Barbados Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Barbados Map Economy History

Facts About Barbados

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 importance.
Government type: parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth
Capital: Bridgetown
Currency: 1 Barbadian dollar (Bds$) = 100 cents

Geography of 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: 430 sq km
land: 430 sq km
water: 0 sq km
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: 0%
permanent pastures: 5%
forests and woodland: 12%
other: 46% (1993 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: Biodiversity
Geography - note: easternmost Caribbean island

People of Barbados

About 80% of Barbados' population is of African descent, 4% European descent, and 16% mixed. About 70% of Barbadians are Anglican, and the rest mostly Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, and Moravian. There also are small Jewish and Muslim communities. Barbados' population growth rate has been very low, less than 1% since the1960s, largely due to family planning efforts and a high emigration rate.

Population: 279,254 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  21.68% (male 30,122; female 29,572)
15-64 years:  69.44% (male 93,283; female 97,915)
65 years and over:  8.88% (male 9,432; female 15,006)
Population growth rate: 0.46%
Birth rate: 13.47 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 8.53 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -0.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 12.04 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  73.25 years
male:  70.66 years
female:  75.86 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.64 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)
adjective: Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)
Ethnic groups: black 80%, white 4%, other 16%
Religions: Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%
Languages: English
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97.4%
male: 98%
female: 96.8% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Barbados Map Economy History