Fast Facts

Population:
258,000
Capital:
Bridgetown; 140,000
Area:
430 square kilometers (166 square miles)
Language:
English
Religion:
Protestant, Roman Catholic
Currency:
Barbadian dollar
Life Expectancy:
73
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $15,000
Literacy Percent:
97
Flag: Barbados
Map: Barbados

Barbados is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands and first in line for seasonal hurricanes. The west coast has white sandy beaches and calm water, but the east coast faces the turbulent Atlantic. Settled by the British in 1627, it won independence in 1966 but retains a strong British flavor. With more than 625 people per square kilometer, Barbados is one of the world's most densely populated nations. It has a stable democracy and a relatively prosperous economy, based largely on tourism and sugar. The grapefruit originates from Barbados.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
  • Agriculture: Sugarcane, vegetables, cotton
  • Exports: Sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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