Capital: Bridgetown Nationality: Bajan, Barbadian Population: 290,604 (2015)
Currency: Barbadian dollars (BBD) Off. Lang: Eng. Area: 430 sq km
Internet DM: bb GDP: $4.658 bil (2015) Life Exp: 75.18 yrs
Literacy: 99.7% Location: 13 10 N, 59 32 W Calling Code: 246

Barbados (bɑːˈbeɪdəʊs,-dəʊz,-dɒsis a tropical island country located in the  Windward Island group in the Caribbean Sea. The
location is 13o10" N, 59o 32" W. Barbados is the most easternly island in the Caribbean.  It is 21 m (34 km) long and 14 m ( 23 km) at its widest, a total area of 166 sq. m ( 431 sq km). Bridgetown is the capital, with a population 80,000. The term Barbados has a possible root in the portuguese term las barbados,  
the bearded, because of its dense vegetation.




Barbados has a population of 285,653, which is 93% black, 3.2% white, 2.6% mixed, and 1% East Indian. The average life expectancy is 74.14. 63.4% of the island, holds to a Protestant faith. The island has a high literacy rate of 99.7%.

Climate Change Preparedness

 Cost of Inaction by 2025  6.9 bil.

Barbados like other islands has been experiencing extreme weather patterns, droughts to heavy torrential rains. Water availability is a serious issue, since Barbados has no natural rivers. 95% of her water comes from groundwater. Barbados is listed globally among the top ten nation for water scarcity. In addition, large portion of her population lives on the coast. Sea levels have been rising which can cause population displacement. Further threats exist to her tourist industry. Rising sea levels has been causing much beach erosion. The loss of coral reefs and coral bleaching are other losses to tourism, since the reefs are major tourist attractions. Coral reefs are habitats for marine life and tend to breakdown waves minimizing its effects on the coast. Diminishing coral reefs will mean decrease economic output to fishermen and more intense coastal damage and beach erosion. In addition, an invasive type of seaweed has started to grow along the Barbadian coast. 

Barbados has taken aggressive governmental action to combat climate change. Governmental departments have been setup to monitor coastal zones and marine life. Along the coast Barbados has setup boardwalks. Research is being done to explore the best way to re-grow corals. With an invasive type of seaweed appearing on the coast, research is being explored to convert the seaweed into biofuels. In the alternative energy area, Barbados has been active in using solar water heaters.


*Barbados is class with Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
 Index  Value
 Corruption Perception Index  (2015)
 Ease of Doing Business  119 (2015)
 Human Development Index  .785(2015)
 World Press Freedom(OECS)  30(2016)


Barbados is a million years old, younger than surrounding islands. It was inhabited by Arawaks around 800 A.D. It was noted by Columbus, Los Barbados, but never claimed by Spain.  It is first noted on a map by the Portuguese, but again never claimed. 

The English claimed the island in 1625 and formed a settlement at present day Holetown. Initially, most labor was white indentured working on small farms, growing tobacco. In 1645, the black population was 5,680 versus 18,300 white males, of which 11,200 were small farm owners. In 1637, sugarcane cultivation took hold and became a cash crop. The Dutch fleeing Brazil brought and taught the technology of sugar manufacturing to the English on the island.

After sugarcane cultivation took hold, the black population steadily increased. A slave in Barbados could be purchased for £35 or £40. In 1712, the island had 3,438 white male to 41,970 slaves or 1 to 12. In 1783, it climbed to 1 white male to 13 slaves or 4,361 to 57,434. Small farms also decreased. By 1667, the island only had 745 large plantation compared to the 11,200 small farms previously. Sugar became as profitable in Barbados as Hispanola. Barbados gave England dominance in the sugar market.

Barbados experienced slave revolts, typically after harsh and extreme ill-treatment to enslaved africans. In 1649, eighteen slave leaders planned a day to revolt and massacre all whites. The plot was divulged by one slave. All plotters were executed. During an epidemic, in 1692, another conspiracy was discovered. Many slaves were tortured and executed. In 1816, Barbados experience one of her largest revolts lead by Bussa(Bussoe) at Bayley's Plantation. The commander of the troops that suppress the revolt expressed the sentiments, "they stoutly maintained, however, that the island belonged to them, and not to white men..." Slavery was abolished by the British Emancipation Act of 1833. 

Barbados became independent in 1966 and part of the Commonwealth.


Traditional Barbadian music comprise of tuk music, performed by tuk bands, an ensemble comprised of a large drum, triangle, small drum, and flute. Soca and Reggae are very popular genres in Barbados. The island also has generated some very popular Soca bands. Hip-Hop/R&B and North American Pop music are also popular on the island. Rihanna remains the island's most famous musical export.

Works Cited

Elias, Marie Louis and Elias, Josie(2010). Barbados (ed. 2). Marshal Cavendish ISBN 0761448535, 9780761448532.

CIA, the World Factbook, Barbados

"barbados." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 19 Aug. 2012. <>.

tags: caribbean history demographics