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Country of Barbados Flag

Capital: Bridgetown

Population: 287,025

Brief History of Barbados:

In 1625 English sailors landed on the island of Barbados. They found an uninhabited island and claimed it for Britain. The place where the sailors landed is the town of Holetown today. The first settlers from England arrived two years later in 1627. They established a local House of Assembly which largely ruled the British colony. The main industry was sugar. The island became divided into huge estates called plantation. Slaves were imported from Africa to work the sugar fields until slavery was abolished in the British empire in 1834. 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.

Country of Barbados Map

The Geography of Barbados

Total Size: 431 square km

Size Comparison: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Geographical Coordinates: 13 10 N, 59 32 W

World Region or Continent: Central America

General Terrain: relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region

Geographical Low Point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: Mount Hillaby 336 m

Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to October)

Major cities: BRIDGETOWN (capital) 112,000 (2009), The Crane, Speightstown

The People of Barbados

Type of Government: parliamentary democracy

Languages Spoken: English

Independence: 30 November 1966 (from UK)

National Holiday: Independence Day, 30 November (1966)

Nationality: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)

Religions: Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%

National Symbol: Neptune's trident

National Anthem or Song: The National Anthem of Barbados

Economy of Barbados

Major Industries: tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export

Agricultural Products: sugarcane, vegetables, cotton

Natural Resources: petroleum, fish, natural gas

Major Exports: sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components

Major Imports: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components

Currency: Barbadian dollar (BBD)

National GDP: $6,929,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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