This article provides a brief overview of the island nation of Barbados.

Location of Barbados

Barbados is an island nation in the the Western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is about 100 km outside the Caribbean Sea and the islands that frame the Caribbean Sea.

Economy of Barbados

Tourism is an important part of the economy of Barbados. The island actively promotes tourism through the its tourism commission. Air arrivals from North America and the UK and cruise ship stops are the main sources of tourism in Barbados.

Light manufacturing has increased over the last 30-40 years while banking & financial services are an important part of the economy. The island is seen as business-friendly and economically stable compared to many other island nations competing for investment. Offshore banking and company hosting are important parts of the economy.

Wealth of Barbados

According to the International Monetary Fund, Barbados is the 51st richest country in the world measured by GDP per capita. With most Western countries ahead of Barbados in wealth, but all third world counties behind it, Barbados enjoys a moderately high standard of living with room for improvement. The World Bank list Barbados as having the 66th highest income economy in the world.

Political Status of Barbados

Barbados was first colonized by Portugal in the 1600's but the Portuguese mainly seized slaves on the island and than abandoned it. The British claimed Barbados in 1627 and started settling it. British control was long lived, with the island never changing hands (a real rarity in the region).

Flag of Barbados

Barbados became independent from the United Kingdom in 1966 but remains part of the Commonwealth of Nations. The Queen of the United Kingdom also is the Queen of Barbados, the same as she is the Queen of Canada and many other Commonwealth countries. The country has a Westminster style Parliamentary system with free elections. The House of Assembly has 30 seats at present.

Population of Barbados

In 2009 the population of Barbados was estimated at 289,000 people. About 80,000 live in Bridgetown, the capital and largest city. 80% of the population is considered Black whose ancestors were imported from Africa as slaves or laborers. 4% of the population is White/European with the balance Asians, Native Ameri-Indians and various persons of mixed race.

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Map showing location of Barbados and surrounding countries and islands

Location of Barbados