Dialing code: +1
Currency: Barbadian dollar
Governor-general: Elliott Belgrave
National Anthem : Irving Burgie
- Conventional long form: None
- Conventional short form: Barbados
- “Ichirouganaim” was the original name of the island given by the Arawak tribe.
- The Portuguese were the first Europeans to inhabit and name the island.
- “Barbados” is believed to have originated from “bearded” which probably refers to the hanging roots of a native tree or the bearded Caribs.
- The word “Barbados” is known to be used in 1519 by explorers and voyagers.
- The Arawak Indians were the original inhabitants of the island.
- It was later discovered and explored by the Portuguese.
- The British established colonies on the island in 1627.
- The British used the land for cultivating cotton, tobacco and sugar.
- They also shipped slaves from Africa in large numbers to work on the plantations.
- A slave revolt took place in 1816.
- Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1834.
- The administrative headquarters of the Windward Islands were initially based in Barbados.
- Barbados acquired the status of a separate colony in 1885.
- Barbados was a member of the Federation of the West Indies from 1958 to 1962.
- Barbados gained complete independence from the colonial rule on Nov. 30, 1966.
- After independence, it became a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth.
- 90% of Barbadians are of African origin (descendants of the slaves).
- The local term for “Barbadian” is “Bajan”.
- The remaining 10% constitutes of Europeans, Asians, Chinese and Arabs.
- There are a significant number of people of Afro-Caribbean and European descent.
- The local dialect of English is also known as “Bajan” and is widely spoken.
- Majority of the people are Protestant Christians (67%).
- Religious minorities include Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Hindu, Muslim and Jews.
- The country is also home to a large number of migrants from Guyana, India and Latin America.
Government and Politics :
- Barbados is ruled by a parliamentary democratic government.
- Administrative divisions consist of eleven parishes and one city.
- The parishes include: Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip and Saint Thomas.
- Independence Day (30 November, 1966) is observed as a national holiday.
- The Constitution was formed on 30 November 1966.
- The legal system is based on English common law.
- There is no judicial review of legislative acts.
- Barbados accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations.
- Queen Elizabeth II is the chief of state since 6 February, 1952.
- She is represented by the Governor.
- The prime minister is the head of government.
- The Cabinet is appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister.
The governor general is appointed by the monarch.
- The leader of the majority party or coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general following legislative elections.
- The prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister.
- The legislative branch is represented by a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate and the House of Assembly.
- The judicial branch is represented by the Supreme Court of Judicature and the Caribbean Court of Justice.
- The Caribbean Court of Justice is the highest court of appeal.
- The Indo-Guyanese immigrants have introduced Hinduism and Indian cuisine to the Barbados culture.
- Euro-Bajans introduced folk music, such as Irish music and Highland music to the culture.
- The Europeans also named places with familiar names like “Scotland" (for a mountainous region), "Trafalgar Square" or "Heroes Square".
- Chinese food and tradition is gradually becoming part of everyday Bajan culture.
- The Jewish community in Barbados has created the biggest Synagogue in West Indies.
- Immigrants from the Middle East have successful businesses in Barbados.
- The Latin Americans are responsible for the growing popularity of the Spanish language which is now taught in schools.
- Cricket is the national sport of Barbados.
- Residents of the country refer to themselves as “Bajan” which is a colloquial version of “Barbadian”.
- Barbados holds an annual carnival –like cultural event which is one of the biggest in the Caribbean.
- The cultural festival is called “Crop Over” and involves music, traditional rituals and costume parades.
- It starts at the beginning of July, and ends on Kadooment Day, held on the first Monday of August.
- Barbados retains a strong British influence and is referred to by its neighbors as "Little England".
- Barbados is occasionally referred to as "Bim" or "Bimshire".
- In the past, Barbadian economy was dependant of sugarcane cultivation.
- Now, Barbados has made significant development in other areas like light industry and tourism.
- Barbados has one of the highest per capita incomes in the region.
- The country’s rapid economic growth is largely attributed to the stable political situation and high level of education.
- Offshore finance and information services are other important revenue generating sectors.
- The government is making efforts towards direct foreign investments and privatization of companies.
- The GDP (purchasing power parity) as calculated in 2007 was $5.317 billion.
- Agricultural produce includes sugarcane, vegetables and cotton.
- The main industries are tourism, sugar, light manufacturing and component assembly for export.
- Export commodities include manufactures, sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals and electrical components.
- Import commodities include consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel and electrical components.
- Fixed line telephone and mobile cellular services are well established and widespread in the country.
- Barbados has 8 radio broadcast stations and 1 television broadcast station.
- Internet facilities are readily available.
- Barbados has one airport with paved runways.
- Roadways span over a distance of 1,600 km.
- The merchant marine is equipped with 71 ships.
- The main ports and terminals are located in Bridgetown.
- The level of education is high in Barbados.
- 99.7% of the total population is literate.
- The rate of literacy is same across both genders.
Barbados is part of the Lesser Antilles and is surrounded by:
- Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (west)
- Saint Lucia (west)
- Trinidad and Tobago (south)
- Venezuela (southwest)
Geographical Settings :
- Barbados is located in the southern part of the Caribbean.
- Its geographic coordinates are 13 10 N, 59 32 W.
- The country covers a total area of 431 sq km.
- The coastline is 97 km long.
- Barbados enjoys a tropical climate with a long rainy season between June and October.
- The terrain is relatively flat and rises gently to a central highland region.
- 37.21% of the land is arable.
- Natural hazards in the region include occasional hurricanes and landslides.
- Pollution of coastal waters and waste disposal are pressing environmental concerns.
- Barbados is the easternmost Caribbean Island.
- Barbados gained its independence from Britain on 30 November 1966.
Notable people in the Country :
- Rihanna Fenty (musician and singer)
- Rupert Clark alias “Rupee” (musical artist)
- Sir Garfield "Garry" Sobers (cricket player)
- Irving Burgie (musician and lyricist)
- Frank Worrell (cricket player)
- Edward Brathwaite (writer)
- Austin Clarke (writer)
- George Lamming (writer)
Country Famous for:
- Barbados is famous for the annual “Crop Over” festival.
- The country is famous tourist destination due to the large number of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, caves and museums.
- Barbados also has the largest Synagogue in the region.
Total Population :
- According to a 2008 census, the total population was estimated to be 281,968.
- The annual population growth rate is 0.36% (2008 est.)
- Birth rate: 12.48 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
- Death rate: 8.58 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Barbados Related Topics:
Barbados Tourist Attractions:
- Harrison's Cave
- Andromeda Gardens
- Sandy Lane
- St Nicholas Abbey
- Flower Forest
- Mount Hillaby
- Animal Flower Cave
- George Washington House
- Garrison Savannah Racetrack
- Bottom Bay
- Barbados Museum & Historical Society
- Kensington Oval