Barbados Population: 291,495


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The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. African 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 UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance.

Easternmost Caribbean island
Location: Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates: 13 10 N, 59 32 W
Area: total: 430 sq km
land: 430 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 97 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to October)
Terrain: relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: petroleum, fish, natural gas
Land use: agricultural land: 32.6% arable land 25.6%; permanent crops 2.3%; permanent pasture 4.7% forest: 19.4%
other: 48% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 50 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides
Current Environment Issues: pollution of coastal waters from waste disposal by ships; soil erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens contamination of aquifers
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)
adjective: Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)
Ethnic groups: black 92.4%, white 2.7%, mixed 3.1%, East Indian 1.3%, other 0.2%, unspecified 0.2% (2010 est.)
Languages: English (official), Bajan (English-based creole language, widely spoken in informal settings)
Religions: Protestant 66.4% (includes Anglican 23.9%, other Pentecostal 19.5%, Adventist 5.9%, Methodist 4.2%, Wesleyan 3.4%, Nazarene 3.2%, Church of God 2.4%, Baptist 1.8%, Moravian 1.2%, other Protestant 0.9%), Roman Catholic 3.8%, other Christian 5.4% (includes Jehovah's Witness 2.0%, other 3.4%), Rastafarian 1%, other 1.5%, none 20.6%, unspecified 1.2% (2010 est.)
Population: 291,495 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.13% (male 26,421/female 26,434)
15-24 years: 13.03% (male 18,888/female 19,083)
25-54 years: 44.35% (male 64,430/female 64,842)
55-64 years: 13.18% (male 18,036/female 20,396)
65 years and over: 11.31% (male 13,216/female 19,749) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 50.4%
youth dependency ratio: 29.1%
elderly dependency ratio: 21.3%
potential support ratio: 4.7% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 38.3 years
male: 37.2 years
female: 39.4 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.3% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 11.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 8.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 31.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.13% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: BRIDGETOWN (capital) 90,000 (2014)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 27 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 10.5 deaths/1,000 live births male: 11.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.3 years male: 73 years
female: 77.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.68 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Health expenditures: 7.5% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 1.81 physicians/1,000 population (2005)
Hospital bed density: 6.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99.7% of population
rural: 99.7% of population
total: 99.7% of population

urban: 0.3% of population
rural: 0.3% of population
total: 0.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 96.2% of population
rural: 96.2% of population
total: 96.2% of population

urban: 3.8% of population
rural: 3.8% of population
total: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.57% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,600 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 100 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 33.2% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 3.5% (2012)
Education expenditures: 6.7% of GDP (2014)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 15 years male: 14 years
female: 17 years (2011)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 29.6% male: 27.7%
female: 31.9% (2013 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Barbados
etymology: the name derives from the Portuguese "as barbadas," which means "the bearded ones" and can refer either to the long, hanging roots of the island's bearded-fig trees or to the alleged beards of the native Carib inhabitants
Government type: parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Capital: name: Bridgetown
geographic coordinates: 13 06 N, 59 37 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 11 parishes and 1 city*; Bridgetown*, Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas
Independence: 30 November 1966 (from the UK)
National holiday: Emancipation Day, 1 August (1834); Independence Day, 30 November (1966)
Constitution: adopted 22 November 1966, effective 30 November 1966; amended several times, last in 2007 (2016)
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 Elliot BELGRAVE (since 1 June 2012)

head of government: Prime Minister Freundel STUART (since 23 October 2010)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (21 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 12 on the advice of the Prime Minister, 2 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 7 at the discretion of the governor general) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: House of Assembly - last held on 21 February 2013 (next to be called in 2018)

election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - DLP 51.3%, BLP 48.3%, other 0.4%; seats by party - DLP 16, BLP 14
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the High Court with 8 justices) and the Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and president of the court and 4 justices; note - Barbados, a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice, replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final court of appeal judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the prime minister and opposition leader of Parliament; other justices appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, a 5-member independent body consisting of the Supreme Court chief justice, the commission head, and governor-general appointees recommended by the prime minister; justices serve until mandatory retirement at age 65

subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts
Political parties and leaders: Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Mia MOTTLEY] Democratic Labor Party or DLP [Freundel STUART] People's Empowerment Party or PEP [David COMISSIONG]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Barbados Secondary Teachers' Union or BSTU [Mary REDMAN] Barbados Union of Teachers or BUT [Karen BEST] Barbados Workers Union or BWU [Linda BROOKS] Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMISSIONG] Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados or CTUSAB, (includes the BWU, NUPW, BUT, and BSTU) [Leroy TROTMAN] National Union of Public Workers or NUPW [Walter MALONEY]
National symbol(s): Neptune's trident, pelican, Red Bird of Paradise flower (also known as Pride of Barbados); national colors: blue, yellow, black
National anthem: name: "The National Anthem of Barbados"
lyrics/music: Irving BURGIE/C. Van Roland EDWARDS

note: adopted 1966; the anthem is also known as "In Plenty and In Time of Need"
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ad interim Jane E. BRATHWAITE
chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-9200
FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York consulate(s): Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Linda S. TAGLIALATELA (since 1 February 2016) note - also accredited to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
embassy: U.S. Embassy Road, Bridgetown 14006, Barbados
mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; (Department Name) Unit 3120, DPO AA 34055
telephone: [1] (246) 227-4000
FAX: [1] (246) 431-0179
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Barbados is the wealthiest and most developed country in the Eastern Caribbean and enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities. However, in recent years the economy has diversified into light industry and tourism with about four-fifths of GDP and of exports being attributed to services. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners and thrive from having the same time zone as eastern US financial centers and a relatively highly educated workforce. Barbados' tourism, financial services, and construction industries have been hard hit since the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008. Barbados' public debt-to-GDP ratio rose from 56% in 2008 to 101% in 2015. Growth prospects are limited because of a weak tourism outlook and planned austerity measures.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $4.804 billion (2016 est.) $4.724 billion (2015 est.) $4.682 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $4.473 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.7% (2016 est.) 0.9% (2015 est.) 0.2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $17,200 (2016 est.) $16,900 (2015 est.) $16,800 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 9.1% of GDP (2016 est.) 6.8% of GDP (2015 est.) 3.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 82.5%
government consumption: 14.3%
investment in fixed capital: 14.4%
investment in inventories: 3.2%
exports of goods and services: 35.1%
imports of goods and services: -49.5% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 82.5%
government consumption: 14.3%
investment in fixed capital: 14.4%
investment in inventories: 3.2%
exports of goods and services: 35.1%
imports of goods and services: -49.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, vegetables, cotton
Industries: tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
Industrial production growth rate: -1% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 142,500 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 10%
industry: 15%
services: 75% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate: 11% (2016 est.) 11.3% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $1.2 billion (2013 est.)
expenditures: $1.5 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 26.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 108.9% of GDP (2016 est.) 106.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.3% (2016 est.) -1.1% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$238 million (2016 est.) -$315 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $466.7 million (2016 est.) $482.9 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: manufactures, sugar, molasses, rum, other foodstuffs and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
Exports - partners: Trinidad and Tobago 22.5%, US 11.8%, St. Lucia 9.2%, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 5.7%, Antigua and Barbuda 4.7%, St. Kitts and Nevis 4.4%, Guyana 4.2% (2015)
Imports: $1.575 billion (2016 est.) $1.618 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
Imports - partners: Trinidad and Tobago 39%, US 31.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $608.1 million (31 December 2016 est.) $657.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $4.49 billion (2010 est.) $668 million (2003 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $4.495 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $4.571 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $4.366 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates: Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar - 2 (2016 est.) 2 (2015 est.) 2 (2014 est.) 2 (2013 est.) 2 (2012 est.) note: the Barbadian dollar is pegged to the US dollar
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Electricity - production: 900 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 900 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 200,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 1,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 764.5 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 2.53 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 12,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 11,490 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 20 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 20 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 113.3 million cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 1.3 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 335,000 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 115 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: island-wide automatic telephone system

domestic: fixed-line teledensity of roughly 55 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density about 115 per 100 persons

international: country code - 1-246; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 1 (Intelsat - Atlantic (2015)
Broadcast media: government-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) operates the lone terrestrial TV station; CBC also operates a multi-channel cable TV subscription service; roughly a dozen radio stations, consisting of a CBC-operated network operating alongside p (2007)
Internet country code: .bb
Internet users: total: 221,000 percent of population: 76.1% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 1 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 33 km; oil 64 km; refined products 6 km (2013)
Roadways: total 1,600 km
paved: 1,600 km (2011)
Merchant marine: total 109

by type: bulk carrier 23, cargo 52, chemical tanker 13, container 6, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 8, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 83 (Canada 11, Greece 14, Iran 5, Lebanon 2, Norway 38, Sweden 4, Syria 1, Turkey 1, UAE 1, UK 6) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Bridgetown
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The Royal Barbados Defense Force includes a land-based Troop Command and a small Coast Guard; the primary role of the land element is island defense against external aggression; the Command consists of a single, part-time battalion with a small regular cadre deployed throughout the island; the cadre increasingly supports the police in patrolling the coastline for smuggling and other illicit activities
Military branches: Royal Barbados Defense Force: Troops Command, Barbados Coast Guard (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service, or earlier with parental consent; no conscription (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago abide by the April 2006 Permanent Court of Arbitration decision delimiting a maritime boundary and limiting catches of flying fish in Trinidad and Tobago's exclusive economic zone; joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea
Illicit drugs: one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for Europe and the US; offshore financial center
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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