Barbados Flag Icon

Barbados Country Guide

Explore Barbados in North America

Barbados with the capital city Bridgetown is located in North America (Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 432 square kilometres (2.5 times the size of Washington, DC) with 281,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Barbados

The terrain features relatively flat having rises gently to central highland region. The average density of population is approximately 652 per km². The notable climate conditions in Barbados can be described as tropical with rainy season (June to October). Potential natural disasters are infrequent hurricanes or periodic landslides.

To reach someone in Barbados dial +1-246 prior to a number. There are 135,700 installed telephones. And there are 337,100 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800, 1900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".bb". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 115V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Barbados

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).

The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. African 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 Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: North America
Capital: Bridgetown
Size 431 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 166 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Population 281,000
Currency Name: Dollar, Currency Code: BBD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .bb
Telephone Country Prefix +1-246
Mobile Phone Connections 337,100
Landline Phone Connections 135,700

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 430 (sq km) 202

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 288,725 180
Population growth rate 0.34 (%) 164
Birth rate 12.10 (births/1,000 population) 165
Death rate 8.40 (deaths/1,000 population) 86
Net migration rate -0.30 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 124
Maternal mortality rate 51.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 107
Infant mortality rate 11.13 (deaths/1,000 live births) 135
Life expectancy at birth 74.75 (years) 104
Total fertility rate 1.68 (children born/woman) 172
Health expenditures 8.00 (% of GDP) 61
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 1.40 (%) 37
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 2,100 134
HIV/AIDS - deaths 100 122
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 34.70 (%) 14
Education expenditures 7.50 (% of GDP) 18
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 26.2 (%) 35


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 7,169,000,000 160
GDP - per capita (PPP) 25,800 60
Labor force 145,000 178
Unemployment rate 11.20 (%) 119
Taxes and other revenues 29.0 (% of GDP) 99
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -4.50 (% of GDP) 148
Public debt 83.10 (% of GDP) 23
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 6.10 (%) 159
Central bank discount rate 7.00 (%) 39
Commercial bank prime lending rate 8.70 (%) 106
Stock of narrow money 1,987,000,000 126
Stock of broad money 5,711,000,000 123
Stock of domestic credit 5,650,000,000 115
Market value of publicly traded shares 4,366,000,000 85
Current account balance -344,900,000 87
Exports 491,100,000 172
Imports 1,633,000,000 169
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 855,300,000 141
Debt - external 4,490,000,000 121


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 1,037,000,000 (kWh) 145
Electricity - consumption 955,000,000 (kWh) 152
Electricity - installed generating capacity 239100 (kW) 154
Electricity - from fossil fuels 100.0 (% of total installed capacity) 5
Crude oil - production 1,000 (bbl/day) 97
Crude oil - proved reserves 2260000 (bbl) 99
Refined petroleum products - consumption 8,339 (bbl/day) 158
Refined petroleum products - imports 7,686 (bbl/day) 138
Natural gas - production 29,170,000 (cu m) 88
Natural gas - consumption 29,170,000 (cu m) 112
Natural gas - proved reserves 113,300,000 (cu m) 103
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 1,570,000 (Mt) 153


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 140,700 137
Telephones - mobile cellular 347,900 171
Internet hosts 1,524 167
Internet users 188,000 143


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 1 236
Roadways 1,600 (km) 176
Merchant marine 109 50


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 0.80 (% of GDP) 146

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison
Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, an outstanding example of British colonial architecture consisting of a well-preserved old town built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which testifies to the spread of Great Britain's Atlantic colonial empir ...