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Barbados

  • Capital Bridgetown (13° 6´N, 59° 37´W)
  • International airport(s) Grantley Adams Airport, Bridgetown
  • Official language(s) English
  • Currency Barbados Dollar
  • Time UTC -4
  • Region Caribbean
GeographyClimateEconomyCulture
Known as both 'the land of the flying fish' and the 'jewel of the Caribbean', Barbados is the easternmost island in the Caribbean island chain, otherwise known as the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies. Unlike many Caribbean islands, Barbados is non‐volcanic and composed mainly of coral limestone. It has a varied landscape including flatlands, highlands, terraces and rugged cliffs, caves and tropical rainforests. The island's name means 'the bearded ones', after the indigenous bearded fig trees once found in abundance on the island.
Barbados, lying just north of the equator, enjoys a hot and humid, moderately tropical, oceanic climate all year round. However, the heat is tempered by northeast trade winds. Temperatures do not vary by much throughout the year, with monthly average temperatures ranging from 26 to 27°C; humidity usually stays between 70 and 76 per cent. Sea temperatures average around 25°C. The average annual rainfall is about 2 200 mm, with November as the wettest month. Barbados lies along the southern edge of the Caribbean hurricane zone. Hurricanes have caused great devastation in the past. The Atlantic hurricane season coincides with the wet season, which lasts from June to November. -—
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Barbados has an open, market‐oriented economy. The Barbados economy, formerly solely dependent on sugar, has diversified over the past 30 years into services (tourism and financial services) and light industry and agriculture (sugar). According to the items attribute is mandatory, almost 30 per cent of men work in industry, and nearly 10 per cent for women. Relatively few are employed in agriculture. Services account for over 80 per cent of GDP -—
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, and almost the same proportion of employment. In 2018, almost 1.4 million tourists arrived in the country and inbound tourism expenditure reached 22 per cent over GDP -—
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As a small and open economy, Barbados is vulnerable to global economic downturns and those of its trade partners. A significant amount of income is received in the form of remittances from Barbadians overseas. Barbados' best‐known export is Mount Gay Rum, one of the oldest and most famous brands of fine rum in the world and produced in Barbados since 1703. Given this history, it is not surprising that the export of beverages constitutes well over 10 per cent of the value of commodity exports in Barbados. The main export partners include, for instance the United States of America, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.
Barbados has the third oldest parliament in the world, with uninterrupted parliamentary governance since 1639. The capital of Barbados, Bridgetown, has been an important port town for many centuries. This colourful and well‐preserved historic town is a UNESCO heritage site.

Barbados is also known for its small wooden chattel houses. Chattel, meaning movable property, arose in the past as homeowners were not necessarily landowners. Thus, chattel houses were constructed on blocks, so if an owner had to move, they could take the house with them. Over time, a distinct and ornate design of Barbadian chattel house evolved, making them unique and traditionally Barbadian in style.

Barbadian cuisine includes a unique blend of foods with African, Indian and British influences. The national dish of Barbados is Cou‐Cou and Flying Fish. Cou‐Cou is made with yellow cornmeal and okras, in much the same way that it has been made in Africa for centuries. Flying Fish is prepared and stewed in an aromatic sauce of tomato, onion, chives, thyme, fresh pepper, garlic and other local herbs. Other popular dishes include fried fish cakes, souse (a pickled pork dish), black pudding, macaroni pie, and sweet desserts such as tamarind balls and baked custard.

Music plays an important role in the country's culture, blending calypso, local spouge, jazz, reggae and soca. Perhaps their best known musical exports are Rihanna and Grandmaster Flash.

Cricket is considered the national sport. One of the greatest cricket all‐rounders, Sir Garfield St. Auburn Sobers, was born in 1936 in Barbados.

Before the Concorde supersonic jet was decommissioned in 2003, Barbados was one of only four countries with regular Concorde service from London.
Land areakm2
Arable land%
Forest area%
Coastline
lengthkm
Exclusive economic zonekm2
Nearest
neighbourkm
Economic trendsMaritime transportPopulationInternational tradeEnvironmentInformation and communications technology
Gross domestic product
US dollars at constant prices (2015) in millions
GDP per capita

2019

US$

Productive Capacity Index

2018

Economic and environmental vulnerability index

2019

Consumer Price Index growth

2019

%

Unemployment
rate

Total %
Female %, Male %
Main economic sectors, 2019
Percentage of GDP
Tourist arrivals
Thousands of tourists, percentage of GDP
External financial resources
Percentage of GDP
Public debt as % of GDP

2018

%

Fleet size
Number of ships
Ship type20112019
Total fleet1 4071 407
Oil tankers264266
Bulk carriers311333
General cargo16177
Container ships5249
Other types of ships619682
Port performance
Ranked by 2019 data within SIDS group
Indicators2019SIDS Ranking
Number of port calls1 30513
Median time in port (days)0.627
Average age of vessels1811
Average size (GT) of vessels33 1989
Container port throuput

2019

TEU

Bilateral connectivity index, 2019
Top 5 partners
Liner shipping connectivity index
Maximum China Q1 2006=100
Total population
Thousands of people, share of urban population
Population development indicators
IndicatorsPeriodValue
Poverty headcount (% of population)....
Human development index20180.8
Human assets index202098
Adult literacy rate (15+ years, both sexes %)....
Gender inequality index20190.3
Life expectancy at birth

years

Population density

2019

persons per km2
Dependency
ratio

2019

Child:
Old-age:
Age structure by gender, 2019
Percentage of total population
Merchandise and services trade
US dollars in millions
Indicators20052010201520192019 (% of GDP)
Merchandise exports3594294834448.5
Merchandise imports1 6041 5691 6181 58130.4
Services exports1 2551 3321 4191 49828.8
Services imports52267071357411
Trade openness
Goods and services

% of GDP

Export concentration index

2019

Food import
dependency
Average 2015-2019

Top 5 partners in merchandise trade, 2019
Exports in millions US dollars
Merchandise exports by product group, 2019
Services exports by category, 2019
CO2 emissions per capita
Kg per capita
CO2 emissions per GDP
Kg per 2010 US$ of GDP
Renewable energy share in total energy consumption, 2017
Percentage of total energy consumption
Material
footprint
per capita

2016

kg

Terrestrial
protected
area

2018

%

Marine
protected
area

2018

%

Disasters indicators
Data not available
Trade in ICT goods

Exports: %
Imports: %
Trade in ICT services

Exports: %
Imports: %
Share of
internet users

%

Fixed broadband vs Mobile broadband subscriptions
Number of subscriptions per 100 people
Sources
Source of data: -—
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except indicators listed below.
References
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