Coordinates : 13°10′N 59°33′W / 13.167°N 59.550°W /
_ Flag Coat of arms
MOTTO: "Pride and Industry"
In Plenty and In Time of Need _
ROYAL ANTHEM :
God Save the Queen
and largest city
13°06′N 59°37′W / 13.100°N 59.617°W / 13.100;
RECOGNISED REGIONAL LANGUAGES
ETHNIC GROUPS (2010 )
* 2.7% White
* 1.3% Indian
* 0.4% Other/Unspecified
* 74.6% Christian
* 4.8% other
* 20.6% none / unspecified
* Bajan (colloquial)
Parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy
• PRIME MINISTER
• UPPER HOUSE
• LOWER HOUSE
House of Assembly
• FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM
30 November 1966
439 km2 (169 sq mi) (200th )
• WATER (%)
• 2010 CENSUS
277,821 (181st )
660/km2 (1,709.4/sq mi) (15th )
GDP (PPP )
• PER CAPITA
$16,669 (73rd )
• PER CAPITA
high · 57th
Barbadian dollar ($) (BBD )
Caribbean (UTC -4)
• SUMMER (DST )
not observed (UTC -4)
DRIVES ON THE
ISO 3166 CODE
BARBADOS (/bɑːrˈbeɪdɒs/ ( listen ) or /bɑːrˈbeɪdoʊs/ ) is
a island country in the
Lesser Antilles , in the
Caribbean region of
North America . It is 34 kilometres (21 miles) in length and up to 23
km (14 mi) in width, covering an area of 432 km2 (167 sq mi). It is
situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km (62 mi)
east of the
Windward Islands and the
Caribbean Sea ; therein, it is
about 168 km (104 mi) east of the islands of Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines and 400 km (250 mi) north-east of
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago .
Barbados is outside of the principal Atlantic hurricane belt . Its
capital and largest city is
Bridgetown, Barbados .
Kalinago people since the 13th century, and prior to
that by other Amerindians ,
Barbados was visited by Spanish navigators
in the late 15th century and claimed for the Spanish Crown . It first
appeared in a Spanish map in 1511. The Portuguese visited the island
in 1536, but they left it unclaimed, with their only remnants being an
introduction of wild hogs for a good supply of meat whenever the
island was visited. An English ship, the _Olive Blossom_, arrived in
Barbados in 1625; its men took possession of it in the name of King
James I . In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England,
and it became an English and later British colony . As a wealthy
sugar colony, it became an English center of the African slave trade
until that trade was outlawed in 1807 , with final emancipation of
Barbados occurring over a period of years from 1833 .
Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm
with the British Monarch (presently Queen
Elizabeth II ) as hereditary
head of state . It has a population of 280,121 people, predominantly
of African descent. Despite being classified as an Atlantic island,
Barbados is considered to be a part of the Caribbean, where it is
ranked as a leading tourist destination. Forty percent of the tourists
come from the UK, with the US and
Canada making up the next large
groups of visitors to the island. In 2014, Transparency International
Corruption Perceptions Index ranked
Barbados joint second in the
Canada , equal with the
United States ) and joint 17th
Japan , equal with the US,
Hong Kong and
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 1627–1639
* 2.1.1 Early English settlement
* 2.2 1640–1790
* 2.2.1 England\'s civil war
* 3 Geography and climate
* 3.3 Environmental issues
* 3.4 Wildlife
* 4 Government and politics
* 4.1 Political culture
* 4.2 Foreign relations
* 4.2.1 World Trade Organisation, European Commission,
* 4.2.2 The Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty 1994
* 4.2.3 European Nations
* 4.3 Military
* 4.4 Administrative divisions
* 4.5 Human rights
* 5 Economy
* 6 Society
* 6.1 Demographics
* 6.3 Languages
* 6.4 Religion
* 6.5 Health
* 6.6 Education
* 6.6.1 Educational testing
* 7 Culture
* 7.1 Cuisine
* 7.2 Music
* 7.3 Public holidays
* 7.4 Sports
* 8 Transport
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 11 Further reading
* 11.1 Videography
* 12 External links
Barbados is either the Portuguese word _Barbados_ or the
Spanish equivalent _los Barbados_, both meaning "the bearded ones". It
is unclear whether "bearded" refers to the long, hanging roots of the
bearded fig-tree (_
Ficus citrifolia _), indigenous to the island; or
to the allegedly bearded Caribs once inhabiting the island; or, more
fancifully, to a visual impression of a beard formed by the sea foam
that sprays over the outlying reefs. In 1519, a map produced by the
Visconte Maggiolo showed and named
Barbados in its
correct position. Furthermore, the island of
Barbuda in the Leewards
is very similar in name and was once named Las Barbudas by the
It is uncertain which European nation arrived first in Barbados. One
lesser known source points to earlier-revealed works predating
contemporary sources indicating it could have been the Spanish. Others
believe the Portuguese , en route to
Brazil , were the first
Europeans to come upon the island.
The original name for
Barbados in the Pre-Columbian era was
_Ichirouganaim_ according to accounts by descendants of the indigenous
Arawakan -speaking tribes in other regional areas, with possible
translations including "Red land with white teeth", "Redstone island
with teeth outside (reefs)", or simply "Teeth".
Barbadians refer to their home island as "Bim" or other
nicknames associated with
Barbados includes "Bimshire". The origin is
uncertain but several theories exist. The National Cultural Foundation
Barbados says that "Bim" was a word commonly used by slaves and
that it derives from the Igbo term _bém_ from _bé mụ́_ meaning
'my home, kindred, kind', the Igbo phoneme /e/ in the Igbo
orthography is very close to . The name could have arisen due to the
relatively large percentage of enslaved
Igbo people from modern-day
Nigeria arriving in
Barbados in the 18th century.
The words 'Bim' and 'Bimshire' are recorded in the _Oxford English
Dictionary _ 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 )
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 of Barbados
Blue Ensign flag of the
Colony of Barbados, used from 1870 to 1966. Statue of Bussa ,
Bridgetown. Bussa led the largest slave rebellion in Barbadian
Amerindian settlement of
Barbados dates to about the 4th to 7th
centuries AD, by a group known as the
Saladoid -Barrancoid. The
Arawaks from South America became dominant around 800 AD, and
maintained that status until around 1200. In the 13th century, the
Island Caribs ) arrived from South America.
The Spanish and Portuguese briefly claimed
Barbados from the late
16th to the 17th centuries. The
Arawaks are believed to have fled to
neighbouring islands. Apart from possibly displacing the Caribs, the
Spanish and Portuguese made little impact and left the island
Arawaks migrated from
British Guiana (modern-day
Guyana) in the 19th century and continue to live in Barbados.
In the very early years (1620–1640s) the majority of the labour was
provided by European indentured servants, mainly English , Irish and
Scottish , with African slaves and
Amerindian slaves providing little
of the workforce. 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 predominately Irish, as
several thousand were infamously rounded up by English merchants and
sold into servitude in
Barbados and other
Caribbean islands during
this period. Cultivation of tobacco, cotton, ginger and indigo was
thus handled primarily by European indentured labour until the start
of the sugar cane industry in the 1640s and the growing reliance and
importation of enslaved Africans. Persecuted persons of Jewish faith
during the inquisition also settled to Barbados. From its English
settlement and as Barbados' economy grew,
Barbados maintained a
relatively large measure of local autonomy first as a proprietary
colony and later a crown colony . The
House of Assembly began meeting
in 1639. Among the island's earliest leading figures was the
William Courten .
The 1780 hurricane killed over 4,000 people on Barbados. In 1854, a
cholera epidemic killed over 20,000 inhabitants. At emancipation in
1833, the size of the slave population was approximately 83,000.
Between 1946 and 1980, Barbados' rate of population growth was
diminished by one-third because of emigration to Britain.
Early English Settlement
The settlement was established as a proprietary colony and funded by
William Courten , a
City of London
City of London merchant who acquired the title
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.
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 (formerly Jamestown), by a group led
by John Powell's younger brother, Henry, consisting of 80 settlers and
10 English labourers. The latter were young indentured labourers who
according to some sources had been abducted, effectively making them
Courten's title was transferred to
James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle ,
in what was called the "Great
Barbados Robbery." Carlisle then chose
as governor Henry Hawley , who established the
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
Chesapeake and 23,000 in
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 5 to 10 acres of land, but after that time the island filled
and there was no more free land.) Around the time of Cromwell a number
of rebels and criminals were also transported there. Timothy Meads of
Warwickshire was one of the rebels sent to
Barbados at that time,
before he received compensation for servitude of 1000 acres of land in
North Carolina in 1666. Parish registers from the 1650s show, for the
white population, four times as many deaths as marriages. The death
rate was very high.
Before this, 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.
England\'s Civil War
English Revolution in the Colonies and Restoration
Around the same time, fighting during the War of the Three Kingdoms
and the Interregnum spilled over into
Barbados and Barbadian
territorial waters. The island was not involved in the war until after
the execution of Charles I , when the island's government fell under
the control of Royalists (ironically the Governor, Philip Bell,
remaining loyal to Parliament while the Barbadian
House of Assembly ,
under the influence of Humphrey Walrond, supported Charles II ). 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 , further navigation acts were passed prohibiting any but
English vessels trading with Dutch colonies . These acts were a
precursor to the
First Anglo-Dutch War . The Commonwealth of England
sent an invasion force under the command of Sir
George Ayscue , which
arrived in October 1651. After some skirmishing, the Royalists in the
House of Assembly led by Lord Willoughby surrendered. The conditions
of the surrender were incorporated into the Charter of Barbados
(Treaty of Oistins), which was signed at the Mermaid's Inn,
on 17 January 1652.
The introduction of sugar cane from Dutch
Brazil in 1640 completely
transformed society and the economy.
Barbados eventually had one of
the world's biggest sugar industries. One group instrumental in
ensuring the early success of the industry were the Sephardic
who had originally been expelled from the
Iberian peninsula , to end
up in Dutch
Brazil . 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 African slaves, in addition to transporting
most of the sugar to Europe. In 1644 the population of
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 African
slave-worked sugar plantations. 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 of
the remaining whites were increasingly poor. By 1680 there were 17
slaves for every indentured servant. By 1700, there were 15,000 free
whites and 50,000 enslaved blacks.
Due to the increased implementation of slave codes , which created
differential treatment between Africans and the white workers and
ruling planter class, the island became increasingly unattractive to
poor whites .
Black or slave codes were implemented in 1661, 1676,
1682, and 1688. In response to these codes, several slave rebellions
were attempted or planned during this time, but none succeeded.
Nevertheless, poor whites who had or acquired the means to emigrate
often did so. Planters expanded their importation of African slaves to
cultivate sugar cane. One early advocate of slave rights in Barbados
was the visiting Quaker preacher
Alice Curwen in 1677: "For I am
perswaded, that if they whom thou call'st thy Slaves, be
Upright-hearted to God, the Lord God Almighty will set them Free in a
way that thou knowest not; for there is none set free but in Christ
Jesus, for all other Freedom will prove but a Bondage."
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Geography of Barbados
Geography of Barbados A map of
Barbados is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, east of the other West
Barbados is the easternmost island in the Lesser
Antilles . It is flat in comparison to its island neighbours to the
Windward Islands . The island rises gently to the central
highland region, with the high point of the nation being Mount Hillaby
in the geological
Scotland District 340 m (1,120 ft) above sea level.
In the parish of Saint Michael lies Barbados' capital and main city,
Bridgetown . Other major towns scattered across the island include
Holetown , in the parish of Saint James ;
Oistins , in the parish of
Christ Church ; and
Speightstown , in the parish of Saint Peter .
Barbados lies on the boundary of the South American and the Caribbean
Plates . The 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 .
The rate of this depositing of material allows
Barbados to rise at a
rate of about 25 mm (1 in) per 1,000 years. This subduction means
geologically the island is composed of coral roughly 90 m (300 ft)
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 .
The erosion of limestone in the northeast of the island, in the
Scotland District, has resulted in the formation of various caves and
gullies , some of which have become popular tourist attractions such
as Harrison\'s Cave and Welchman Hall Gully. On the Atlantic 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
Spain is the first land east of
Barbados according to the belief of
Bathsheba on the east coast of the island.
The country generally experiences two seasons, one of which includes
noticeably higher rainfall. Known as the "wet season ", this period
runs from June to November. By contrast, the "dry season " runs from
December to May. Annual precipitation ranges between 1,000 and 2,300
mm (40 and 90 in). From December to May the average temperatures range
from 21 to 31 °C (70 to 88 °F), while between June and November,
they range from 23 to 31 °C (73 to 88 °F).
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification scale, much of
regarded as a tropical monsoon climate (Am). However, gentle breezes
of 12 to 16 km/h (7 to 10 mph) abound throughout the year and give
Barbados a climate which is moderately tropical.
Infrequent natural hazards include earthquakes, landslips and
Barbados is often spared the worst effects of the
region's tropical storms and hurricanes 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 in 1955; in 2010 the island was struck by
Hurricane Tomas , but
this caused only minor damage across the country.
Barbados, seen from the
International Space Station
International Space Station .
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 aquifers .
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
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 90
kilometres (56 miles) of coral reefs just offshore and two protected
marine parks have been established off the west coast. Overfishing is
another threat which faces Barbados.
Barbados is host to four species of nesting turtles (green turtles ,
loggerheads , hawksbill turtles , 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 should be avoided in nesting areas.
Though on the opposite side of the Atlantic, and some 4,800
kilometres (3,000 miles) west of Africa,
Barbados is one of many
places in the American continent that experience heightened levels of
mineral dust from the
Sahara Desert . Some particularly intense dust
episodes have been blamed partly for the impacts on the health of
coral reefs surrounding
Barbados or asthmatic episodes, but evidence
has not wholly supported the former such claim.
Barbados is host to four species of nesting turtles (green turtles ,
loggerheads , hawksbill turtles , and leatherbacks ) and has the
second-largest hawksbill turtle breeding population in the Caribbean.
Barbados is also the host to the 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.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Barbados parliament building in Bridgetown. Main articles:
Government of Barbados and
Politics of Barbados
Barbados has been an independent country since 30 November 1966. It
functions as a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
modelled on the British
Westminster system . The British and Barbadian
Elizabeth II —is head of state and is represented
locally by the
Governor-General of Barbados —presently Elliott
Belgrave . Both are advised on matters of the Barbadian state by the
Prime Minister of Barbados , who is head of government . There are 30
representatives within the
House of Assembly .
Constitution 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 's Patrick
Barbados attempted a political union with Trinidad and
Guyana . The project stalled after the then prime minister
Lloyd Erskine Sandiford , became ill and his Democratic
Labour Party lost the next general election.
Barbados continues to
share close ties with
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago and with Guyana, claiming
the highest number of Guyanese immigrants after the United States,
Canada and the United Kingdom.
Barbados functions as a two-party system . The dominant political
parties are the Democratic Labour Party and the opposition Barbados
Labour Party . Since
Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has
governed from 1976 to 1986 and from September 1994 to 2008. The
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) held office 1966 to 1976, from 1986 to
1994, and has formed the government from January 2008 to present.
Foreign relations of Barbados
Barbados is a full and participating member of the Caribbean
CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and the
Caribbean States (ACS). Organization of American
Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations , and the
Caribbean Court of
Justice (CCJ). In 2005 the
Parliament of Barbados voted on a measure
replacing the UK's
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council with the
Caribbean Court of Justice based in Port of
Spain , Trinidad and
World Trade Organisation, European Commission, CARIFORUM
Barbados is an original member (1995) of the World Trade Organisation
(WTO) and participates actively in its work. It grants at least MFN
treatment to all its trading partners. As of December 2007, Barbados
is linked by an
Economic Partnership Agreement with the European
Commission . The pact involves the
Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM)
subgroup of the African,
Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
CARIFORUM is the only part of the wider ACP-bloc that has concluded
the full regional trade-pact with the
European Union .
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 July 6, 1994, at the Sherbourne Conference Centre, St. Michael,
Barbados, representatives of eight (8) 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 August 19, 1994 a representative of the Government of Guyana
signed a similar treaty.
In 2013, CARICOM called for European nations to pay reparations for
slavery and established an official reparations commission.
Barbados Defence Force has roughly 600 members. Within it, 12- 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
Royal Barbados Police Force is the sole law enforcement agency on
the island of Barbados.
Parishes of Barbados
Barbados is divided into 11 parishes:
* Christ Church
* Saint Andrew
* Saint George
* Saint James
* Saint John
* Saint Joseph
* Saint Lucy
* Saint Michael
* Saint Peter
* Saint Philip
* Saint Thomas
_ ATLANTIC OCEAN_ Saint Lucy Saint
St. George and St. Thomas are in the middle of the country and are
the only parishes without coastlines.
LGBT rights in Barbados
Homosexual acts are illegal in
Barbados and the colonial era law
bears a maximum sentence of life in prison; however the law is rarely
Economy of Barbados A proportional representation
of national exports.
Barbados is the 53rd richest country in the world in terms of GDP
(Gross Domestic Product) per capita, has a well-developed mixed
economy , and a moderately high standard of living . According to the
Barbados is classified as being in its 66 top high income
economies of the world. A 2012 self-study in conjunction with the
Caribbean Development Bank 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
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. This slowed during the 2008 economic
Recent government administrations have continued efforts to reduce
unemployment, encourage foreign direct investment , 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,
The economy contracted in 2001 and 2002 due to slowdowns in tourism,
consumer spending and the impact of the
September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks , but
rebounded in 2003 and has shown growth since 2004. Traditional
trading partners include Canada, the
Caribbean Community (especially
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago ), the
United Kingdom and the United States.
Business links and investment flows have become substantial: as of
2003 the island saw from
Canada CA$ 25 billion in investment holdings,
placing it as one of Canada's top five destinations for Canadian
foreign direct investment (FDI). Businessman
Eugene Melnyk of Toronto,
Canada, is said to be one of Barbados' richest permanent residents.
It has been reported that the year 2006 was the busiest years for
building construction ever in Barbados, as the building-boom on the
island entered the final stages for several multimillion-dollar
European Union is assisting
Barbados with a €10 million program
of modernisation of the country's International Business and Financial
Barbados maintains the third largest stock exchange in the Caribbean
region. As of 2009 , officials at the stock exchange were
investigating the possibility of augmenting the local exchange with an
International Securities Market (ISM) venture.
Demographics of Barbados and
Barbadian people A
bus stop in Barbados. People shopping in the capital
The 2010 national census conducted by the
Service reported a resident population of 277,821, of which 133,018
were male and 144,803 were female.
Close to 90% of all
Barbadians (also known colloquially as "Bajan")
are of Afro-
Caribbean 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, along with Asians, predominantly Chinese and Indians (both
Hindu and Muslim). Other groups in
Barbados include people from the
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:
Indo-Guyanese , an important part of the economy due to the
increase of immigrants from partner country
Guyana . There are reports
of a growing Indo-Bajan diaspora originating from
Guyana and India
starting around 1990. Predominantly from southern
India and Hindu
states, they are growing in size but smaller than the equivalent
communities in Trinidad and Guyana.
* Euro-Bajans (4% of the population) have settled in
the 17th century, originating from England,
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 and Highland music, and
certain place names, such as "Scotland", a mountainous region. Among
Barbadians there exists an underclass known as
Redlegs ; mostly
the descendants of Irish indentured labourers and prisoners imported
to the island. Many additionally moved on to become the earliest
settlers of modern-day North and South Carolina in the United States.
Barbadians are a small portion of Barbados' Asian
demographics. Most if not all first arrived in the 1940s during the
Second World War
Second World War . 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
* Lebanese and Syrians form the island's
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
Barbados through trade opportunities. Their numbers are
falling due to emigration to other countries.
Jews arrived in
Barbados just after the first settlers in 1627.
Bridgetown is the home of
Nidhe Israel Synagogue , the oldest Jewish
synagogue 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
* The Muslim
Barbadians of Indian origin are largely of Gujarati
ancestry. Many small businesses in
Barbados are run and operated by
Romani people from England were banished to
Jamaica and Barbados
English is the 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 the vocabulary,
pronunciations, spellings, and conventions akin to, but not exactly
the same as, those of
British English .
An English-based creole language , referred to locally as _Bajan _,
is spoken by most
Barbadians in everyday life, especially in informal
settings. In its full-fledged form, Bajan sounds markedly different
from the Standard English heard on the island. The degree of
intelligibility between Bajan and general English, for the general
English speaker, depends on the level of creolised vocabulary and
idioms. A Bajan speaker may be completely unintelligible to an English
speaker from another country.
Religion in Barbados St. Michael's Cathedral,
Religion in Barbados (2000) Anglican (28.28%) pentecostal
(18.69%) no religion (atheism, agnosticism, etc) (17.30%) Other
(7.36%) seventh Day Adventist (5.49%) Methodist (5.07%) Baptist
(4.79%) Roman Catholic (4.18%) not Stated (3.28%) Church of God
(1.99%) Jehovah's witnesses (1.96%) Moravian (1.34%) Rastafarian
(1.14%) Muslim (0.66%) Brethren (0.64%) Salvation Army (0.42%)
Hindu (0.34%) Baha'i (0.04%)
Barbadians of African and European descent are Christians (95%),
the largest denomination being Anglican (40%). Other Christian
denominations with significant followings in
Barbados are the Catholic
Church (administered by Roman Catholic Diocese of
Pentecostals , Jehovah\'s Witnesses , the Seventh-day Adventist Church
and Spiritual Baptists . The
Church of England was the official state
religion until its legal disestablishment by the Parliament of
Barbados following independence.
Other religions in
Hinduism , Islam , Bahá\'í ,
The life expectancy for
Barbados residents as of 2011 is 74 years.
The average life expectancy is 72 years for males and 77 years for
Japan have the highest per capita
occurrences of centenarians 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.
All Barbadian citizens are covered by national healthcare . Barbados
has over twenty polyclinics throughout the country in addition to the
main Queen Elizabeth Hospital (General Hospital) located in
Bridgetown. In 2011, the
Government of Barbados signed a Memorandum of
Understanding to lease its 22-acre Saint Joseph Hospital site to the
Denver, Colorado-based America World Clinics. Under the deal, the
group will use
Barbados as one of its main destinations for medical
tourism at that facility. The government also announced it would begin
constructing a new $900 million state-of-the-art hospital to replace
Education in Barbados Schoolchildren in Saint
Barbados literacy rate 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
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 are a number of private schools,
including Montessori and the
International Baccalaureate . Student
enrolment at these schools represents less than 5% of the total
enrolment of the public schools.
Degree-level education in the country is provided by the Barbados
Community College , the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, and the
Cave Hill campus and Open Campus of the University of the West Indies
Barbados is also home to the American University of Integrative
Sciences , School of Medicine.
Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination: Children who are 11
years old but under 12 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 of Barbados
The CULTURE OF BARBADOS is a blend of West African, Creole, Indian
and British cultures present in Barbados. 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".
The largest carnival -like cultural event that takes place on the
island is the
Crop Over festival. As in many other
Caribbean and Latin
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 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.
Mount Gay Rum visitors centre
Bajan cuisine is a mixture of African , Indian , Irish , Creole and
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. The meal is usually served with one or
more sauces. The national dish of
International pop star
Rihanna , a native of Barbados.
In music, eight-time Grammy Award winner Robyn
Rihanna Fenty (born in
Saint Michael) is one of Barbados' best-known artists and one of the
best selling music artists of all time, selling over 200 million
records worldwide. In 2009 she was appointed as an Honorary Ambassador
of Youth and Culture for
Barbados by the late Prime Minister, David
Shontelle , the band
Cover Drive , musician Rupee
Mark Morrison , singer of Top 10 hit "
Return of the Mack " also
originate from Barbados.
Grandmaster Flash (born Joseph Saddler in
Bridgetown in 1958) is a hugely influential musician of Barbadian
origin, pioneering hip-hop DJing, cutting, and mixing in 1970s New
The Merrymen are a well known Calypso band based in Barbados,
performing from the 1960s into the 2010s.
Public holidays in Barbados
New Year\'s Day
Errol Barrow Day
A day of recognition for
Errol Barrow the Father of the Nation.
March or April
Friday, date varies
March or April
Monday, date varies
National Heroes\' Day
A day of recognition for Barbados' national heroes.
1st Monday in May, date varies
May or June
Monday, date varies
The date on which slavery was abolished on the island.
1st Monday in August, date varies
The anniversary of Barbadian national independence , from the
United Kingdom in 1966.
Sport in Barbados
Kensington Oval in Bridgetown
hosted the 2007
Cricket World Cup final.
Cricket is one of the most
followed games in
Kensington Oval is often referred to as
the "Mecca in Cricket" due to its significance and contributions to
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
Cricket World Cup .
Barbados has produced many great
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 is also popular in
Barbados as well.
Horse racing takes place at the 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.
Obadele Thompson is a world-class sprinter from Barbados; he won a
bronze medal at the Olympic Games of 2000 in the 100m sprint. Ryan
Brathwaite , a hurdler, reached the
2008 Olympic semi-finals in
Beijing. Brathwaite also earned
Barbados its first ever medal at the
world championships in Berlin, Germany on 20 August 2009, when he won
the men's 110 meter hurdles title. The 21-year-old timed a national
record of 13.14 seconds to win the Gold Medal.
Basketball is an increasingly popular sport, played at school or
college. Barbados\' 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 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
Barbados Open on several occasions.
Volleyball is also popular, though volleyball is mainly played
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 Circuit hosted the
Race of Champions
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 ).
Netball is also popular with women in Barbados.
Barbadian team The Flyin' Fish, are the 2009 Segway
Transport in Barbados An ACME Hino Midibus in
Barbados is about 34 km (21 mi) 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 road conditions.
Barbados has half as many registered
cars as citizens.
Transport on the island is relatively convenient with "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 or from
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 Transport Board buses . A ride on any of them
costs BBD$2.00. The smaller buses from the two privately owned systems
("ZRs" and "minibuses") can give change; the larger blue buses from
Barbados Transport Board system cannot, but do
give receipts. Children in school uniform ride for free on the
government buses and for $1.50 on the ZRs. Most routes require a
connection in Bridgetown.
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 US$100 million upgrade and
There is also a helicopter shuttle service, which offers air taxi
services to a number of sites around the island, mainly on the West
Coast tourist belt. Air and maritime traffic is regulated by the
Barbados Port Authority .
* Caricom portal
* Commonwealth realms portal
Outline of Barbados
Index of Barbados-related articles
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_
Barbados CIA World Factbook
* ^ _A_ _B_ "
Barbados – General Information". GeoHive. Retrieved
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Barbados, International Monetary Fund.
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Development Programme. 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
* ^ "Barbados". 29 August 2006. Archived from the original on 15
October 2007. (fco.gov.uk), updated 5 June 2006.
* ^ Chapter 4 – The
Windward Islands and
Barbados – U.S.
Library of Congress
* ^ Sauer, Carl Ortwin (1969) . _Early Spanish Main, The_.
University of California Press. pp. 192–197. ISBN 0-520-01415-4 .
* ^ The Jewish Experience in 17th century Barbados, By Ryan
Hechler, The VCU Menorah Review at Virginia Commonwealth University
* ^ Secretariat. "
Barbados – History". _Commonwealth of Nations
_. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014.
* ^ HRM Queen
Elizabeth II (2010). "History and present government
– Barbados". The Royal Household . Archived from the original on 20
April 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
* ^ Corruption Index 2014. Transparency International.
* ^ "AXSES Systems
Caribbean Inc., The
Encyclopaedia". Barbados.org. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
* ^ "_Britannica Encyclopaedia_: History of Barbados".
Britannica.com. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
* ^ _
Barbados the Red Land with White Teeth: Home of the
Barbados Museum & Historical Society. Archived from the
original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2010. A temporary exhibit
which examined some of the preliminary excavations conducted at the
dig site at Heywoods, St. Peter.
* ^ _
Barbados – Geography / History_. Fun 'N' Sun Publishing Inc.
2008. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
* ^ Faria, Norman (17 June 2009). "
Guyana Consul (Barbados) Visit
Amerindian Village Site in B\'dos" (PDF). _Guyana
Chronicle_. Pan-Tribal Confederacy of Indigenous Tribal Nations. p. 2.
Retrieved 14 May 2010. Adjacent to the park, there is still a fresh
water stream. This as a main reason the village was here. A hundred or
so metres away is the sea and a further five hundred metres out across
a lagoon was the outlying reef where the Atlantic swells broke on the
coral in shallow waters. As an aside, the word "Ichirouganaim", said
to be an Arawak word used by the Amerindians to describe Barbados, is
thought to refer to the imagery of "teeth" imagery of the waves
breaking on the reefs off most of southern and eastern coasts.
* ^ Drewett, Peter (1991). _Prehistoric Barbados_.
and Historical Society. ISBN 1-873132-15-8 .
* ^ Drewett, Peter (2000). _Prehistoric Settlements in the
Caribbean: Fieldwork on Barbados, Tortola and the Cayman Islands_.
Archetype Publications Ltd. ISBN 1-873132-22-0 .
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Carrington, Sean (2007). _A~Z of Barbados
Caribbean Publishers Limited. p. 25. ISBN
* ^ Allsopp, Richard; Allsopp, Jeannette (2003). _Dictionary of
Caribbean English Usage_. University of the
West Indies Press. p. 101.
ISBN 9766401454 .
* ^ Eltis, David; Richardson, David (1997). _Routes to Slavery:
Direction, Ethnicity, and Mortality in the Transatlantic
Routledge. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-7146-4820-0 . Retrieved 24 November 2008.
* ^ Morgan, Philip D.; Hawkins, Sean (2004). _
Black Experience and
the Empire_. Oxford University Press. p. 82. ISBN 0-19-926029-X .
* ^ Beckles, Hilary . _A History of Barbados: From Amerindian
Caribbean Single Market_ (Cambridge University Press,
* ^ "Origin of the Eagle Clan", Pan-Tribal Confederacy of
Indigenous Tribal Nations.
* ^ Descendants of Princess Marian. (PDF). Retrieved 19 February
* ^ Corish, Patrick J. _Patrick J. Corish, The Cromwellian Regime,
1650–1660_. _oup.com_. pp. 353–386. doi
* ^ Portner, Ze'ev (4 December 2015). "Barbados, a centuries-old
Jewish haven for relaxation — and refuge".
The Times of Israel .
21:19. Retrieved 20 August 2016. Celebrating its independence this
Caribbean island has a storied Jewish history spanning from
the Inquisition to the Holocaust
* ^ "Barbados".
Library of Congress Country Studies .
* ^ "
Barbados – population". Library of Congress Country Studies
* ^ William And John, 11 January 201, Shipstamps.co.uk
* ^ Beckles p. 7.
* ^ Karl Watson, The Civil War in Barbados, History in-depth, BBC,
5 November 2009.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Ali, Arif (1997). _Barbados: Just Beyond Your
Imagination_. Hansib Publishing (Caribbean) Ltd. pp. 46, 48. ISBN
* ^ _A Relation..._ in: "Alice Curwen", _Autobiographical Writings
by Early Quaker Women (Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2004), ed. David
* ^ Logan, Gabi. "Geologic
History of Barbados Beaches". _USA Today
_. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
Barbados lies directly over the intersection
Caribbean plate and the
South American plate in a region known
as a subduction zone. Beneath the ocean floor, the South American
plate slowly slides below the
* ^ "
Barbados Sightseeing – Animal Flower Cave". _Leigh Designs_.
Little Bay House. 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2011. The Animal flower Cave
is the island's lone accessible sea-cave and was discovered from the
sea in 1780 by two English explorers. The cave's coral floor is
estimated to be 400,000 to 500,000 years old and the "younger" coral
section above the floor is about 126,000 years old. The dating was
carried out by the German Geographical Institute, and visitors can see
a "map" of the dating work in the bar and restaurant. The cave now
stands some six feet above the high tide mark even though it was
formed at sea level. This is because
Barbados is rising about one inch
per 1,000 years, which is yet another indication of the cave's age.
* ^ Pico Teneriffe
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Archived 24 July 2013 at the
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* ^ Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies
Archived 28 November 2012 at the
Wayback Machine ., The University of
the West Indies.
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Thestar.com (13 March 2012). Retrieved 20 April 2014.
* ^ Sea Turtles – Dive Operators Association of
19 March 2012 at the
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Barbados Blue Inc.
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* ^ The Effects of African Dust on
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A&C Black. p. 848. ISBN 978-1-84592-095-1 .
* ^ The official
Constitution of Barbados (1966) version.
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24 June 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2010. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link
Jamaica Observer_, 20 July 2003.
* ^ Former PM:
Caribbean doing/un-doing everything again and again.
NationNews.com. 14 July 2003
* ^ BarbadosBusiness.gov.bb, The
Barbados government's Regional and
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The Economist _. 5 October
* ^ "
Barbados turns to China for military assistance".
Caribbean360.com. 7 August 2006. Archived from the original on 17
* ^ "State Sponsored Homophobia 2016: A world survey of sexual
orientation laws: criminalisation, protection and recognition" (PDF).
_International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
_. 17 May 2016.
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will bring many jobs and much income, ordinary
Barbadians hoping to
undertake home construction or improvement will be hard pressed to
find materials or labour, given the large number of massive commercial
projects with which they will have to compete. ... Construction
magnate Sir Charles 'COW' Williams, agreeing that this year will be
"without doubt" the biggest ever for the island as far as construction
was concerned, revealed that his organisation was in the final stages
of the construction of a new $6 million plant at Lears, St Michael to
double its capacity to produce concrete blocks, as well as a new $2
million plant to supply ready-mixed concrete from its fleet of trucks.
"The important thing to keep in mind is that the country will benefit
tremendously from a massive injection of foreign exchange from people
who want to own homes here," Sir Charles said.
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* This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA
World Factbook document "2003 edition".
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