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Introduction Barbados
island previously uninhabited when first settled by British in 1627. Slaves worked sugar plantations established on island until 1834 when slavery previously abolished. economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of 20th century. gradual introduction of social and political reforms in 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from UK in 1966. In 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed sugar industry in economic importance.
Geography Barbados
Caribbean, island in North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates:
13 10 N, 59 32 W
Map references:
Central America and Caribbean
total: 431 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 431 sq km
Area - comparative:
2.5 times size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
97 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 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% (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 Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity
Geography - note:
easternmost Caribbean island
People Barbados
Total Population:
277,264 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.2% (male 29,621; female 29,207)
15-64 years: 70% (male 94,840; female 99,230)
65 years and over: 8.8% (male 9,355; female 15,011) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 33.3 years
male: 32.2 years
female: 34.4 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
0.38% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
13.15 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
9.02 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
Population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 12.72 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 14.39 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 71.84 years
male: 69.56 years
female: 74.14 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.65 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.2% - note: no country specific models provided (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1,800 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
250 (2001 est.)
noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)
adjective: Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)
Ethnic groups:
black 90%, white 4%, Asian and mixed 6%
Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Population: 97.4%
male: 98%
female: 96.8% (1995 est.)
Government Barbados
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Barbados
Government type:
parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within Commonwealth
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 - city of Bridgetown may be given parish status
30 November 1966 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 30 November (1966)
30 November 1966
Legal system:
English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts
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 Mia MOTTLEY (since 26 May 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by governor general on advice of prime minister
elections: none; monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by monarch; following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by governor general; prime minister recommends deputy prime minister
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of Senate (21-member body appointed by governor general) and House of Assembly (30 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held 21 May 2003 (next to be held by May 2008)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - BLP 23, DLP 7
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Judicature (judges are appointed by Service Commissions for Judicial and Legal Services)
Political parties and leaders:
Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Owen ARTHUR]; Democratic Labor Party or DLP [Clyde Mascoll]
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:
Diplomatic representation in 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) 339-9201
chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Earl N. PHILLIPS, Jr.
embassy: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown; (courier) ALICO Building-Cheapside, Bridgetown
mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown; FPO AA 34055
telephone: [1] (246) 436-4950
FAX: [1] (246) 429-5246, 429-3379
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with head of a black trident centered on gold band; trident head represents independence and a break with past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)
Economy Barbados
Economy - overview:
Historically, 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. government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, to encourage direct foreign investment, and to privatize remaining state-owned enterprises. economy contracted in 2002 mainly due to a 3% decline in tourism. Growth should be positive in 2003, precise level largely dependent on economic conditions in US and Europe.
buying power parity - $4.153 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-2.8% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $15,000 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 16%
services: 78% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-0.6% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
128,500 (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
services 75%, industry 15%, agriculture 10% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate:
10% (2001 est.)
revenues: $847 million (including grants)
expenditures: $886 million, includes capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
Industrial production growth rate:
-3.2% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
780 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
725.4 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
1,271 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
10,900 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
1.254 million bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
29.17 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
29.17 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
70.79 million cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, vegetables, cotton
$227 million (2002)
Exports - commodities:
sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
Exports - partners:
US 14.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 12%, UK 10.6%, Jamaica 6.2%, Saint Lucia 4.7% (2002)
$987 million (2002)
Imports - commodities:
consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
Imports - partners:
US 41.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 17%, UK 7.3%, Japan 4.2% (2002)
Debt - external:
$692 million (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
$9.1 million (1995)
Barbadian dollar (BBD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Barbadian dollars per US dollar - 2 (2002), 2 (2001), 2 (2000), 2 (1999), 2 (1998)
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)
237,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus two cable channels) (1997)
76,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
19 (2000)
Internet users:
6,000 (2000)
Transportation Barbados
0 km
total: 1,793 km
paved: 1,719 km
unpaved: 74 km (1999)
Ports and harbors:
Bridgetown, Speightstown (Port Charles Marina)
Merchant marine:
total: 34 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 284,222 GRT/439,810 DWT
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Australia 1, Bahamas 1, Canada 4, Germany 1, Greece 2, Hong Kong 7, Norway 7, UK 18 (2002 est.)
ships by type: bulk 8, cargo 22, combination bulk 1, container 1, petroleum tanker 2
1 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2002)
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: 77,862 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 53,282 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues Barbados
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for Europe and US; offshore financial center