Barbados Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023


CAPITAL CITY: Bridgetown

POPULATION: 277,800 (2010)

AREA: 430 km²


RELIGION: Protestants 67%, Catholics 4%, others 29%

COIN: Barbados dollar




POPULATION COMPOSITION: Afro-Caribbean 92%, other 8%

GDP PER residents: 16,151 USD (2012)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 73 years, women 78 years (2007)




Barbados, Republic of the Caribbean, which includes the easternmost island of the Lesser Antilles. The island is densely populated and despite its small size one of the region’s significant countries. The country’s relatively high standard of living is mainly based on tourism, finance and other service activities, while the traditional sugar economy is of diminishing importance. Barbados has been an independent nation and a member of the British Commonwealth since 1966.

Barbados – national flag

The flag originates from 1966. The blue color symbolizes sky and sea, the yellow sandy beaches. In colonial times, Neptune’s trefoil was the country’s coat of arms. As an expression of continuity, it is continued in the flag, but without a shaft to mark the break with the past.

Barbados – language

The official language is (standard) English, but 95% of the population speak as their mother tongue the English based Creole language Barbadian Creole English or Bajan. Bajan differs from English by vocabulary, eg words like scotch for English place to sit, cutter for English salt bread sandwich or site? for English okay? . There are also differences in pronunciation and grammar.

The pronunciation differs from English in the absence of the final consonants [-t] and [-d] in eg [fag] for English fact or [pɑwn] for English pound; [-θ] is pronounced like [-f], so that Bajan path rhymes with staff; [ð-] pronunciation [d-] in fx the, them, this; many vowels are strongly diphthongized, so eg man and egg are pronounced respectively. [maən] and [εig]; unlike other Caribbean-English Creole languages, [-r] is often pronounced at the end of syllables.

Grammatical differences are, among other things, that Bajan lacks copula, a verb to connect subject and predicate with, as for example in Bajan I hay for English I am here; double nouns such as gate-door and sparrow-bird and in the pronoun (w) from, which is a plural form of you from the African language.

Barbados – Constitution

Barbados’s constitution dates from 1966. The head of state is the British monarch, represented by a Governor – General. Parliament has two chambers. A 21-member Senate appointed by the Governor-General and a 30-member lower house elected by universal suffrage for five years. The Governor – General usually appoints the leader of the largest party or the leader of the largest coalition as Prime Minister, and he proposes a Deputy Prime Minister.

Barbados – geography

Unlike the other Lesser Antilles, Barbados is not of volcanic origin, but consists of coral lime, deposited on alternating layers of shale, clay and sand folded up from the seabed. Live coral reefs protect the coasts from ocean erosion, but the reefs are threatened by wastewater pollution. The island has a pleasant tropical, oceanic climate and was covered by forests before colonization, but they were cleared for sugar cultivation and only 50 ha are left.

92% of the population are descendants of Africans who were imported as slaves to the sugar plantations. Approximately 1/3 of the residents living in and around the capital Bridgetown in SW Coast, but the villages are close both on the coast and inland; they are connected by a fine-meshed network of winding roads in the hilly countryside. The population is stagnant due to low birth rate and emigration.

  • Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Barbados? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.

A large part of the island is still covered by sugar cane, which is sold through the EU sugar scheme. Barbados’ two largest sources of income are tourism and the internationally oriented financial sector, offshore banking. There are a number of small industries in clothing, electronics, etc. The country’s education system is well developed, and a department of the University of the West Indies is located in Barbados with teaching in most subject areas.

Barbados – history

Since the Spaniards in the early 1500-t. called Barbados, the island was probably inhabited by Arawak Indians; after a short time, however, these were exterminated or deported. In 1624, Barbados became British and colonized of criminals or dissidents who were forced into exile due to religious or political beliefs. In 1627-52, Barbados was privately owned, and its population grew rapidly. The residents were closely connected with the English settlements in Virginia and New England. Production on the island was shifted from tobacco to sugar around 1640, and the first slaves from West Africa arrived, while the number of Europeans subsequently dropped drastically. The island became the setting for the first sugar boom in the Caribbean, but soon took over Jamaica the role of the most important British colony in the region. Before the abolition of slavery in 1834, several major uprisings took place (1696, 1702 and 1816). Barbados has not experienced the changeable affiliations that otherwise characterized parts of the Caribbean during colonial times. The island was isolated from other islands and in headwinds in relation to the prevailing wind direction. It was never fortified like many of the others and remained a British colony throughout the period up to independence in November 1966. For culture and traditions of Barbados, please check calculatorinc.

In 1937 there were riots again, after which reforms were launched for the benefit of the black part of the population. In 1958-62, Barbados was a member of the West Indies Federation, after which the island returned to internal self-government.

Barbados played an important role in the establishment of the Caribbean Common Market, CARICOM. In 1983, the Prime Minister, Tom Adams, was a central figure in the US-led invasion of the neighboring island of Grenada. This meant that the traditionally close relations with Britain were cooled.

In the 1994 election, the Social Democratic Barbados Labor Party (BLP) became victorious, and the post of Prime Minister passed to Owen Arthur (1949-2020). The party pursued a successful economic policy that led to growth, and in the subsequent election in 1997, the BLP won a landslide victory, securing approximately 2/3 of the votes. The government has successfully sought to attract foreign investment and has implemented privatization of public enterprises. In 2008, the opposition in the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) won the election, and the party’s leader, David Thompson, became the new head of government. He died in 2010 and was replaced by Freundel Stuart. The DLP managed to retain power in the 2013 election.

Barbados was hit hard by the financial crisis in 2008. Tourism and financial sector activity declined and the country’s debt rose sharply.

Barbados Geography