Barbados Geography and Statistics
Barbados – The Facts
Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean island chain, otherwise known as the Lesser Antilles.
It’s a small coral limestone island, with the Atlantic Ocean sitting to the east, the Caribbean Sea to the west.
Geographically, it is situated north of South America, northeast of Venezuela and north of Guyana.
Some of its other close neighbors include St. Lucia to the north-west, St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the west of Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago on the south-west of the island.
The land area of the isle measures 166.4 square miles (431km2). It is 21 miles (34 kilometers) in length and 14 miles (23 kilometers) in width.
In comparison to other Caribbean islands, the terrain of Barbados is relatively flat however there is a gentle rise towards a central highland region. The highest point is Mount Hillaby in the parish of St Andrew, measuring approximately 1 115 feet above sea level.
Because Barbados is just north of the equator, the climate is considered moderately tropical. Temperatures range from between 80-86 degrees Fahrenheit (27-30 degrees Celsius), with 70 – 76% humidity for most of the year, depending on the season.
A More In-Depth Look …
According to the 2010 Barbados Population and Housing Census, the population of the island is approximately 277,821 people, with 2012 World Bank data indicating an annual growth rate of 0%.
2013 World Bank data sites Barbados’ population density as 662 people per square kilometer of land area and the largest city, which is also the capital, Bridgetown, is located on the southwest coast of the island.
The population of Barbados is a melting pot of influences and is about as diverse as it comes.
The 2010 Population and Housing Census for Barbados show the majority of the Barbadian population as being of African descent. However, Barbados is also made up of people who are of mixed race, Caucasian or European ancestry, East Indian, Oriental and Middle Eastern. The average life expectancy at birth is 75 years, according to 2012 World Bank data).
Bajans are very proud of Barbados’ extremely high literacy rate of 99.7%, as recorded by the UNDP Report 2007-2008.
The currency used in Barbados is the Barbados dollar (BBD) which is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of $1 US to $1.98 BDD.
Note: It is taken as US$1 = BBD$2 island-wide.
British English is the official language spoken on the island, especially in more formal settings.
Some visitors say they find the local slang (‘Bajan’ dialect) tricky to understand however it is spoken freely by locals island-wide and is peppered with some humorous phrases and interesting words.
Tip: If you want to talk the talk, see both our Language and Dialect of Barbados pages and start practicing your Bajan tongue today!
What About Religion?
Anglican is officially Barbados’ national religion. However, there are various denominations of Christianity and non-Christian religions practiced throughout the island. The first English settlers who were sternly Anglican and from the moment they landed in Barbados, started work on a church in which they could go to worship.
According to the 2010 Population and Housing Census for Barbados, the status of religion in Barbados is as follows:
From those identifying with a particular religion or faith, the majority is Anglican, followed by other Pentecostal, then Adventist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Wesleyan, ‘other’ Christian, Nazarene, Church of God, Jehovah’s Witness, Baptist, Moravian, Rastafarian, Muslim, Brethren, Hindu, Salvation Army, ‘other non-Christian’, Mormon, Jewish, and Baha’i.
Want to know more? Check out our Religion page for a more in-depth analysis.
Want More Stats?
For more statistical information about Barbados, we recommend you visit the following websites:
— 2010 Barbados Population and Housing Census (www.barstats.gov.bb/files/documents/PHC_2010_Census_Volume_1.pdf)
— Barbados Statistical Service (www.barstats.gov.bb)
— CIA World Factbook Barbados Profile (www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bb.html)
— United National World Bank Data for Barbados (http://data.worldbank.org/country/barbados)
— United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – UN Human Development Reports (http://hdr.undp.org/en)
Author: Brett Callaghan