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Capital: Bridgetown
Population: 265,000
Description: English is spoken here.
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Barbados Map


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

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

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.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

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, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity

Geography - note: easternmost Caribbean island


Population: 275,330 (July 2001 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) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.46% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 13.47 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 8.53 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.01 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over:0.63 male(s)/female
total population:0.93 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 12.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.25 years
male : 70.66 years
female:75.86 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.64 children born/woman (2001 est.)

noun: Barbadian(s)
adjective: Barbadian

Ethnic groups: black 80%, white 4%, other 16%

Religions: Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, unknown 3%, other 9% (1980)

Languages: English

definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97.4%
male: 98%
female: 96.8% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form : none
conventional short form: Barbados

Data code: BB

Government type: parliamentary democracy

National capital: Bridgetown

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: the city of Bridgetown may be given parish status

Independence: 30 November 1966 (from 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 of the UK (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 Billie MILLER (since 6 September 1994)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; governor general appointed by the queen; prime minister appointed by the governor general

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (21-member body appointed by the governor general) and the House of Assembly (28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections : House of Assembly -last held 20 January 1999 (next to be held by January 2004)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - BLP 26, DLP 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Judicature, judges are appointed by the Service Commissions for the Judicial and Legal Service

Political parties and leaders: Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Owen ARTHUR]; Democratic Labor Party or DLP [David THOMPSON]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Richard HAYNES]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Barbados Workers Union [Leroy TROTMAN]; People's Progressive Movement [Eric SEALY]; Workers' Party of Barbados [Dr. George BELLE]; Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMMISSIONG]

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael KING
chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-9218, 9219
FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467
consulate(s) general: Miami and New York
consulate(s): Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Marcia BERNICHT
embassy : Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown
mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown; FPO AA 34055
telephone : [1] (246) 436-4950
FAX: [1] (246) 429-5246

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 trident head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)


Economy - overview: Historically, the Barbadian economy had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but in recent years the production has diversified into manufacturing and tourism. The start of the Port Charles Marina project in Speightstown helped the tourism industry continue to expand in 1996. The industry generated $331.8 million by the end of June and was expected to double by the end of the year. Prime Minister Owen ARTHUR called for "prudent" financial management to ensure that economic growth would continue. As part of his plan, the Prime Minister introduced a controversial Value Added Tax (VAT) in an effort to reform the tax administration process. The VAT will be administered at 15% for most industries and 7% for the tourism industry. The government has also continued its efforts to promote regional integration initiatives, to reduce the unacceptably high unemployment rate, and to encourage direct foreign investment.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $4 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.8% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $14,500 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 16%
services: 80% (1998)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 2% (2000 est.)

Labor force:
total: 136,000 (1998 est.)
by occupation:services 75%, industry 15%, agriculture 10% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate: 11% (1999 est.)

revenues: $725.5 million
expenditures: $750.6 million, including capital expenditures of $126.3 million (FY97/98 est.)

Industries: tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export

Industrial production growth rate:0.8% (1996)

Electricity - capacity: 153,000 kW (1995)

Electricity - production:718 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 667.7 million kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, vegetables, cotton

total value: $260 million (2000 est.)
commodities: sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components, clothing
partners: UK 14.8%, US 11.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 7.6%, Venezuela 6.1%, Jamaica 5.8% (1998)

total value: $800.3 million (2000 est.)
commodities: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
partners:US 30.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 10.2%, Japan 8.3%, UK 7.7%, Canada 2.2% (1998)

Debt - external: $425 million (2000 est.)

Economic aid: $9.1 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Barbadian dollar (Bds$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Barbadian dollars (Bds$) per US$1 - 2.0113 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Telephones: 108,000 (1997)

Telephone system:
domestic: island wide automatic telephone system
international: satellite earth station - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:237,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (plus two cable channels) (1997)

Televisions: 76,000 (1997)


Railways: 0 km

total: 1,600 km
paved :1,578 km
unpaved: 22 km (1998)

Ports and harbors: Bridgetown, Speightstown (Port Charles Marina)

Merchant marine:
total: 47 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 671,545 GRT/1,125,635 DWT
ships by type : bulk 10, cargo 28, combination bulk 1, container 2, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1

Airports: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2000 est.)


Military branches: Royal Barbados Defense Force (includes Ground Forces and Coast Guard), Royal Barbados Police Force

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 78,069 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 53,576 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for the US and Europe