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Barbados

Commonwealth realm
Flag of Barbados Coat of Arms of Barbados
Motto
Pride and Industry
Anthem
In Plenty and in Time of Need
God Save The Queen
Map of Barbados
CapitalBridgetown
Government Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
Monarch
- From 1966Elizabeth II
Governor-General
- From 1996Clifford Husbands
Prime Minister
- From 2010Freundel Stuart
Legislature Parliament
- Upper houseSenate
- Lower houseHouse of Assembly
History
November 30, 1966Independence from the United Kindom
Commonwealth accessionNovember 30, 1966
Area431 km²
Population
- 2009284,589
 Density660.2/km²
GDP2009 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 6.4 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 22,512
CurrencyBarbadian dollar
Flag of None Colony of Barbados
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Barbados is a commonwealth realm and a parliamentary democracy in the Caribbean.


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.[1]

Economy

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.[2]

Monarch

  • Elizabeth II () (November 30, 1966 - )

Governor-General

  • Clifford Husbands () (Jun 1, 1996 - )

Prime Minister

  • Freundel Stuart () (Oct 23, 2010 - )

Nation

Barbadian Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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