Population: 289 680

GDP: 4 262 000 000.00 $


The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. African slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the 20th century. The gradual introduction of social and political reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance.




Population: 289,680 (2014)


Nationality:  noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)  adjective: Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)


Ethnic groups: black 92.4%, white 2.7%, mixed 3.1%, East Indian 1.3%, other 0.2%, unspecified 0.2%


Languages:  English (official), Bajan (English-based creole language, widely spoken in informal settings)


Religions:  Protestant 66.3% (includes Anglican 23.9%, other Pentecostal 19.5%, Adventist 5.9%, Methodist 4.2%, Wesleyan 3.4%, Nazarene 3.2%, Church of God 2.4%, Baptist 1.8%, Moravian 1.2%, other Protestant .8%), Roman Catholic 3.8%, other Christian 5.4% (includes Jehovah's Witness 2.0%, other 3.4%), Rastafarian 1%, other 1.5%, none 20.6%, unspecified 1.2%



GDP: $4 262 000 000.00 (2013)

Military Organization


The Royal Barbados Defense Force includes a land-based Troop Command and a small Coast Guard; the primary role of the land element is island defense against external aggression; the Command consists of a single, part-time battalion with a small regular cadre deployed throughout the island; the cadre increasingly supports the police in patrolling the coastline for smuggling and other illicit activities.

Conflicts and Disputes


Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago abide by the April 2006 Permanent Court of Arbitration decision delimiting a maritime boundary and limiting catches of flying fish in Trinidad and Tobago's exclusive economic zone; joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea.



Barbados is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; legal and illegal female migrants from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Guyana seem most vulnerable to forced prostitution; Barbadian and immigrant children are prostituted in exchange for material goods; in the past, foreigners are reported to have been forced to work in the domestic service, agriculture, and construction industries.


Barbados is one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for Europe and the US; offshore financial center.

Geographical Information and Map


Capital: Bridgetown


Location: Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela. The Easternmost Caribbean island.


Geographic coordinates:

13 10 N, 59 32 W.



total: 430 sq km

land: 430 sq km

water: 0 sq km.


Land boundaries: 0 km.


Coastline: 97 km.


Natural resources: petroleum, fish, natural gas.