Barbados

Capital: Bridgetown
Dialing code: +1
Currency: Barbadian dollar
Governor-general: Elliott Belgrave
National Anthem : Irving Burgie

Country Name:

  • Conventional long form: None
  • Conventional short form: Barbados

Etymology:

  • “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.

Barbados Flag

History :

  • 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.

Demographics:

  • 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.

Culture:

  • 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".

Economy :

  • 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.

Infrastructure:

  • 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.

Education:

  • 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.

Neighbouring Countries:

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.

Freedom :

  • 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 Public & National Holidays » Barbados Tridents » Barbados Maps

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