% (2000)

Debt - external:  $425 million (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $9.1 million (1995)

Currency:  Barbadian dollar (BBD)

Currency code:  BBD

Exchange rates:  Barbadian dollars per US dollar - 2.0000 (fixed rate
pegged to the US dollar)

Fiscal year:  1 April - 31 March

Communications Barbados

Telephones - main lines in use:  108,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  8,013 (1997)

Telephone system:  general assessment: NA domestic: island-wide automatic
telephone system international: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat
(Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:  237,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  1 (plus two cable channels) (1997)

Televisions:  76,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .bb

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  19 (2000)

Internet users:  6,000 (2000)

Transportation Barbados

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 1,650 km paved: 1,628 km unpaved: 22 km (1998)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Bridgetown, Speightstown (Port Charles Marina)

Merchant marine:  total: 41 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 629,987
GRT/1,073,991 DWT note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered
here as a flag of convenience: Australia 1, Bahamas, The 1, Canada 4,
Germany 1, Greece 2, Hong Kong 7, Norway 7, United Kingdom 18 (2002 est.)
ships by type: Airports:  1 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 1 over 3,047 m: 1 (2001)

Military Barbados

Military branches:  Royal Barbados Defense Force (including Ground Forces
and Coast Guard), Royal Barbados Police Force

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 78,132 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 53,532
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  NA%

Transnational Issues Barbados

Disputes - international:  none

Illicit drugs:  one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics
bound for Europe and the US

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Barbados Advocate

The Nation Newspaper

Caribbean News Agency (Cana)

Voice of Barbados Radio

Arts & Culture
National Cultural Foundation


Barbados Gospelfest

Barbados Music

Barbados Pan Festival

Crop Over Festival


Business & Economy
Ministry of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development

Central Bank of Barbados

Barbados Investment and Development Corporation

Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Barbados Port Authority

Visit Barbados

Barbados Ministry of Tourism

Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia

Barbados Photo Gallery

Fun Barbados

Virtual Barbados

Edutech Progamme

Queens College

University of the West Indies

Barbados Marine Trust

The National Conservation Commission (NCC)

History of Barbados

Urban Slave History in Barbados

the Barbados Web Directory

Caribbean Travel Forum: Barbados

Additional Information on Barbados
BBC News Country Profile: Barbados
Governments on the WWW: Barbados
LANIC: Barbados
Open Directory Project: Barbados
Wikipedia: Barbados
The World Factbook -- Barbados




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