Barbados Population: 288,725

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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: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Hillaby 336 m
Natural resources: petroleum, fish, natural gas
Land use: arable land: 27.91%
permanent crops: 2.33%
other: 69.77% (2011)
Irrigated land: 54.35 sq km (2003)
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 93%, white 3.2%, mixed 2.6%, East Indian 1%, other 0.2% (2000 census)
Languages: English
Religions: Protestant 63.4% (Anglican 28.3%, Pentecostal 18.7%, Methodist 5.1%, other 11.3%), Roman Catholic 4.2%, other Christian 7%, other 4.8%, none or unspecified 20.6% (2008 est.)
Population: 288,725 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.6% (male 26,849/female 26,853)
15-24 years: 13.8% (male 19,937/female 19,852)
25-54 years: 45.4% (male 65,153/female 65,902)
55-64 years: 12% (male 16,102/female 18,550)
65 years and over: 10.2% (male 11,642/female 17,885) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 42.3 %
youth dependency ratio: 26.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 15.5 %
potential support ratio: 6.5 (2013)
Median age: total: 37.3 years
male: 36.2 years
female: 38.4 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.34% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 12.1 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 8.4 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 44% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: BRIDGETOWN (capital) 122,000 (2011)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 51 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 11.13 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.49 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.75 years
male: 72.47 years
female: 77.05 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.68 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Health expenditures: 8% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 1.81 physicians/1,000 population (2005)
Hospital bed density: 6.8 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.4% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,100 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 34.7% (2008)
Education expenditures: 7.5% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.7% (2002 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 17 years
male: 15 years
female: 18 years (2011)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 26.2%
male: 24.1%
female: 28.7% (2003)
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Barbados
Government type: parliamentary democracy and 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: 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 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 (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister
Legislative branch: 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 his discretion) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-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 .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 [Owen ARTHUR] 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] Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados or CTUSAB, (includes the BWU, NUPW, BUT, and BSTU) [Leroy TROTMAN] Barbados Workers Union or BWU [Linda BROOKS] Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMISSIONG] National Union of Public Workers [Walter MALONEY]
National symbol(s): Neptune's trident
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 John BEALE
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 Larry L. PALMER
embassy: U.S. Embassy, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006
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 Latin America. 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, which caused the economy to contract 4% in 2009 and grow below 1% annually since 2010. Barbados' public debt-to-GDP ratio rose from 56% in 2008 to 83% in 2012.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $7.169 billion (2012 est.) $7.169 billion (2011 est.) $7.128 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $4.49 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0% (2012 est.) 0.6% (2011 est.) 0.2% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $25,800 (2012 est.) $25,900 (2011 est.) $25,800 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 72.7%
government consumption: 19.2%
investment in fixed capital: 14.5%
investment in inventories: -3.1%
exports of goods and services: 46.5%
imports of goods and services: -49.8% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 72.7%
government consumption: 19.2%
investment in fixed capital: 14.5%
investment in inventories: -3.1%
exports of goods and services: 46.5%
imports of goods and services: -49.8% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, vegetables, cotton
Industries: tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Labor force: 137,500 (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 10%
industry: 15%
services: 75% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate: 11.6% (2012 est.) 10.8% (2010 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $1.194 billion (2012 est.)
expenditures: $1.513 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 26.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 82.9% of GDP (2012 est.) 80.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.8% (2012 est.) 9.4% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$344.9 million (2012 est.) -$358.5 million (2011 est.)
Exports: $1.039 billion (2012 est.) $948.3 million (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: manufactures, sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
Exports - partners: Trinidad and Tobago 21.3%, US 11%, St. Lucia 9.9%, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 6.1%, Antigua and Barbuda 5%, St. Kitts and Nevis 4.7%, Jamaica 4.5%, UK 4.1%, Colombia 4% (2012)
Imports: $1.584 billion (2012 est.) $1.728 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
Imports - partners: Trinidad and Tobago 37.9%, US 25.7%, China 5.4% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $773.1 million (31 December 2012 est.) $812.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $4.49 billion (2010 est.) $668 million (2003 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $4.571 billion (31 December 2011) $4.366 billion (31 December 2010) $4.39 billion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates: Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar - 2 (2012 est.) 2 (2011 est.) 2 (2010 est.) note: the Barbadian dollar is pegged to the US dollar
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Electricity - production: 1.037 billion kWh (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 144
Electricity - consumption: 955 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 239,100 kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 1,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 2.26 million bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 8,339 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 7,686 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 29.17 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 29.17 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 113.3 million cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 1.57 million Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 140,700 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 137
Cellular Phones in use: 347,900 (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: island-wide automatic telephone system

domestic: fixed-line teledensity of roughly 50 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density approaching 125 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 Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia (2009)
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 privately owned radio stations (2007)
Internet country code: .bb
Internet hosts: 1,524 (2012)
Internet users: 188,000 (2008)
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Airports: 1 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 236
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 (2004)
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 (2007)
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)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 73,820
females age 16-49: 73,835 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 58,125
females age 16-49: 58,016 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 1,842
female: 1,849 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 0.8% of GDP (2011)
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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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