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Barbados Facts

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Background: The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. Slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the 20th century. The gradual introduction of social and political reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance.
Common Name: Barbados Local Official Name: Barbados
Abbreviated Name: Barbados Official Name: Barbados
Official Script Name: Barbados Local Common Name: Barbados
Former Name: Barbados Territory of: NA
Head of State: Queen ELIZABETH II
Government Type: parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth
Independence: 1966 November 30 (from UK)
Constitution: 1966 November 30
National Holiday: Independence Day, 30 November
Administrative Divisions: 11 parishes; Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas; note - the city of Bridgetown may be given parish status
Dependent Areas: NA
Legal System: English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Clifford Straughn HUSBANDS (since 1 June 1996) head of government: Prime Minister Owen Seymour ARTHUR (since 7 September 1994); Deputy Prime Minister Mia MOTTLEY (since 26 May 2003) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister Legislative Branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (21-member body appointed by the governor general) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms) elections: House of Assembly - last held 21 May 2003 (next to be held by May 2008) election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - BLP 23, DLP 7 Judicial Branch: Supreme Court of Judicature (judges are appointed by the Service Commissions for the Judicial and Legal Services)
Party Leaders: Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Owen ARTHUR]; Democratic Labor Party or DLP [David THOMPSON]
International Disputes: in 2005, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago agreed to compulsory international arbitration that will result in a binding award challenging whether the northern limit of Trinidad and Tobago's and Venezuela's maritime boundary extends into Barbadian waters and the southern limit of Barbadian traditional fishing; joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the Caribbean Sea
Illicit Drugs: one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for Europe and the US; offshore financial center  
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Location of Barbados: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
Continent: North America Land Area Total: 431 sq km 
Region: Caribbean Land Area Land: 431 sq km
Capitol City: Bridgetown Land Area Water: 0 sq km
Latitude: 013 10 N Border Boundary Land: 0 km
Longitude: 059 32 W Border Boundary Coastline: 97 km 
Arable Land: 37.21 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 2.33 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
Highest Elevation: 336 m Location: Mount Hillaby
Lowest Elevation: 0 m Location: Atlantic Ocean
Largest City in Barbados: Bridgetown Bridgetown Largest City Population: 133,000
Threatened Species: 17
Environmental Issues: pollution of coastal waters from waste disposal by ships; soil erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens contamination of aquifers
Environmental Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Irrigated Land: 50
Bordering Countries: NA
Natural Resources: petroleum, fish, natural gas
Geographical Terrain: relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region
Comparative Area of Barbados: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Barbados's Geography: easternmost Caribbean island

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General Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to October)
Natural Hazards: infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides
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Economic Overview: Historically, the Barbadian economy had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but production in recent years has diversified into light industry and tourism. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners. The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, to encourage direct foreign investment, and to privatize remaining state-owned enterprises. The economy contracted in 2002-03 mainly due to a decline in tourism. Growth was positive in 2005, as economic conditions in the US and Europe moderately improved.
GDP: $4,815,000,000 USD Currency: Barbadian dollar
GDP per Capita: $17,300 USD Currency Code: BBD
GDP Growth Rate: 4.10 %
Currency Exchange Rate History: Barbadian dollars per US dollar - 2 (2005), 2 (2004), 2 (2003), 2 (2002), 2 (2001)
GDP of Agriculture: 6.00 % GDP of Industry: 16.00 %
GDP of Services: 78.00 %  
Inflation Rate: -0.50 % Population in Poverty: 0.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 10.70 % Tourism: 515,000.00 visitors each year
Consumption by lowest 10%: 0.00 % Budget Revenue in USD: $847,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 0.00 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $886,000,000 USD
Electricity Production: 819,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 761,700,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 0 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 100.00% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 0.00% Other Electricity Production: 0.00%
Oil Production: 1,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 29,170,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 10,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 29,170,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 1,254,000 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 141,600,000 cu m
External Debt: $668,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $9,100,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
Agricultural Products: sugarcane, vegetables, cotton
Primary Industries: tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
Industrial Growth Rate: -3.20 %
Import Amount in USD: $1,476,000,000 USD - consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
Import Partners: NZ 45.9%, US 20.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 12
Export Amount in USD: $209,000,000 USD - sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
Export Partners: US 18.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 15%, UK 12.1%, Saint Lucia 8.4%, Jamaica 7.9%, Grenada 4.6%, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4.6
GINI Index: 0.00%
Labor Force Number of People: 128,500
Labor Force by Occupations: services 75%, industry 15%, agriculture 10%
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Radio Broadcast Stations: 8 Number of People with Radios: 237,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 1 Number of People with Televisions: 76,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 134,900 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 206,200
Internet Service Providers: 228 Internet Users: 160,000
Internet Country Code: .bb Newspapers: 155
Two Letter Country Code: BB Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 1-246 Electricity Voltage: 115 Volts
Telephone Systems: general assessment: NA domestic: island-wide automatic telephone system international: country code - 1-246; satellite earth stations - 1 (Intelsat -Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia
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Highways: 1,600 km Railways: 0 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 0 km Waterways: 0 km
Airports: 1 Heliports: 0
Motor Vehicles: 266 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 898,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 3.40 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
Merchant Marines: total: 58 ships (1000 GRT or over) 433,390 GRT/664,998 DWT by type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 32, chemical tanker 7, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 2, specialized tanker 1 foreign-owned: 57 (Bahamas, The 1, Canada 8, Greece 11, Lebanon 1, Monaco 1, Norway 29, UAE 1, UK 5) registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1
Ports and Harbors: Bridgetown
  Barbados Facts |  Barbados Information | Barbados Statistics  
Population: 279,912 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 12.71 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 629.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 8.67 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 0.37% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.65 babies born per woman
Population Male 0-14: 28,160 Population Female 0-14: 28,039
Population Male 15-64: 97,755 Population Female 15-64: 101,223
Population Male 65+: 9,508 Population Female 65+: 15,227
Population 0-14: 20.10% Literacy Rate: 99.70%
Population 15-64: 71.10% Literacy rate of Males: 99.70%
Population 65+: 8.80% Literacy rate of Females: 99.70%
Population that is Male: 47.00 % Population that is Female: 53.00%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 72.73 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 11.77 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 70.79 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 74.82 years
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 1.50% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 2,500
Number of people who died of AIDS: 0
Disease Risk:
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: -0.31
Ethnic Groups: black 90%, white 4%, Asian and mixed 6% 
Primary Language: English
Other Languages: English
Primary Religion: Protestant
Other Religions: Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%
  Barbados Facts |  Barbados Information | Barbados Statistics  
Branches: Royal Barbados Defense Force: Troops Command, Coast Guard
Manpower Fit to Serve: 18 years
Manpower Available: 143,826 People
Manpower Fit to Serve: 109,399 People
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 0 People per year
Expenditures: $0 USD per year
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 0.00
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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