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Country Overview

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Country Overview of Barbados

Barbados is a founding member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). Other member States are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and, most recently, Haiti (July 2002).

Barbados is in the same time zone as North America and four hours behind the U.K. and the rest of Western Europe when there is no observance of Daylight Savings Time.

A complete country overview of Barbados is described below.

Facts at a Glance

Status: Independent (November 30th 1966)
Capital: Bridgetown
Nationality: Barbadian
Official Language: English
Population: 272,229
Land Area: 431Km / 166sq.miles
Time Zone: EST +1/0; GMT -4/-5
Currency: Barbadian Dollar (BDS$)
Exchange Rate: Exchange rate to US$: US$1 = BDS$1.98
Literacy: 97.6%
Life Expectancy at birth (years): 77
Country Phone Code: 246
Unemployment (2004): 9.8%
Labour Force (skilled and unskilled): 146,300
Major Industries: Tourism, Financial Services, Agriculture, Light Manufacturing
Principal Exports: Tourism, Financial Services, Sugar, Rum, Chemicals, Electrical Components
Principal Imports: Machinery, Food and Beverages, Construction Materials
Major Trading Partners: USA, Canada, Caricom*, Japan, UK

Source: Barbados Statistical Service, *Digest of Educational Statistics.

Author: Brett Callaghan