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Barbados is an
island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by som ...
in the
Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen) are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, ...
of the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
, in the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
region of
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
, and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It is in length and up to in width, covering an area of . It is in the western part of the North Atlantic, east of the
Windward Islands french: Îles du Vent , image_name = , image_caption = ''Political'' Windward Islands. Clockwise: Dominica Dominica ( or ; Kalinago : ; french: Dominique; Dominican Creole French Dominican Creole French is a French-based creole, which ...
and the
Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an Americas, American Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean ...
. Barbados is east of the Windwards, part of the Lesser Antilles, at roughly 13°N of the
equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

equator
. It is about east of both the countries of
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia (, ; french: Sainte-Lucie) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individu ...

Saint Lucia
and
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines () is an island country in the Caribbean. It is located in the southeast Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, which lie in the West Indies at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea wh ...

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
and south-east of
Martinique Martinique ( , ; gcf, label=Martinican Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole languages, French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles. Its grammar and ...

Martinique
and north-east of
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean C ...

Trinidad and Tobago
. Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic
hurricane belt Hurricane Alley is an area of warm water in the Atlantic Ocean stretching from the west coast of northern Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-mos ...
. Its capital and largest city is
Bridgetown Bridgetown (UN/LOCODE UN/LOCODE, the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations, is a geocode, geographic coding scheme developed and maintained by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). UN/LOCODE assigns codes to ...

Bridgetown
. Inhabited by
Kalinago The Kalinago, also known as the Island Caribs or simply Caribs, are an indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when r ...
people since the 13th century, and prior to that by other
Amerindian The Indigenous peoples of the Americas, also known as Amerindians or Indians, are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who n ...
s, Barbados was invaded by Spanish navigators in the late 15th century and claimed for the
Spanish Crown , coatofarms = Coat of Arms of Spanish Monarch.svg , coatofarms_article = Coat of arms of the King of Spain , image = (Felipe de Borbón) Inauguración de FITUR 2018 (39840659951) (cropped).jpg , incumbent = Feli ...
. It first appeared on a Spanish map in 1511. The
Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (''Ultramar Português'') or the Portuguese Colonial Empire (''Império Colonial Português''), was composed of the overseas colonies In political scie ...
claimed the island between 1532 and 1536, but later abandoned it in 1620 with their only remnants being an introduction of wild boars for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. An
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
ship, the ''Olive Blossom'', arrived in Barbados on 14 May 1625; its men took possession of it in the name of
King James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of gover ...

King James I
. In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England, and it became an
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
and later
British colony A Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original coun ...
. As a wealthy sugar colony, it became an English centre of the
African slave trade Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa in ancient times, as they were in much of the rest of the Ancient history, ancient world. When the trans-Saharan slave trade ...

African slave trade
until that trade was outlawed by the
Slave Trade Act 1807 The Slave Trade Act 1807, officially An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assem ...
, with final emancipation of slaves in Barbados occurring over a period of years following the
Slavery Abolition Act 1833 The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73) abolished slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treate ...
. On 30 November 1966, Barbados became an independent state and
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
with
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Elizabeth II
as its queen, though the country is planning to remove her as its head of state and become a republic by 30 November 2021. The population of 287,010 is predominantly of African descent. Despite being classified as an Atlantic island, Barbados is considered to be part of the Caribbean and is ranked as one of its leading tourist destination. About 40% of Barbados's tourists come from the UK, and the next largest groups of visitors come from the US and Canada.


Etymology

The name "Barbados" is from either the
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
term or the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
equivalent, , both meaning "the bearded ones". It is unclear whether "bearded" refers to the long, hanging roots of the bearded fig-tree (''
Ficus citrifolia ''Ficus citrifolia'', also known as the shortleaf fig, giant bearded fig, Jagüey, wild banyantree and Wimba tree, is a species of banyan native to southern Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America south to Para ...

Ficus citrifolia
''), indigenous to the island, or to the allegedly bearded Caribs who once inhabited the island, or, more fancifully, to a visual impression of a beard formed by the sea foam that sprays over the outlying coral reefs. In 1519, a map produced by the
Genoese Genoese may refer to: * a person from Genoa * Genoese dialect, a dialect of the Ligurian language * Republic of Genoa (–1805), a former state in Liguria See also

* Genovese, a surname * Genovesi, a surname * * * * * Genova (disambiguati ...

Genoese
mapmaker Visconte Maggiolo showed and named Barbados in its correct position. Furthermore, the island of
Barbuda Barbuda () is a small island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lower_Saranac_Lake.jpg.html" ...

Barbuda
in the
Leewards
Leewards
is very similar in name and was once named "" by the Spanish. The original name for Barbados in the
Pre-Columbian era In the history of the Americas, the pre-Columbian era spans from the original settlement of North and South America in the Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the is the third and last subdivision o ...
was , according to accounts by descendants of the indigenous
Arawakan Arawakan (''Arahuacan, Maipuran Arawakan, "mainstream" Arawakan, Arawakan proper''), also known as Maipurean (also ''Maipuran, Maipureano, Maipúre''), is a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a struct ...
-speaking tribes in other regional areas, with possible translations including "Red land with white teeth" or "Redstone island with teeth outside (reefs)" or simply "Teeth". Colloquially, Barbadians refer to their home island as "Bim" or other nicknames associated with Barbados, including "Bimshire". The origin is uncertain, but several theories exist. The National Cultural Foundation of Barbados says that "Bim" was a word commonly used by
slave Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that gives ...

slave
s, and that it derives from the
Igbo Igbo may refer to: * Igbo people, an ethnic group of Nigeria * Igbo language, their language * anything related to Igboland, a cultural region in Nigeria See also

* Ibo (disambiguation) * Igbo mythology * Igbo music * Igbo art * * Igbo-Ukwu, ...
term from meaning "my home, kindred, kind", the Igbo phoneme in the Igbo orthography is very close to . The name could have arisen due to the relatively large percentage of enslaved
Igbo people The Igbo people ( , also ; also spelled Ibo" and formerly also ''Iboe'', ''Ebo'', ''Eboe'', * * * ''Eboans'', ''Heebo''; natively ) are an ethnic group in Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country i ...

Igbo people
from modern-day southeastern
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
arriving in Barbados in the 18th century. The words "Bim" and "Bimshire" are recorded in the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary A historical dictionary or dictionary on historical principles is a dictionary which deals not only with the latterday meanings of words but also the historica ...
'' and '' Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionaries''. Another possible source for "Bim" is reported to be in the ''Agricultural Reporter'' of 25 April 1868, where the Rev. N. Greenidge (father of one of the island's most famous scholars,
Abel Hendy Jones Greenidge Abel Hendy Jones Greenidge (22 December 1865  – 11 March 1906) was a writer on ancient history and law. Family background Greenidge was born on 22 December 1865 at Belle Farm Estate, Barbados Barbados is an island country in the Less ...
) suggested the listing of Bimshire as a county of England. Expressly named were "Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Bimshire". Lastly, in the ''Daily Argosy'' (of Demerara, i.e. Guyana) of 1652, there is a reference to Bim as a possible corruption of "Byam", the name of a Royalist leader against the Parliamentarians. That source suggested the followers of Byam became known as "Bims" and that this became a word for all Barbadians.


History


Pre-colonial period

Archeological evidence suggests humans may have first settled or visited the island circa 1600 BC. More permanent
Amerindian The Indigenous peoples of the Americas, also known as Amerindians or Indians, are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who n ...
settlement of Barbados dates to about the 4th to 7th centuries AD, by a group known as the
Saladoid Saladoid culture is a pre-Columbian indigenous culture Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a g ...
-Barrancoid. The two main groups were the
Arawaks The Arawak are a group of indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), o ...
from South America, who became dominant around 800–1200 AD, and the more war-like
Kalinago The Kalinago, also known as the Island Caribs or simply Caribs, are an indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when r ...
(
Island Caribs The Kalinago, also known as the Island Caribs or simply Caribs, are an indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic group ...
) who arrived from South America in the 12th–13th centuries


European arrival

It is uncertain which European nation arrived first in Barbados, which probably would have been at some point in the 15th century or 16th century. One lesser-known source points to earlier revealed works predating contemporary sources indicating it could have been the Spanish. Many, if not most, believe the
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...
, en route to
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
, were the first Europeans to come upon the island. The island was largely ignored by Europeans, though Spanish slave raiding is thought to have reduced the native population, with many fleeing to other islands.


English settlement in the 1600s

The first English ship, which had arrived on 14 May 1625, was captained by John Powell. The first settlement began on 17 February 1627, near what is now
Holetown Holetown (UN/LOCODE UN/LOCODE, the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations, is a geocode, geographic coding scheme developed and maintained by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). UN/LOCODE assigns codes to locatio ...
(formerly Jamestown), by a group led by John Powell's younger brother, Henry, consisting of 80 settlers and 10 English indentured labourers. Some sources state that some Africans were amongst these first settlers. The settlement was established as a
proprietary colony A proprietary colony was a type of English colony mostly in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict ...
and funded by Sir
William Courten Sir William Courten or Curteen (1572–1636) was a wealthy 17th century merchant A merchant is a person who trades in commodities produced by other people, especially one who trades with foreign countries. Historically, a merchant is anyone wh ...
, a
City of London The City of London is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It ...

City of London
merchant who acquired the title to Barbados and several other islands. So the first colonists were actually tenants and much of the profits of their labour returned to Courten and his company. Courten's title was later transferred to
James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle KB (c. 1580March 1636) was a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northe ...
, in what was called the "Great Barbados Robbery." Carlisle then chose as governor
Henry Hawley Lieutenant General Henry Hawley (c. 12 January 1685 – 24 March 1759) was a Great Britain, British army officer who served in the wars of the first half of the 18th century. He fought in a number of significant battles, including the Capture of V ...
, who established the
House of Assembly House of Assembly is a name given to the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who ...

House of Assembly
in 1639, in an effort to appease the planters, who might otherwise have opposed his controversial appointment. In the period 1640–60, the West Indies attracted over two-thirds of the total number of English emigrants to the Americas. By 1650 there were 44,000 settlers in the West Indies, as compared to 12,000 on the
ChesapeakeChesapeake often refers to: *Chesapeake people, a Native American tribe also known as the Chesepian * The Chesapeake, a.k.a. Chesapeake Bay *Delmarva Peninsula, also known as the Chesapeake Peninsula Chesapeake may also refer to: Populated place ...
and 23,000 in
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography ...

New England
. Most English arrivals were indentured. After five years of labour, they were given "freedom dues" of about £10, usually in goods. Before the mid-1630s, they also received of land, but after that time the island filled and there was no more free land. During the Cromwellian era (1650s) this included a large number of prisoners-of-war, vagrants and people who were illicitly kidnapped, who were forcibly transported to the island and sold as servants. These last two groups were predominantly Irish, as several thousand were infamously rounded up by English merchants and sold into servitude in Barbados and other Caribbean islands during this period, a practice that came to be known as being ''Barbadosed''. Cultivation of tobacco, cotton,
ginger Ginger (''Zingiber officinale'') is a flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: ...

ginger
and
indigo InterGlobe Aviation Ltd d/b/a IndiGo is an Indian low-cost airline headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. It is the largest List of airlines of India, airline in India by passengers carried and fleet size, with a 57% domestic market shar ...

indigo
was thus handled primarily by European indentured labour until the start of the
sugar cane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, ...

sugar cane
industry in the 1640s and the growing reliance on and importation of enslaved Africans. Life in the young colony was not easy, with parish registers from the 1650s show, for the white population, there were four times as many deaths as marriages. The mainstay of the infant colony's economy was the growth export of tobacco, but tobacco prices eventually fell in the 1630s as Chesapeake production expanded.


Effects of the English Civil War

Around the same time, fighting during the
War of the Three Kingdoms War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence ...
and the
Interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next (coming from Latin ''i ...
spilled over into Barbados and Barbadian territorial waters. The island was not involved in the war until after the execution of
Charles ICharles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of French and German kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of Hungary (1288 ...

Charles I
, when the island's government fell under the control of Royalists (ironically the Governor, Philip Bell, remaining loyal to
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
while the Barbadian
House of Assembly House of Assembly is a name given to the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who ...
, under the influence of Humphrey Walrond, supported ). To try to bring the recalcitrant colony to heel, the Commonwealth Parliament passed an act on 3 October 1650 prohibiting trade between England and Barbados, and because the island also traded with the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, further
navigation acts The Navigation Acts, or more broadly the Acts of Trade and Navigation, was a long series of English laws that developed, promoted, and regulated English ships, shipping, trade, and commerce between other countries and with its own colonies. The la ...
were passed prohibiting any but English vessels trading with
Dutch colonies The Dutch colonial empire comprised the overseas territories and trading posts controlled and administered by Dutch chartered companies—mainly the Dutch West India Company and the Dutch East India Company—and subsequently by the Dutch Republ ...

Dutch colonies
. These acts were a precursor to the
First Anglo-Dutch War The First Anglo-Dutch War, or simply the First Dutch War, ( nl, Eerste Engelse (zee-)oorlog, "First English (Sea) War"; 1652–1654) was a conflict fought entirely at sea between the navies of the Commonwealth of England and the Dutch Republic, ...
. The
Commonwealth of England The Commonwealth was the political structure during the period from 1649 to 1660 when England and Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is Countries of the United Kingdom, part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to t ...
sent an invasion force under the command of Sir George Ayscue, which arrived in October 1651. Ayscue with a smaller force which included Scottish prisoners surprised a larger force of Royalists, but had to resort to spying and diplomacy ultimately. On January 11, 1652, the Royalists in the House of Assembly led by Lord Willoughby surrendered which marked the end of royalist privateering as a major threat. The conditions of the surrender were incorporated into the Charter of Barbados (Treaty of Oistins), which was signed at the Mermaid's Inn,
Oistins Oistins (Pronounced /'ȯis-tins/ -- UN/LOCODE: BB OST), is a coastal area located in the country of Barbados. It is situated centrally along the coastline of the parish of Christ Church, Barbados, Christ Church. The area comprises a fishing village ...
, on 17 January 1652.


Irish people in Barbados

Starting with Cromwell, a large percentage of the white labourer population were indentured servants and involuntarily transported people from Ireland. Irish servants in Barbados were often treated poorly, and Barbadian planters gained a reputation for cruelty. The decreased appeal of an indenture on Barbados, combined with enormous demand for labour caused by sugar cultivation, led the use of involuntary transportation to Barbados as a punishment for crimes, or for political prisoners, and also to the kidnapping of labourers who were sent to Barbados involuntarily. Irish indentured servants were a significant portion of the population throughout the period when white servants were used for plantation labour in Barbados, and while a "steady stream" of Irish servants entered the Barbados throughout the seventeenth century, Cromwellian efforts to pacify Ireland created a "veritable tidal wave" of Irish labourers who were sent to Barbados during the 1650s. Due to inadequate historical records, the total number of Irish labourers sent to Barbados is unknown, and estimates have been "highly contentious." While one historical source estimated that as many as 50,000 Irish people were transported to either Barbados or Virginia unwillingly during the 1650s, this estimate is "quite likely exaggerated." Another estimate that 12,000 Irish prisoners had arrived in Barbados by 1655 has been described as "probably exaggerated" by historian Richard B. Sheridan. According to historian Thomas Bartlett, it is "generally accepted" that approximately 10,000 Irish were sent to the West Indies involuntarily, and approximately 40,000 came as voluntary indentured servants, while many also travelled as voluntary, un-indentured emigrants.Bartlett, Thomas. "'This famous island set in a Virginian sea': Ireland in the British Empire, 1690–1801." In ''The Oxford History of the British Empire'': Volume II: The Eighteenth Century, by Marshall, P. J., Alaine Low, and Wm. Roger Louis., edited by P.J. Marshall, and Alaine Low. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.


The sugar revolution

The introduction of
sugar cane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, ...

sugar cane
from
Dutch Brazil Dutch Brazil, also known as New Holland, was the northern portion of the Portuguese colony of Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both and . At 8.5 mil ...
in 1640 completely transformed society, the economy and the physical landscape. Barbados eventually had one of the world's biggest sugar industries. One group instrumental in ensuring the early success of the industry was the
Sephardic Jews Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews, ''Sephardim'',, Modern Hebrew: ''Sefaraddim'', Tiberian Hebrew, Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye'hude Sepharad'', lit. "The Jews of Spain", es, Judíos sefardíes (or ), pt, Judeus sefarditas ...
, who had originally been expelled from the
Iberian peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region ...

Iberian peninsula
, to end up in
Dutch Brazil Dutch Brazil, also known as New Holland, was the northern portion of the Portuguese colony of Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both and . At 8.5 mil ...
. As the effects of the new crop increased, so did the shift in the ethnic composition of Barbados and surrounding islands. The workable sugar plantation required a large investment and a great deal of heavy labour. At first, Dutch traders supplied the equipment, financing, and enslaved Africans, in addition to transporting most of the sugar to Europe. In 1644 the population of Barbados was estimated at 30,000, of which about 800 were of African descent, with the remainder mainly of English descent. These English smallholders were eventually bought out and the island filled up with large sugar plantations worked by enslaved Africans. By 1660 there was near parity with 27,000 blacks and 26,000 whites. By 1666 at least 12,000 white smallholders had been bought out, died, or left the island, many choosing to emigrate to
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or ...

Jamaica
or the
American Colonies#REDIRECT American colonies
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from ambiguous term {{R unprintworthy ...
(notably the Carolinas). As a result, Barbados enacted a slave code as a way of legislatively controlling its black enslaved population. The law's text was influential in laws in other colonies.Sweet Negotiations: Sugar, Slavery, and Plantation Agriculture in Early Barbados
Chapter 6 ''The Expansion of Barbados'', p. 112
By 1680 there were 20,000 free whites and 46,000 enslaved Africans; by 1724, there were 18,000 free whites and 55,000 enslaved Africans.


18th and 19th centuries

The harsh conditions endured by the slaves resulted in several planned slave rebellions, the largest of which was
Bussa's rebellion Bussa's rebellion (14–16 April 1816) was the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history. The rebellion takes its name from the African-born slave, Bussa, who led the rebellion which was defeated by British Army, British forces. Bussa's Rebelli ...
in 1816 which was suppressed by British troops. Growing opposition to slavery led to its abolition in the British Empire in 1833. The plantocracy class retained control of political and economic power on the island, with most workers living in relative poverty. The 1780 hurricane killed over 4,000 people on Barbados. In 1854, a
cholera Cholera is an infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body by , their multiplication, and the reaction of tissues to the infectious agents and the s they produce. An infectious disease, also known as a transmissible disea ...

cholera
epidemic killed over 20,000 inhabitants.


20th century – colonial period

Deep dissatisfaction with the situation on Barbados led many to emigrate. Things came to a head in the 1930s during the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
, as Barbadians began demanding better conditions for workers, the legalisation of trade unions and a widening of the franchise, which at that point was limited to male property owners. As a result of the increasing unrest the British sent a commission (The West Indies Royal Commission, or Moyne Commission) in 1938, which recommended enacting many of the requested reforms on the islands. As a result, Afro-Barbadians began to play a much more prominent role in the colony's politics, with universal suffrage being introduced in 1950. Prominent among these early activists was
Grantley Herbert Adams Sir Grantley Herbert Adams, CMG, QC (28 April 1898 – 28 November 1971), was a Barbadian and British West Indian statesman. Adams was a founder of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), and he was named in 1998 as one of the Barbadian National Her ...
, who helped found the
Barbados Labour Party The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) or ''Bees'' is the main party of government of Barbados Barbados is an in the of the , in the region of , and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It is in length and up to in width, covering ...
(BLP) in 1938. He became the first Premier of Barbados in 1953, followed by fellow BLP-founder
Hugh Gordon Cummins Dr. Hugh Gordon Hylvestra Cummins (2 February 1891 – 26 October 1970) was a Barbados, Barbadian politician. He served as Premier of Barbados from 17 April 1958 to 8 December 1961 and was a member of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). In 1919, ...
from 1958 to 1961. A group of left-leaning politicians who advocated swifter moves to independence broke off from the BLP and founded the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in 1955.Nohlen, D (2005) ''Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I'', p85 The DLP subsequently won the and their leader
Errol Barrow Errol Walton Barrow, PC, QC (21 January 1920 – 1 June 1987) was a Caribbean statesman and the first First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number 1 (number), one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record, specifically the fir ...
became premier. Full internal self-government was enacted in 1961. Barbados joined the short-lived
West Indies Federation The West Indies Federation, also known as the West Indies, the Federation of the West Indies or the West Indian Federation, was a short-lived political union A political union is a type of political entity A polity is an identifiable politica ...

West Indies Federation
from 1958 to 1962, later gaining full independence on 30 November 1966. Errol Barrow became the country's first prime minister. Barbados opted to remain within the
British Commonwealth The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...
, retaining Queen Elizabeth as
Monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...
, represented locally by a governor-general.


Post-independence era

The Barrow government sought to diversify the economy away from agriculture, seeking to boost industry and the tourism sector. Barbados was also at forefront of regional integration efforts, spearheading the creation of CARIFTA and . The DLP lost the
1976 Barbadian general election General elections were held in Barbados on 2 September 1976.Nohlen, D (2005) ''Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I'', p90 The result was a victory for the Barbados Labour Party, which won 17 of the 24 seats, defeating the ruling ...

1976 Barbadian general election
to the BLP under . Adams adopted a more conservative and strongly pro-Western stance, allowing the Americans to use Barbados as the launchpad for their
invasion of Grenada The United States invasion of Grenada began at dawn on 25 October 1983. The U.S. and a coalition of six Caribbean nations invaded the island nation of Grenada, north of Venezuela. Codenamed Operation Urgent Fury by the U.S. military, it result ...
in 1983. Adams died in office in 1985 and was replaced by Harold Bernard St. John, however he lost the
1986 Barbadian general election General elections were held in Barbados on 28 May 1986.Dieter Nohlen (2005) ''Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I'', p90 The result was a landslide victory for the Democratic Labour Party (Barbados), Democratic Labour Party, whic ...

1986 Barbadian general election
which saw the return of the DLP under Errol Barrow, who had been highly critical of the US intervention in Grenada. However Barrow too died in office, and was replaced by
Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, KA, PC (born March 24, 1937) is a Barbadian politician. He served as the fourth Prime Minister of Barbados Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of N ...
who remained Prime Minister until 1994.
Owen Arthur Owen Seymour Arthur, Privy Council of the United Kingdom, PC (17 October 194927 July 2020) was a Barbados, Barbadian politician who served as List of Prime Ministers of Barbados#Prime Ministers (Post-Independence), Prime Minister of Barbados from ...
of the BLP won the , remaining Prime Minister until 2008. Arthur was a strong advocate of republicanism, though a planned referendum to replace Queen Elizabeth as Head of State in 2008 never took place. The DLP won the
2008 Barbadian general election General elections were held in Barbados Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America, and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It is in length and up to in widt ...

2008 Barbadian general election
, however the new Prime Minister David Thompson died in 2010 and was replaced by
Freundel Stuart Freundel Jerome Stuart, OR, PC, QC (born 27 April 1951) is a Barbadian politician who served as seventh Prime Minister of Barbados The prime minister of Barbados is the head of government The head of government is either the highest o ...

Freundel Stuart
. The BLP returned to power under
Mia Mottley Mia Amor Mottley (born 1 October 1965) is a Barbadian politician and attorney who is the current Prime Minister of Barbados The prime minister of Barbados is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second h ...
, who became Barbados's first female Prime Minister.


Plan to remove the monarchy

The government of Barbados announced on 15 September 2020 that it intends to become a republic by 30 November 2021, the 55th anniversary of its independence. If the plan is achieved (with a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Parliament), the Queen will be replaced by the country's own elected official as head of state. Barbados would then cease to be a
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
, but will maintain membership in the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
. One news report stated that
Guyana Guyana ( or ), officially the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America and the capital city is Georgetown Guyana, Georgetown. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the ...

Guyana
, as well as
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean C ...

Trinidad and Tobago
, already had such a relationship with the UK: a "loose association of former British colonies and current dependencies". The chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the UK told the news media that the move to becoming a republic came about in part because China exerted pressure on Barbados. The former Barbadian High Commissioner to the UK,
Guy Hewitt Guy Arlington Kenneth Hewitt (born November 1967), minister of religion and social development specialist, held the ambassadorial appointment of High Commission of Barbados, London, High Commissioner of Barbados in London from 2014-2018. He previ ...

Guy Hewitt
, said in March 2021 interviews that the
Windrush Scandal The Windrush scandal was a 2018 British political scandal In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the dist ...
in 1988 had left Barbadians with little confidence in the UK. (Some people born as British subjects were threatened with deportation and at least 83 were wrongly deported from the UK.) In Hewitt's view, many believe that the "monarchy symbolizes part of that historic oppression". "The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state," according to a speech written by Prime Minister Mia Mottley in September 2020. Her predecessor as PM,
Freundel Stuart Freundel Jerome Stuart, OR, PC, QC (born 27 April 1951) is a Barbadian politician who served as seventh Prime Minister of Barbados The prime minister of Barbados is the head of government The head of government is either the highest o ...

Freundel Stuart
, had also espoused moving to a republican system. Whether that goal can be achieved during 2021 is "not clear", according to an investigation of the situation by the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (french: Société Radio-Canada), branded as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian federal Crown corporation that serves as the national public broadcaster Public broadcasting involves , and other electronic ...
in March 2021. After a request from the CBC, the government did not provide a timeline for the process.


Geography and climate

Barbados is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, east of the other
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
Islands. Barbados is the easternmost island in the
Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen) are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, ...
. It is flat in comparison to its island neighbours to the west, the
Windward Islands french: Îles du Vent , image_name = , image_caption = ''Political'' Windward Islands. Clockwise: Dominica Dominica ( or ; Kalinago : ; french: Dominique; Dominican Creole French Dominican Creole French is a French-based creole, which ...
. The island rises gently to the central highland region known as Scotland District, with the high point of the nation being Mount Hillaby above sea level. In the parish of
Saint Michael Michael (; he, מִיכָאֵל, lit= Who is like El?, translit=Mīḳā'ēl; el, Μιχαήλ, translit=Mikhaḗl; la, Michahel; cop, ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗ; ar, ميخائيل ، مِيكَالَ ، ميكائيل, translit=Mīkā'īl, Mīkāl ...
lies Barbados's capital and main city,
Bridgetown Bridgetown (UN/LOCODE UN/LOCODE, the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations, is a geocode, geographic coding scheme developed and maintained by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). UN/LOCODE assigns codes to ...

Bridgetown
, containing one third of the country's population. Other major towns scattered across the island include
Holetown Holetown (UN/LOCODE UN/LOCODE, the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations, is a geocode, geographic coding scheme developed and maintained by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). UN/LOCODE assigns codes to locatio ...
, in the parish of Saint James;
Oistins Oistins (Pronounced /'ȯis-tins/ -- UN/LOCODE: BB OST), is a coastal area located in the country of Barbados. It is situated centrally along the coastline of the parish of Christ Church, Barbados, Christ Church. The area comprises a fishing village ...
, in the parish of
Christ Church Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, ''Yeshua, Yēšū́aʿ''; ar, عيسى, ʿĪsā ( 4 BC AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jews, Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figu ...
; and
Speightstown Speightstown (), also known as ''Little Bristol'', is the second largest City centre of Barbados Barbados is an in the of the , in the region of , and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It is in length and up to in width, c ...
, in the parish of
Saint Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτρος, Petros; cop, Ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, Petros; lat, Petrus; ar, شمعون الصفـا, Sham ...
.


Geology

Barbados lies on the boundary of the
South American South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered f ...
and the
Caribbean Plate The Caribbean Plate is a mostly oceanic tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around ...
s. The
subduction Subduction is a geological process in which the oceanic lithosphere A lithosphere ( grc, λίθος [] for "rocky", and [] for "sphere") is the rigid, outermost shell of a terrestrial planet, terrestrial-type planet or natural satellite. O ...

subduction
of the South American plate beneath the Caribbean plate scrapes sediment from the South American plate and deposits it above the subduction zone forming an
accretionary prism An accretionary wedge or accretionary prism forms from sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently sediment transport, transported by the action of wind, w ...

accretionary prism
. The rate of this depositing of material allows Barbados to rise at a rate of about per 1,000 years. This subduction means
geologically Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following peri ...

geologically
the island is composed of
coral Corals are marine invertebrates Marine invertebrates are the invertebrates that live in marine habitats. Invertebrate is a blanket term that includes all animals apart from the vertebrate members of the chordate phylum. Invertebrates lack a ver ...

coral
roughly thick, where reefs formed above the sediment. The land slopes in a series of "terraces" in the west and goes into an incline in the east. A large proportion of the island is circled by
coral reefs ''Coral Reefs'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal dedicated to the study of coral reefs. It was established in 1982 and is published by Springer Science+Business Media on behalf of the International Society for Reef Studies, of which ...
. The erosion of limestone in the northeast of the island, in the Scotland District, has resulted in the formation of various caves and
gullies A gully is a landform created by running water, erosion, eroding sharply into soil, typically on a hillside. Gullies resemble large ditches or small valleys, but are metres to tens of metres in depth and width. When the gully formation is in pr ...

gullies
. On the east coast of the island coastal landforms, including stacks, have been created due to the limestone composition of the area. Also notable in the island is the rocky cape known as Pico Teneriffe or Pico de Tenerife, which is named after the fact that the island of
Tenerife Tenerife (; ; formerly spelled ''Teneriffe'') is the largest and most populous island of the Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ) ...

Tenerife
in
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
is the first land east of Barbados according to the belief of the locals.


Climate

The country generally experiences two seasons, one of which includes noticeably higher rainfall. Known as the "
wet season The wet season (sometimes called the rainy season) is the time of year when most of a region's average annual rainfall Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Raindrops in a plant. A drop or droplet is a small column of liquid ...
", this period runs from June to December. By contrast, the "
dry season The dry season is a yearly period of low rainfall, especially in the tropics The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of ...
" runs from December to May. Annual precipitation ranges between . From December to May the average temperatures range from , while between June and November, they range from . On the
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
scale, much of Barbados is regarded as a
tropical monsoon climate An area of tropical monsoon climate (occasionally known as a tropical wet climate or a tropical monsoon and trade-wind littoral climate) is a type of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmos ...
(Am). However, breezes of abound throughout the year and give Barbados a
climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a la ...

climate
which is moderately tropical. Infrequent natural hazards include earthquakes,
landslip The term landslide or, less frequently, landslip refers to several forms of mass wasting Mass wasting, also known as slope movement or mass movement, is the geomorphic process by which soil Soil (often stylized as SOiL) is an American roc ...

landslip
s, and
hurricanes A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm, storm system characterized by a Low-pressure area, low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, Beaufort scale, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that ...
. Barbados is often spared the worst effects of the region's
tropical storm A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of Atmosphere of Earth, air and together with oc ...

tropical storm
s and
hurricanes A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm, storm system characterized by a Low-pressure area, low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, Beaufort scale, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that ...
during the rainy season. Its location in the south-east of the Caribbean region puts the country just outside the principal hurricane strike zone. On average, a major hurricane strikes about once every 26 years. The last significant hit from a hurricane to cause severe damage to Barbados was
Hurricane Janet Hurricane Janet was the most powerful tropical cyclone of the 1955 Atlantic hurricane season and one of the strongest North Atlantic tropical cyclone, Atlantic hurricanes on record. Janet was also the first named storm to have 1,000 deaths and the ...
in 1955; in 2010 the island was struck by
Hurricane Tomas Hurricane Tomas was the latest recorded tropical cyclone on a calendar year to strike the Windward Islands. The nineteenth named storm and twelfth hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, Tomas developed from a tropical wave east of the W ...
, but this caused only minor damage across the country as it was only at Tropical Storm level of formation.


Environmental issues

Barbados is susceptible to environmental pressures. As one of the world's most densely populated isles, the government worked during the 1990s to aggressively integrate the growing south coast of the island into the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant to reduce contamination of offshore coral reefs. As of the first decade of the 21st century, a second treatment plant has been proposed along the island's west coast. Being so densely populated, Barbados has made great efforts to protect its underground
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of -bearing , rock fractures or unconsolidated materials (, , or ). can be extracted using a water . The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called . Related terms include a ...

aquifer
s."PERSPECTIVES: Squatting – a continuing problem"
. Barbadosadvocate.com (24 March 2008). Retrieved 20 April 2014.
As a coral-limestone island, Barbados is highly permeable to seepage of surface water into the earth. The government has placed great emphasis on protecting the catchment areas that lead directly into the huge network of underground aquifers and streams. On occasion illegal squatters have breached these areas, and the government has removed squatters to preserve the cleanliness of the underground springs which provide the island's drinking water. The government has placed a huge emphasis on keeping Barbados clean with the aim of protecting the environment and preserving offshore coral reefs which surround the island. Many initiatives to mitigate human pressures on the coastal regions of Barbados and seas come from the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU). Barbados has nearly of coral reefs just offshore and two protected marine parks have been established off the west coast. Overfishing is another threat which faces Barbados. Although on the opposite side of the Atlantic, and some west of Africa, Barbados is one of many places in the American continent that experience heightened levels of mineral dust from the
Sahara Desert The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the . With an area of , it is the largest hot in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of and the northern . ...

Sahara Desert
. Some particularly intense dust episodes have been blamed partly for the impacts on the health of coral reefs surrounding Barbados or
asthmatic Asthma is a long-term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs The lungs are the primary organs of the respiratory system The respiratory system (also respiratory apparatus, ventilatory system) is a biological system consi ...

asthmatic
episodes, but evidence has not wholly supported the former such claim. Access to
biocapacity The biocapacity or biological capacity of an ecosystem is an estimate of its production of certain biological materials such as natural resources, and its absorption and filtering of other materials such as carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. B ...
in Barbados is much lower than world average. In 2016, Barbados had 0.17 global hectares of biocapacity per person within its territory, much less than the world average of 1.6 global hectares per person. In 2016 Barbados used 0.84 global hectares of biocapacity per person - their
ecological footprint The ecological footprint is a method promoted by the Global Footprint Network Global Footprint Network, founded in 2003, is an independent think tank A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute A research institute, research ce ...
of consumption. This means they use approximately five times as much biocapacity as Barbados contains. As a result, Barbados is running a biocapacity deficit.


Wildlife

Barbados is host to four species of nesting turtles (
green turtles The green sea turtle (''Chelonia mydas''), also known as the green turtle, black (sea) turtle or Pacific green turtle, is a species of large sea turtle of the Family (biology), family Cheloniidae. It is the only species in the genus ''Chelonia' ...
, ,
hawksbill turtle The hawksbill sea turtle (''Eretmochelys imbricata'') is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. It is the only extant species in the genus ''Eretmochelys''. The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic ...

hawksbill turtle
s, and leatherbacks) and has the second-largest hawksbill turtle-breeding population in the Caribbean. The driving of vehicles on beaches can crush nests buried in the sand and such activity is discouraged in nesting areas. Barbados is also the host to the
green monkey The green monkey (''Chlorocebus sabaeus''), also known as the sabaeus monkey, is an Old World monkey Old World monkey is the common English name for a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related eith ...

green monkey
. The green monkey is found in West Africa from Senegal to the Volta River. It has been introduced to the Cape Verde islands off north-western Africa, and the West Indian islands of Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saint Martin, and Barbados. It was introduced to the West Indies in the late 17th century when slave trade ships travelled to the Caribbean from West Africa. The green monkey in most cases, is well-known to be a very curious and mischievous/troublesome creature to the locals on the island.


Demographics

The 2010 national census conducted by the Barbados Statistical Service reported a resident population of 277,821, of which 144,803 were female and 133,018 were male. The life expectancy for Barbados residents is 79 years. The average life expectancy is 83 years for females and 78 years for males (2019). Barbados and Japan have the highest per capita occurrences of
centenarian A centenarian is a person who has reached the age of 100 years. Because life expectancy, life expectancies worldwide are below 100 years, the term is invariably associated with longevity. In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 316 ...
s in the world. The crude birth rate is 12.23 births per 1,000 people, and the crude death rate is 8.39 deaths per 1,000 people. The infant mortality rate is 11.63 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.


Ethnic groups

Close to 90% of all Barbadians (also known colloquially as "Bajan") are of
Afro-Caribbean Afro-Caribbean people or African-Caribbean people are Caribbean people who trace their full or partial ancestry to Africa. The majority of the modern Afro-Caribbeans descend from Indigenous peoples of Africa, Africans taken as slaves to History ...
descent (" Afro-Bajans") and mixed descent. The remainder of the population includes groups of Europeans ("Anglo-Bajans" / "Euro-Bajans") mainly from the United Kingdom and Ireland, Italians, and Asians, predominantly Chinese and Indians (both Hindu and Muslim). Other groups in Barbados include people from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Barbadians who return after years of residence in the United States and children born in America to Bajan parents are called "Bajan Yankees", a term considered derogatory by some. Generally, Bajans recognise and accept all "children of the island" as Bajans, and refer to each other as such. The biggest communities outside the Afro-Caribbean community are: # The
Indo-Guyanese Indo-Guyanese or Indian-Guyanese are people of Indian origin who are Guyanese nationals tracing their ancestry to the Indian subcontinent. They are the descendants of indentured laborers and settlers who emigrated beginning in 1838 from India ...
, an important part of the economy due to the increase of immigrants from partner country
Guyana Guyana ( or ), officially the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America and the capital city is Georgetown Guyana, Georgetown. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the ...

Guyana
. There are reports of a growing Indo-Bajans diaspora originating from Guyana and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
starting around 1990. Predominantly from southern India, they are growing in size but are smaller than the equivalent communities in Trinidad and Guyana. People who are Indians in the Caribbean are also referred to as
coolie A coolie (also spelled koelie, kuli, cooli, cooly, or quli) is a low-wage laborer, typically of Asian descent. The term is considered outdated and offensive. The word ''coolie'' was first popularized in the 16th century by European traders a ...

coolie
who are Indians that came from East India to the Americas as labourers. They sometimes get mixed up with
dougla Dougla people (plural ''Douglas'') are Caribbean people who are of mixed African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** People who are native to Africa, descendants of natives of Africa, or indivi ...
who have African and Indian ancestry while coolies are full blooded Indians. The Muslim Barbadians of Indian origin are largely of
Gujarat Gujarat (, ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Gujarat
i ancestry. Many small businesses in Barbados are run and operated by Muslim-Indian Bajans. # Euro-Bajans (5% of the population)Barbados
CIA World Factbook
have settled in Barbados since the 17th century, originating from England, Ireland, Portugal, and
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
. In 1643, there were 37,200 whites in Barbados (86% of the population). More commonly they are known as " White Bajans". Euro-Bajans introduced folk music, such as
Irish music Irish music is music that has been created in various genres on the island of Ireland. The indigenous music of the island is termed Irish traditional music. It has remained vibrant through the 20th and into the 21st century, despite globalisi ...
and Highland music, and certain place names, such as "Scotland District", a hilly region in the parish of St. Andrew. Among White Barbadians there exists an underclass known as Redlegs comprising followers of the Duke of Monmouth after his defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor, as well as the descendants of
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ...
indentured labourers and prisoners imported to the island. Many additionally moved on to become the earliest settlers of modern-day
North North is one of the four compass points The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydro ...
and
South Carolina South Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspap ...
in the United States. Today the Redlegs only number around 400. # Chinese-Barbadians are a small portion of Barbados's wider Asian population. Most if not all first arrived in the 1940s from Hong Kong during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Many Chinese-Bajans have the surnames Chin, Chynn or Lee, although other surnames prevail in certain areas of the island. Chinese food and culture is becoming part of everyday Bajan culture. # Lebanese and Syrians form the island's
Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, : , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an mainly inhabiting the . In modern usage the term refers to those who originate from an Arab co ...

Arab
Barbadian community, which is overwhelmingly Christian Arab. The Muslim Arab minority among Arab Barbadian make up a small percentage of the overall minority Muslim Barbadian population. The majority of the Lebanese and Syrians arrived in Barbados through trade opportunities. Their numbers are falling due to emigration to other countries. #
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
arrived in Barbados just after the first settlers in 1627. Bridgetown is the home of
Nidhe Israel Synagogue The Nidḥe Israel Synagogue ( he, בית הכנסת נדחי ישראל ''Bet Knesset Nide Yisrael'', lit. ''Synagogue of the Scattered of Israel'') is the only synagogue A synagogue (; from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes th ...
, one of the oldest Jewish synagogues in the Americas, dating from 1654, though the current structure was erected in 1833, replacing one ruined by the hurricane of 1831. Tombstones in the neighbouring cemetery date from the 1630s. Now under the care of the Barbados National Trust, the site was deserted in 1929 but was saved and restored by the Jewish community beginning in 1986. # In the seventeenth century,
Romani people The Romani (also spelled Romany , ), colloquially known as Roma, are an Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these ...

Romani people
were sent from the United Kingdom to work as slaves in the plantations in Barbados.


Languages

English is the
official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciar ...

official language
of Barbados, and is used for communications, administration, and public services all over the island. In its capacity as the official language of the country, the standard of English tends to conform to vocabulary, pronunciations, spellings, and conventions akin to, but not exactly the same as, those of
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed by a populatio ...
. For most people, however,
Bajan Creole Bajan , or Barbadian Creole, is an English-based creole language An English-based creole language (often shortened to English creole) is a creole language for which English language, English was the ''lexifier'', meaning that at the time of its ...
is the language of everyday life. It does not have a standardised written form, but it is used by over 90% of the population.


Religion

Most Barbadians of African and European descent are Christians (95%), the largest denomination being
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
(40%). Other Christian denominations with significant followings in Barbados are the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
(administered by
Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgetown The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgetown ( la, Dioecesis Pontipolitana) is a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the ...
),
Pentecostals Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, error ...
,
Jehovah's Witness Jehovah's Witnesses is a Millenarianism, millenarian Restorationism, restorationist Christian denomination with Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The group reports a worldwide membership of appro ...

Jehovah's Witness
es, the
Seventh-day Adventist Church The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a which is distinguished by its observance of , the in Christian and the , as the , and its emphasis on the imminent (advent) of . The denomination grew out of the in the United States during the mid-1 ...
and
Spiritual BaptistThe Spiritual Baptist faith is a Christian religion created by enslaved Africans in the plantations they came to in the former British West Indies The British West Indies, sometimes abbreviated to the BWI, is a collective term for the British ...
s. The
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
was the official state religion until its legal disestablishment by the Parliament of Barbados following independence. Other religions in Barbados include
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
,
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, the
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith (; fa , بهائی ') is a new religion teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. Established by Baháʼu'lláh Baháʼu'lláh (12 November 1817 – 29 May 1892) was a Persian ...
, and
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
.


Government and politics

Barbados has been an independent country since 30 November 1966. It functions as a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
and
parliamentary democracy A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy fr ...
modelled on the British
Westminster system The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ...
. The
Queen of Barbados The monarch of Barbados is the sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin word ''superānus'' ...
,
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Elizabeth II
, is
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
and is represented locally by the
Governor-General of Barbados The Governor-General of Barbados Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America, and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It is in length and up to in width, cov ...
—presently
Sandra Mason Dame Dame is an honorific title and the feminine form of address for the honour of damehood in many Christian chivalric orders, as well as the British honours system and those of several other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia ...
. Both are advised on matters of the Barbadian state by the
Prime Minister of Barbados The prime minister of Barbados is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, ...
, who is
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administrat ...
. There are 30 representatives within the
House of Assembly House of Assembly is a name given to the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who ...

House of Assembly
. The
Constitution of Barbados The Constitution of Barbados is the law of the land, supreme law under which Barbados is governed. The Constitution provides a legal establishment of the structure and various roles of administration of the Monarchy of Barbados, Queen of Barbados ( ...
is the supreme law of the nation. The Attorney General heads the independent judiciary. New Acts are passed by the Barbadian Parliament and require royal assent by the governor-general to become law. During the 1990s at the suggestion of
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean C ...

Trinidad and Tobago
's
Patrick Manning Patrick Augustus Mervyn Manning (17 August 1946 – 2 July 2016) was a Trinidadian and Tobagonian Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Carib ...
, Barbados attempted a
political union A political union is a type of political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social re ...
with Trinidad and Tobago and
Guyana Guyana ( or ), officially the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America and the capital city is Georgetown Guyana, Georgetown. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the ...

Guyana
. The project stalled after the then prime minister of Barbados,
Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, KA, PC (born March 24, 1937) is a Barbadian politician. He served as the fourth Prime Minister of Barbados Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of N ...
, became ill and his Democratic Labour Party lost the next general election. Barbados continues to share close ties with Trinidad and Tobago and with Guyana, claiming the highest number of Guyanese immigrants after the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.


Political culture

Barbados functions as a
two-party system A two-party system is a Politics, political party system in which two major party, major political parties consistently dominate the political landscape. At any point in time, one of the two parties typically holds a majority in the legislature ...
. The dominant political parties are the Democratic Labour Party and the incumbent
Barbados Labour Party The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) or ''Bees'' is the main party of government of Barbados Barbados is an in the of the , in the region of , and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It is in length and up to in width, covering ...
. Since Independence on 30 November 1966, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has governed from 1966 to 1976; 1986 to 1994; and from 2008 to 2018; and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has also governed from 1976 to 1986; 1994 to 2008; and from 2018 to present. The Democratic Labour Party government (DLP) held office with the then Premier of Barbados became Prime Minister of Barbados, Errol Barrow for three successive terms from 4 December 1961 to 2 September 1976; and again from 28 May 1986 until his sudden death in office on 1 June 1987. The 4th Prime Minister, Sir. Lloyd Sandiford took over with the Democratic Labour Party government (DLP) from 1 June 1987 to 20 January 1991; and from 20 January 1991 to 6 September 1994. The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) held office with the then Prime Minister, Tom Adams from 2 September 1976 to 18 June 1981; and from 18 June 1981 until his sudden death in office on 11 March 1985. The 3rd Prime Minister, Sir. Harold St. John took over with the Barbados Labour Party government (BLP) from 11 March 1985 to 28 May 1986. The BLP held power from 6 September 1994 to 15 January 2008. The Democratic Labour Party government (DLP) held power with the then 6th Prime Minister, David Thompson from 15 January 2008 until his death in office on 23 October 2010. The 7th Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart took over with the Democratic Labour Party government (DLP) from 23 October 2010 to 21 February 2013; and from 21 February 2013 to 24 May 2018 for the general elections for the new Barbados Labour Party (BLP). All of Barbados' Prime Ministers, except Freundel Stuart, held under the Ministry of Finance's portfolio. The Barbados Labour Party government (BLP) held power with the now 8th Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley from 24 May 2018 to present until the next general election on 24 May 2023.


Foreign relations

Barbados follows a policy of nonalignment and seeks cooperative relations with all friendly states. Barbados is a full and participating member of the
Caribbean Community The Caribbean Community (CARICOM or CC) is an organisation of fifteen states and dependencies throughout the Caribbean having primary objectives to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of inte ...
(CARICOM),
CARICOM Single Market and Economy The CARICOM Single Market and Economy, also known as the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), is an integrated development strategy envisioned at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ...
(CSME), and the
Association of Caribbean States The Association of Caribbean States (ACS; es, Asociación de Estados del Caribe; french: Association des États de la Caraïbe) is a union of nations centered on the Caribbean Basin. It was formed with the aim of promoting consultation, cooper ...

Association of Caribbean States
(ACS).
Organization of American States The Organization of American States (OAS; es, Organización de los Estados Americanos, pt, Organização dos Estados Americanos, french: Organisation des États américains; ''OEA'') is an international organization that was founded on 30 April ...

Organization of American States
(OAS),
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
, and the
Caribbean Court of Justice The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ; nl, Caribisch Hof van Justitie; french: Cour Caribéenne de Justice) is the judicial institution of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Established in 2005, it is based in Port of Spain Port of Spain ( Spa ...
(CCJ). In 2005 the Parliament of Barbados voted on a measure replacing the UK's
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is the highest court of appeal An appellate court, commonly called an ''appeals court'', ''court of appeals'' (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), somet ...
with the Caribbean Court of Justice based in
Port of Spain Port of Spain (Spanish language, Spanish: ''Puerto España''), officially the City of Port of Spain (also stylized Port-of-Spain), is the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago, the country's second-largest city after San Fernando, Trinidad and To ...
, Trinidad and Tobago.


World Trade Organization, European Commission, CARIFORUM

Barbados is an original member (1995) of the
World Trade Organization The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through ...
(WTO) and participates actively in its work. It grants at least MFN treatment to all its trading partners.
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
relations and cooperation with Barbados are carried out both on a bilateral and a regional basis. Barbados is party to the
Cotonou Agreement 300px, The Cotonou Agreement is a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometimes in ...
, through which it is linked by an Economic Partnership Agreement with the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive executes a ...

European Commission
. The pact involves the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) subgroup of the
African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) is a group of countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a colle ...
(ACP). CARIFORUM is the only part of the wider ACP-bloc that has concluded the full regional trade-pact with the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
. There are also ongoing EU-
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), french: link=no, Communauté des États latino-américains et caribéens, nl, Gemeenschap van Latijns-Amerikaanse en Caraïbische Staten is a regional bloc of Latin American and Ca ...

Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
(CELAC) and EU-
CARIFORUM The Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) is a subgroup of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and serves as a base for economic dialogue with the European Union. It was established in 1992. Its membership comprises the 15 Caribbean Com ...
dialogues. Trade policy has also sought to protect a small number of domestic activities, mostly food production, from foreign competition, while recognising that most domestic needs are best met by imports.


The Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty 1994

On 6 July 1994, at the Sherbourne Conference Centre, St. Michael, Barbados, representatives of eight countries signed the Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaties 1994. The countries which were represented were: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. On 19 August 1994 a representative of the Government of Guyana signed a similar treaty.


Military

The
Barbados Defence Force The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) is the name given to the combined armed forces of Barbados Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America, and the most easterly of the Ca ...
has roughly 800 members. Within it, 14- to 18-year-olds make up the Barbados Cadet Corps. The defence preparations of the island nation are closely tied to defence treaties with the United Kingdom, the United States, and the People's Republic of China. The Royal Barbados Police Force is the sole law enforcement agency on the island of Barbados.


Administrative divisions

Barbados is into 11 parishes: St. George and St. Thomas are in the middle of the country and are the only parishes without coastlines.


Economy

Barbados is the 53rd richest country in the world in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita,Barbados
, International Monetary Fund.
has a well-developed
mixed economy A mixed economy is variously defined as an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon ...
, and a moderately high
standard of living Standard of living is the level of income, comforts and services available, generally applied to a society or location, rather than to an individual. Standard of living is relevant because it is considered to contribute to an individual's quality ...
. According to the World Bank, Barbados is classified as being in its 66 top high income economies of the world. Despite this, a 2012 self-study in conjunction with the
Caribbean Development BankThe Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is a financial institution that helps Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label= Antillean Creole, Kawayib; nl, Caraïben; Papiamento: ) is a region of the A ...
revealed 20% of Barbadians live in poverty, and nearly 10% cannot meet their basic daily food needs. Historically, the economy of Barbados had been dependent on
sugarcane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, ...

sugarcane
cultivation and related activities, but since the late 1970s and early 1980s it has diversified into the manufacturing and tourism sectors. Offshore finance and information services have become important foreign exchange earners, and there is a healthy light manufacturing sector. Since the 1990s the Barbados Government has been seen as business-friendly and economically sound. The island saw a construction boom, with the development and redevelopment of hotels, office complexes, and homes, partly due to the staging of the 2007 Cricket World Cup. This slowed during the 2008 to 2012 world economic crisis and the recession. There was a strong economy between 1999 and 2000 but the economy went into recession in 2001 and 2002 due to slowdowns in tourism, consumer spending and the impact of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States and the
7 July 2005 London bombings The 7 July 2005 London bombings, often referred to as 7/7, were a series of coordinated Islamist suicide attack right , Several coordinated suicide attacks targeted the United States on September 11, 2001 A suicide attack is any violent ...
in the United Kingdom. The economy rebounded in 2003 and has shown growth since 2004 which continued right through to 2008. The economy went into recession again from 2008 to 2013 before showing growth from 2014 to 2017. Then it declined to another recession from 2017 to 2019 during the world economic crisis. There were 23 downgrades by both Standard & Poor's and Moody's in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The economy showed signs of recovery with 3 upgrades from Standard and Poor's and Moody's in 2019. From 1 January to 31 March 2020 the economy had started to grow, but then it experienced another decline due to the COVID-19 economic recession. Traditional trading partners include Canada, the
Caribbean Community The Caribbean Community (CARICOM or CC) is an organisation of fifteen states and dependencies throughout the Caribbean having primary objectives to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of inte ...
(especially
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean C ...

Trinidad and Tobago
), the United Kingdom and the United States. Recent government administrations have continued efforts to reduce unemployment, encourage
foreign direct investment#REDIRECT Foreign direct investment A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a Controlling interest, controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country. It is thus distinguished fro ...
, and privatise remaining state-owned enterprises. Unemployment was reduced to 10.7% in 2003. However, it has since increased to 11.9% in second quarter, 2015. The European Union is assisting Barbados with a program of modernisation of the country's International Business and Financial Services Sector. Barbados maintains the third largest
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an exchange Exchange may refer to: Places United States * Exchange, Indiana Exchange is an Unincorporated area, unincorporated community in Green Township, Morgan County, Indiana, Green To ...
in the Caribbean region. , officials at the stock exchange were investigating the possibility of augmenting the local exchange with an International Securities Market (ISM) venture.


Sovereign default and restructuring

By May 2018, Barbados' outstanding debt climbed to , more than 1.7 times the country's
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corner">174x174px Money is any ...
. In June 2018 the government defaulted on its sovereign debt when it failed to make a coupon on Eurobonds maturing in 2035. Outstanding bond debt of Barbados reached . In October 2019, Barbados concluded restructuring negotiations with a creditor group including investments funds Eaton Vance Management, Greylock Capital Management, Teachers Advisors and Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry. Creditors will exchange existing bonds for a new debt series maturing in 2029. The new bonds involve a principal "haircut" of approximately 26% and include a clause allowing for deferment of principal and capitalization of interest in the event of a natural disaster.


Health

Barbados has many health centres. However, the main hospital on the island is The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.


Education

The Barbados
literacy rate Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (p ...
is ranked close to 100%. The mainstream public education system of Barbados is fashioned after the British model. The government of Barbados spends 6.7% of its GDP on education (2008). All young people in the country must attend school until age 16. Barbados has over 70 primary schools and over 20 secondary schools throughout the island. There is a number of private schools, including
Montessori The Montessori method of education was developed by Italian physician Maria Montessori. Emphasizing independence, it views children as naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a sufficiently supportive and well-prepar ...

Montessori
and the
International Baccalaureate The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is a nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit ins ...
. Student enrolment at these schools represents less than 5% of the total enrolment of the public schools. Certificate-, diploma- and degree-level education in the country is provided by the
Barbados Community College The Barbados Community College is a tertiary institution located on Eyrie Howells' Road, Saint Michael, Barbados, St. Michael, Barbados. History Founded in 1968, the Barbados Community College came to be as a result of an Act of Parliament aimed ...
, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology, Codrington College, and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Cave Hill campus and Open Campus of the University of the West Indies. Barbados is also home to several overseas medical schools, such as Ross University School of Medicine and the American University of Integrative Sciences, American University of Integrative Sciences, School of Medicine.


Educational testing

Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination: Children who are 11 years old on 1 September in the year of the examination are required to write the examination as a means of allocation to secondary school. Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations are usually taken by students after five years of secondary school and mark the end of standard secondary education. The CSEC examinations are equivalent to the Ordinary Level (O-Levels) examinations and are targeted toward students 16 and older. Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) are taken by students who have completed their secondary education and wish to continue their studies. Students who sit for the CAPE usually possess CSEC or an equivalent certification. The CAPE is equivalent to the British Advanced Levels (A-Levels), voluntary qualifications that are intended for university entrance.


Culture

Barbados is a blend of West African, Portuguese, Creole, Indian and British cultures. Citizens are officially called Barbadians. The term "Bajan" (pronounced BAY-jun) may have come from a localised pronunciation of the word Barbadian, which at times can sound more like "Bar-bajan"; or, more likely, from English ''bay'' ("bayling"), Portuguese . The largest carnival-like cultural event that takes place on the island is the Crop Over festival, which was established in 1974. As in many other Caribbean and Latin American countries, Crop Over is an important event for many people on the island, as well as the thousands of tourists that flock to there to participate in the annual events. The festival includes musical competitions and other traditional activities, and features the majority of the island's homegrown calypso music, calypso and soca music for the year. The male and female Barbadians who harvested the most sugarcane are crowned as the King and Queen of the crop. Crop Over gets under way at the beginning of July and ends with the costumed parade on Kadooment Day, held on the first Monday of August. New calypso/soca music is usually released and played more frequently from the beginning of May to coincide with the start of the festival.


Cuisine

Bajan cuisine is a mixture of Cuisine of Africa, African, Indian cuisine, Indian, Ireland, Irish, Creole peoples, Creole and British cuisine, British influences. A typical meal consists of a main dish of meat or fish, normally marinated with a mixture of herbs and spices, hot side dishes, and one or more salads. A common Bajan side dish could be pickled cucumber, fish cakes, bake, etc. The meal is usually served with one or more sauces.Barbados Food
. ''Totally Barbados''. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
The national dish of Barbados is cou-cou & flying fish with spicy gravy. Another traditional meal is "Pudding and Souse" a dish of pickled pork with spiced sweet potatoes. A wide variety of seafood and meats are also available. The Mount Gay Rum visitors centre in Barbados claims to be the world's oldest remaining rum company, with earliest confirmed deed from 1703. Cockspur Rum and Malibu (rum), Malibu are also from the island. Barbados is home to the Banks Barbados Brewery, which brews Banks Beer, a pale lager, as well as Banks Amber Ale. Banks also brews Tiger Malt, a non-alcoholic malta, malted beverage. 10 Saints beer is brewed in
Speightstown Speightstown (), also known as ''Little Bristol'', is the second largest City centre of Barbados Barbados is an in the of the , in the region of , and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It is in length and up to in width, c ...
, St. Peter in Barbados and aged for 90 days in Mount Gay 'Special Reserve' Rum casks. It was first brewed in 2009 and is available in certain Caricom nations.


Music


Public holidays


Sports

As in other Caribbean countries of British colonial heritage, cricket is very popular on the island. The West Indies cricket team usually includes several Barbadian players. In addition to several warm-up matches and six "Super Eight" matches, the country hosted the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Barbados has produced many great cricketers including Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Everton Weekes, Gordon Greenidge, Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, Joel Garner, Desmond Haynes and Malcolm Marshall. Rugby union, Rugby is also popular in Barbados. Horse racing takes place at the Garrison Savannah Racetrack, Historic Garrison Savannah close to Bridgetown. Spectators can pay for admission to the stands, or else can watch races from the public "rail", which encompasses the track. Basketball is an increasingly popular sport, played at school or college. Barbados national basketball team, Barbados's national team has shown some unexpected results as in the past it beat many much larger countries. Polo is very popular amongst the rich elite on the island and the "High-Goal" Apes Hill team is based at the St James's Club. It is also played at the private Holders Festival ground. In golf, the Barbados Open, played at Royal Westmoreland Golf Club, was an annual stop on the European Seniors Tour from 2000 to 2009. In December 2006 the WGC-World Cup took place at the country's Sandy Lane (resort), Sandy Lane resort on the Country Club course, an 18-hole course designed by Tom Fazio. The Barbados Golf Club is another course on the island. It has hosted the Barbados Open on several occasions. Volleyball is also popular and is mainly played indoors. Tennis is gaining popularity and Barbados is home to Darian King, currently ranked 270th in the world and is the 2nd highest ranked player in the Caribbean. Motorsports also play a role, with Rally Barbados occurring each summer and being listed on the FIA NACAM calendar. Also, the Bushy Park, Barbados, Bushy Park Circuit hosted the Race of Champions and Global RallyCross Championship in 2014. The presence of the trade winds along with favourable swells make the southern tip of the island an ideal location for wave sailing (an extreme form of the sport of windsurfing). Barbados also hosts several internationa
surfing competitions
Netball is also popular with women in Barbados. Barbadian team The Flyin' Fish, are the 2009 Segway polo World Champions.


Transport

Although Barbados is about across at its widest point, a car journey from Six Cross Roads in St. Philip (south-east) to North Point in St. Lucy (north-central) can take one and a half hours or longer due to traffic. Barbados has half as many registered cars as citizens. In Barbados, drivers drive on the left side of the road. Barbados is known for its many roundabouts. One famous roundabout is a roundabout located east of Bridgetown, where you will see an emancipation statue of a slave named Bussa. Transport on the island is relatively convenient with "share taxis, route taxis" called "ZRs" (pronounced "Zed-Rs") travelling to most points on the island. These small buses can at times be crowded, as passengers are generally never turned down regardless of the number. They will usually take the more scenic routes to destinations. They generally depart from the capital
Bridgetown Bridgetown (UN/LOCODE UN/LOCODE, the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations, is a geocode, geographic coding scheme developed and maintained by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). UN/LOCODE assigns codes to ...

Bridgetown
or from Speightstown, Barbados, Speightstown in the northern part of the island. Including the ZRs, there are three bus systems running seven days a week (though less frequently on Sundays). There are ZRs, the yellow minibuses and the blue Barbados Transport Board, Transport Board buses. A ride on any of them costs . The smaller buses from the two privately owned systems ("ZRs" and "minibuses") can give change; the larger blue buses from the government-operated Barbados Transport Board system cannot, but do give receipts. The Barbados Transport Board buses travel in regular bus routes and scheduled timetables across Barbados. Schoolchildren in school uniform including some Secondary schools ride for free on the government buses and for on the ZRs. Most routes require a connection in Bridgetown. Barbados Transport Board's headquarters are located at Kay's House, Roebuck Street, St. Michael, and the bus depots and terminals are located in the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal in Fairchild Street and the Princess Alice Bus Terminal (which was formerly the Lower Green Bus Terminal in Jubilee Gardens, Bridgetown, St. Michael) in Princess Alice Highway, Bridgetown, St. Michael; the Speightstown Bus Terminal in Speightstown, St. Peter; the Oistins Bus Depot in Oistins, Christ Church; and the Mangrove Bus Depot in Mangrove, St. Philip. In July 2020, the Barbados Transport Board received 33 BYD Auto, BYD electric buses which were obtained not only to add to the aging fleet of diesel buses but also to assist the Government in their goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels by the year 2030. Some hotels also provide visitors with shuttles to points of interest on the island from outside the hotel lobby. There are several locally owned and operated vehicle rental agencies in Barbados but there are no multi-national companies. The island's lone airport is the Grantley Adams International Airport. It receives daily flights by several major airlines from points around the globe, as well as several smaller regional commercial airlines and charters. The airport serves as the main air-transportation hub for the eastern Caribbean. In the first decade of the 21st century it underwent a upgrade and expansion in February 2003 until completion in August 2005. There was also a helicopter shuttle service, which offered air taxi services to a number of sites around the island, mainly on the West Coast tourist belt. Air and maritime traffic was regulated by the Barbados Port Authority.


Notable people


See also

* Outline of Barbados * Index of Barbados-related articles


References


Further reading

* Burns, Sir Alan, ''History of the British West Indies''. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1965. * David Brion Davis, Davis, David Brion. ''Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World''. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. * Frere, Samuel
''A Short History of Barbados: From its First Discovery and Settlement, to the End of the Year 1767.''
London: J. Dodsley, 1768. * Gragg, Larry Dale, ''Englishmen transplanted: The English Colonization of Barbados, 1627–1660''. Oxford University Press, 2003. * Hamshere, Cyril, ''The British in the Caribbean''. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1972. * Newman, Simon P. ''A New World of Labor: The Development of Slavery in the British Atlantic.'' Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013. * Northrup, David, ed. ''The Atlantic Slave Trade, Second Edition''. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. * O'Shaughnessy, Andrew Jackson, ''An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean''. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000. * Rogozinski, January 1999. ''A Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and Carib to the Present''. Revised version, New York, USA. * Scott, Caroline 1999. ''Insight Guide Barbados''. Discovery Channel and Insight Guides; fourth edition, Singapore.


Videography


Overview Video
Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (Courtesy o
US Television
. * , by the Ministry of Energy and the Environment, under the Office of the Prime Minister.
Sandy Lane Hotel, Barbados
11 November 2011, on ''Where in the World is Matt Lauer?'', Today (U.S. TV program), NBC ''Today Show''. *


External links

*
Government of Barbados Official Information Service

Official webpage of Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Barbados

Parliament of Barbados official website

Barbados Tourism Authority
The Ministry of Tourism
Central Bank of Barbados website

Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry
(BCC&I)
Barbados Investment and Development Corporation

Barbados Maritime Ship Registry

Barbados Museum & Historical Society


General information

* * {{Authority control Barbados, Countries in the Caribbean Leeward Islands (Caribbean) English-speaking countries and territories British Leeward Islands Former British colonies and protectorates in the Americas Former English colonies Former Portuguese colonies Portuguese colonization of the Americas Islands of Barbados Member states of the Caribbean Community Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations Member states of the United Nations Small Island Developing States 1620s establishments in the Caribbean 1627 establishments in North America 1627 establishments in the British Empire States and territories established in 1966 1960s establishments in the Caribbean 1966 establishments in North America Monarchies of North America Countries in North America Island countries