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 Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela

Geographic Coordinates:

 13 10 N, 59 32 W


 Total: 430 sq km
Land: 430 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 97 km (Rank: 167)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


 Tropical; rainy season (June to October)


 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: 37.21%
Permanent crops: 2.33%
Other: 60.46% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 50 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 0.1 cu km (2003)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 0.09 cu km/yr (33%/44%/22%)
Per capita: 333 cu m/yr (2000)

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: 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

Geography - Note:

 Easternmost Caribbean island

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 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)




 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.)


 286,705 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 18.9% (male 27,127/female 27,127)
15-64 years: 71.3% (male 100,594/female 103,751)
65 years and over: 9.8% (male 10,982/female 17,124) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 36.5 years
Male: 35.4 years
Female: 37.6 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.366% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 12.35 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 8.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 44% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 BRIDGETOWN (capital) 112,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.013 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 64 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 11.86 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 13.48 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 10.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 74.34 years
Male: 72.07 years
Female: 76.64 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.68 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 6.8% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 1.811 physicians/1,000 population (2005)

Hospital Bed Density:

 7.6 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

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.)

Education Expenditures:

 6.7% of GDP (2008)


 Definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Total population: 99.7%
Male: 99.7%
Female: 99.7% (2002 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 14 years (2001)

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


 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


 30 November 1966 (from the UK)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 30 November (1966)



Legal System:

 English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts

International Law Organization Participation:

 Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by acting Governor General Elliot BELGRAVE (since 1 November 2011)

Head of government: Prime Minister Fruendel STUART (since 23 October 2010)

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister

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 15 January 2008 (next to be called in 2012)

Election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - DLP 52.5%, BLP 47.3%; seats by party - DLP 20, BLP 10

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court of Judicature consists of a High Court and a Court of Appeal (judges are appointed by the Service Commissions for the Judicial and Legal Services); Caribbean Court of Justice or CCJ is the highest court of appeal; based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

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 [Patrick FROST]; Barbados Union of Teachers or BUT [Herbert GITTENS]; 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 [Leroy TROTMAN]; Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMISSIONG]; National Union of Public Workers [Joseph GODDARD]

International Organization Participation:


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 (vacant); Charge d' Affaires D. Brent HARDT
Embassy: U.S. Embassy, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006
Mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; CMR 1014, APO AA 34055
Telephone: [1] (246) 227-4399
FAX: [1] (246) 431-0179

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 band colors represent the blue of the sea and sky and the gold of the beaches; the trident head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)

National Symbols:

 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"

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Economy - Overview:

 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 three-quarters of GDP and 80% of exports being attributed to services. Growth has rebounded since 2003, bolstered by increases in construction projects and tourism revenues, reflecting its success in the higher-end segment, but the sector faced declining revenues in 2009 with the global economic downturn. The country enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. 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. The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, to encourage direct foreign investment, and to privatize remaining state-owned enterprises. The public debt-to-GDP ratio rose to over 100% in 2009, largely because a sharp slowdown in tourism and financial services led to a wide budget deficit.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $6.227 billion (2010 est.)
$6.258 billion (2009 est.)
$6.568 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $3.963 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 -0.5% (2010 est.)
-4.7% (2009 est.)
-0.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $21,800 (2010 est.)
$22,000 (2009 est.)
$23,200 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 3.4%
Industry: 14%
Services: 82.6% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 175,000 (2007 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 10%
Industry: 15%
Services: 75% (1996 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 10.7% (2003 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 27.4% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $1.18 billion (including grants)
Expenditures: $1.502 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 29.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -8.1% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 102.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
96.5% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 5.4% (2010 est.)
4.4% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 7% (31 December 2010 est.)
7% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 8.7% (31 December 2010 est.)
9.204% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $1.637 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.454 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $3.701 billion (31 December 2008)
$3.835 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $1.785 billion (31 December 2009)
$1.68 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $5.501 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$5.474 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $4.975 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$4.656 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $4.366 billion (31 December 2010)
$4.39 billion (31 December 2009)
$4.964 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Sugarcane, vegetables, cotton


 Tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 -3.2% (2000 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 1.011 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 945 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 739 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 9,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 8,684 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 1.79 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 113.3 million cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$364.6 million (2010 est.)
-$244.3 million (2009 est.)


 $424.5 million (2010 est.)
$343.8 million (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Manufactures, sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components

Exports - Partners:

 Brazil 16.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 16.8%, US 8.8%, St. Lucia 7.8%, Venezuela 5.4%, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 4.8% (2010)


 $1.39 billion (2010 est.)
$1.294 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components

Imports - Partners:

 Trinidad and Tobago 32.5%, US 24.7%, Colombia 5.8%, China 4.4% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $620 million (2007)

Debt - External:

 $668 million (2003)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Barbados Dollar to Any Currency

Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar -
NA (2007)
2 (2006)
2 (2005)
2 (2004)
2 (2003)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 137,500 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 350,100 (2010)

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 (2010)

Broadcast Media:

 Government-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) operates the lone terrestrial television station; CBC also operates a multi-channel cable TV subscription service; roughly a dozen radio stations, consisting of a CBC-operated network alongside privately-owned radio stations, in operation (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 2, FM 13, shortwave 0 (2009)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 1 (plus 2 cable channels) (2004)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 1,508 (2010)

Internet Users:

 188,000 (2008)

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 1 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 1
Over 3,047 m: 1 (2010)


 Gas 33 km; oil 62 km; refined products 4 km


 Total: 1,600 km
Paved: 1,600 km (2004)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 95
By type: bulk carrier 19, cargo 55, chemical tanker 9, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 1
Foreign-owned: 89 (Canada 13, Greece 14, Iran 4, Lebanon 2, Norway 41, Sweden 6, Syria 1, Turkey 1, UK 7)
Registered in other countries: 1 (unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:


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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 (younger volunteers require parental consent); no conscription (2009)

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 (2009)

Military - Note:

 The Royal Barbados Defense Force includes a land-based Troop Command and a small Coast Guard; the primary role of the land element is to defend the island against external aggression; the Command consists of a single, part-time battalion with a small regular cadre that is deployed throughout the island; it increasingly supports the police in patrolling the coastline to prevent smuggling and other illicit activities (2007)

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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 (UNCLOS), which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/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

Trafficking in Persons:

 Current situation: Barbados is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor

Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Government of Barbados does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the main obstacles to anti-trafficking progress in Barbados were the new legislation's failure to criminalize all forms of trafficking in persons, the government's absence of formal procedures to guide officials in victim identification and assistance, and the absence of a formal mechanism to coordinate government and NGO actions on trafficking issues (2011)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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