Caribbean Stats

Barbados

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Introduction - Barbados
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.
Geography - Barbados
Location
Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates
13 10 N, 59 32 W
Map references
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total: 430 sq km country comparison to the world: 200 land: 430 sq km water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
97 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
tropical; rainy season (June to October)
Terrain
relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region
Elevation extremes
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Mount Hillaby 336 m
Natural resources
petroleum, fish, natural gas
Land use
arable land: 37.21% permanent crops: 2.33% other: 60.46% (2005)
Irrigated land
50 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
0.1 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total: 0.09 cu km/yr (33%/44%/22%) per capita: 333 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides
Environment - current issues
pollution of coastal waters from waste disposal by ships; soil erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens contamination of aquifers
Environment - international 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, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
easternmost Caribbean island
People - Barbados
Population
284,589 (July 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 180
Age structure
0-14 years: 19.2% (male 27,383/female 27,352) 15-64 years: 71.3% (male 99,829/female 103,049) 65 years and over: 9.5% (male 10,464/female 16,512) (2009 est.)
Median age
total: 35.8 years male: 34.7 years female: 36.9 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate
0.383% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 168
Birth rate
12.55 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 163
Death rate
8.41 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 96
Net migration rate
-0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 98
Urbanization
urban population: 40% of total population (2008) rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 12.29 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 143 male: 13.89 deaths/1,000 live births female: 10.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 73.94 years country comparison to the world: 98 male: 71.65 years female: 76.26 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate
1.68 children born/woman (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 172
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
1.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 49
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
2,200 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 137
HIV/AIDS - deaths
fewer than 100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 152
Nationality
noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial) adjective: Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)
Ethnic groups
black 90%, white 4%, Asian and mixed 6%
Religions
Protestant 63.4% (Anglican 28.3%, Pentecostal 18.7%, Methodist 5.1%, other 11.3%), Roman Catholic 4.2%, other Christian 7%, other 4.8%, none or unspecified 20.6% (2008 est.)
Languages
English
Literacy
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school total population: 99.7% male: 99.7% female: 99.7% (2002 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 13 years male: 13 years female: 14 years (2001)
Education expenditures
6.9% of GDP (2005) country comparison to the world: 24
Government - Barbados
Country name
conventional long form: none conventional short form: Barbados
Government type
parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Capital
name: Bridgetown geographic coordinates: 13 06 N, 59 37 W time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
11 parishes and 1 city*; Bridgetown*, Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas
Independence
30 November 1966 (from the UK)
National holiday
Independence Day, 30 November (1966)
Constitution
30 November 1966
Legal system
English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
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 David THOMPSON (since 16 January 2008) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: 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 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 12 on the advice of the Prime Minister, 2 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 7 at his discretion) 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 15 January 2008 (next to be called in 2013) election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - DLP 52.5%, BLP 47.3%; seats by party - DLP 20, BLP 10
Judicial branch
Supreme Court of Judicature consists of a High Court and a Court of Appeal (judges are appointed by the Service Commissions for the Judicial and Legal Services); Caribbean Court of Justice or CCJ is the highest court of appeal; based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Political parties and leaders
Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Mia MOTTLEY]; Democratic Labor Party or DLP [David THOMPSON]; People's Empowerment Party or PEP [David COMISSIONG]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Barbados Secondary Teachers' Union or BSTU [Patrick FROST]; Barbados Union of Teachers or BUT [Herbert GITTENS]; Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados or CTUSAB, (includes the BWU, NUPW, BUT, and BSTU) [Leroy TROTMAN]; Barbados Workers Union or BWU [Leroy TROTMAN]; Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMISSIONG]; National Union of Public Workers [Joseph GODDARD]
International organization participation
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador John BEALE chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 939-9200 FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467 consulate(s) general: Miami, New York consulate(s): Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Mary M. OURISMAN embassy: U.S. Embassy, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006 mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; CMR 1014, APO AA 34055 telephone: [1] (246) 227-4399 FAX: [1] (246) 431-0179
Flag description
three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with the head of a black trident centered on the gold band; the band colors represent the blue of the sea and sky and the gold of the beaches; the trident head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)
Economy - Barbados
Economy - overview
Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities. However, in recent years the economy has diversified into light industry and tourism with about three-quarters of GDP and 80% of exports being attributed to services. Growth has rebounded since 2003, bolstered by increases in construction projects and tourism revenues, reflecting its success in the higher-end segment, but the sector faced declining revenues in 2009 with the global economic downturn. The country enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners and thrive from having the same time zone as eastern US financial centers and a relatively highly educated workforce. The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, to encourage direct foreign investment, and to privatize remaining state-owned enterprises. The public debt-to-GDP ratio rose to over 100% in 2009, largely because a sharp slowdown in tourism and financial services led to a wide budget deficit.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
$5.279 billion (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 158 $5.431 billion (2008 est.) $5.393 billion (2007 est.) note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)
$3.595 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
-2.8% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 156 0.7% (2008 est.) 3.3% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$18,500 (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 65 $19,200 (2008 est.) $19,100 (2007 est.) note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 6% industry: 16% services: 78% (2000 est.)
Labor force
175,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 175
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 10% industry: 15% services: 75% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate
10.7% (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 118
Population below poverty line
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%
Budget
revenues: $847 million (including grants) expenditures: $886 million (2000 est.)
Public debt
NA (2009)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
5.5% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 150
Central bank discount rate
10% (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 24 12% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
10.03% (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 77 10.8% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money
$1.637 billion (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 81 $1.478 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money
$3.701 billion (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 82 $2.717 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit
$4.554 billion (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 87 $3.533 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$NA (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 85 $5.599 billion (31 December 2007) $4.954 billion (31 December 2006)
Agriculture - products
sugarcane, vegetables, cotton
Industries
tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
Industrial production growth rate
-3.2% (2000 est.) country comparison to the world: 93
Electricity - production
1.003 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 146
Electricity - consumption
939.9 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 146
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production
1,100 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 104
Oil - consumption
9,000 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 151
Oil - exports
1,750 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 119
Oil - imports
10,390 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 140
Oil - proved reserves
2.17 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 94
Natural gas - production
29.17 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 87
Natural gas - consumption
29.17 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 110
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 203
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 202
Natural gas - proved reserves
141.6 million cu m (1 January 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 101
Current account balance
-$254 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 97
Exports
$385 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 170
Exports - commodities
manufactures, sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
Exports - partners
Trinidad and Tobago 15.6%, Jamaica 13.9%, Brazil 9.9%, US 8.6%, UK 7.8%, Saint Lucia 7.2%, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4.5% (2008)
Imports
$1.586 billion (2006) country comparison to the world: 157
Imports - commodities
consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
Imports - partners
US 26.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 25.4%, Russia 7%, Colombia 6.4%, Germany 4.1% (2008)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$620 million (2007) country comparison to the world: 118
Debt - external
$668 million (2003) country comparison to the world: 151
Exchange rates
Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar - NA (2007), 2 (2006), 2 (2005), 2 (2004), 2 (2003)
Communications - Barbados
Telephones - main lines in use
150,000 (2008) country comparison to the world: 132
Telephones - mobile cellular
406,000 (2008) country comparison to the world: 160
Telephone system
general assessment: fixed-line teledensity of roughly 50 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density approaching 150 per 100 persons domestic: island-wide automatic telephone system international: country code - 1-246; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 1 (Intelsat -Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia (2008)
Radio broadcast stations
AM 2, FM 6, shortwave 0 (2004)
Television broadcast stations
1 (plus 2 cable channels) (2004)
Internet country code
.bb
Internet hosts
235 (2009) country comparison to the world: 185
Internet users
188,000 (2008) country comparison to the world: 139
Transportation - Barbados
Airports
1 (2009) country comparison to the world: 212
Airports - with paved runways
total: 1 over 3,047 m: 1 (2009)
Roadways
total: 1,600 km country comparison to the world: 176 paved: 1,600 km (2004)
Merchant marine
total: 85 country comparison to the world: 53 by type: bulk carrier 15, cargo 50, chemical tanker 7, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 6, roll on/roll off 2 foreign-owned: 80 (Canada 9, Greece 12, India 1, Iran 2, Lebanon 1, Norway 38, Sweden 7, Syria 1, UK 9) registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals
Bridgetown
Military - Barbados
Military branches
Royal Barbados Defense Force: Troops Command, Barbados Coast Guard (2009)
Military service age and obligation
18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger requires parental consent); no conscription (2008)
Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49: 75,265 females age 16-49: 75,389 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 58,596 females age 16-49: 58,866 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 2,015 female: 2,007 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures
0.5% of GDP (2006 est.) country comparison to the world: 159
Military - note
the Royal Barbados Defense Force includes a land-based Troop Command and a small Coast Guard; the primary role of the land element is to defend the island against external aggression; the Command consists of a single, part-time battalion with a small regular cadre that is deployed throughout the island; it increasingly supports the police in patrolling the coastline to prevent smuggling and other illicit activities (2007)
Transnational Issues - Barbados
Disputes - international
Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago abide by the April 2006 Permanent Court of Arbitration decision delimiting a maritime boundary and limiting catches of flying fish in Trinidad and Tobago's exclusive economic zone; 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 eastern Caribbean Sea
Illicit drugs
one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for Europe and the US; offshore financial center