Barbados

Official name : Barbados.Form of government: constitutional monarchy with two legislative houses (Senate (21); House of Assembly (30). Chief of state: British Queen Elizabeth II( from 1952), represented by Governor-General Sir Clifford Husbands (from 1996). Head of government:Prime Minister David Thompson(from 2008). Capital:bridgetown. Official language:English. Official Religion:none.Monetary unit:1 Barbados dollar (BDS$)= 100cents;valuation (1Jul 2009) US$1=BDS $ 1.98.

Demography

Area:166 sw mi, 430 sq km.Population (2008):282,000. Density (2008): persons per sq mi 1,698.8, person per sq km 655.8.Urban (2005):52.6%. Sex distribution (2005): male 48.26%; female 51.74%. Age breakdown ( 2005):under 15, 19.0%; 15-29, 22.8%;30-44,26.1%;45-59 19.0%;60-74, 8.2%;75-84,3.8%;85 and over 1.1%. Ethnic Composition (2000): local black 87.1%; mulatto 6.0%;British expatriates 4.3%; US white 1.2%; Indo-Pakistani 1.1%; other 0.3%. Religious affiliation (2000) :Christian 72.5%, of which Anglican 28.3% , Pentecostal 18.7% , Adventist 5.5%, Methodist 5.1%; Rastafarian 1.1%; Muslim 0.7%; Hindu 0.3%; nonreligious 17.3%; other/unknown 8.1%. Major urban areas (2004) Bridgetown 99,100;Speighstown 3,600; Oistins (2000) 1,203.Location: island at the estern edge of the Caribbean Sea where it adjoins the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela.

Vital Statistics

Birth rate per 1,000 population (2006):12.7 (world avg 20.3). Death rate per 1,000 population (2006): 8.7 (world avg 8.6). Natural increase rate per 1,000 population (2006):4.0 (world avg 11.7). Total fertility rate (avg.births per childbearing woman;2006): 1.65. L:ife expectancy at birth (2006): male 70.8 years; female 74.8 years.

National economy

Budget (2005-06). Revenue: Bds $ 2.145,000,000(tax revenue 95.2%, of which VAT 31.8%, corporate taxes 16.8% , personal income taxes 14.3%; nontax revenue 4.8%). Expenditures:BDS $2,328,500,000(current expenditures 85.2%, of which education 18.3%, debt payments 12.8% , health 11.3%; development expenitures 14.8%). Public debt (external, outstanding; December 2005): US 763,500,000.Production (metric tons except as noted). Agriculture and fishing(2006): raw sugar 33,701, sweet potatoes 2,000, coconuts 1, 950, okra 1,550; livestock (number of live animals) 19,000 pigs, 10,800 sheep,1,869(from aquaculture, none). Manufacturing (value added in US $000,000;1997):industrial chemicals 87;food products 63;beverages (significantly rum and beer)58.Energy production (comsumption ): electricity (kW-hr,2007)924,000,00(924,000,000); crude petroleum (barrels; 2007) 303,000(2005 negligible); petroleum products (metric tons ; 2005) 1,000 (360,000);natural gas (cum;2007) 21,100,000(2005) 26,300,000).Population economically active (December 2005): total 145,800;activity rate of total population 53.1%(participation rates:ages 15 and over, 69.0%; female 49.5%;unemployed (January -March 2008) 7.9%). Gross national income (2006):US $ 3,307,000,000( US $11,291 per capita). Selected balance of payment data.Receipts from (US$000,000): tourism (2006) 978; remittances (2007) 140; foreign direct investment (FDI) (2004-06 avg.) 29. Disbursements for (US$'000,000: tourism (2005) 96;remittances (2007) 40; FDI (2004-06 avg) 6.

Foreign Trade

Imports (2006;c.i.f):Bds $ 3,257, 000,000 (machinery and apparatus 19.8%; refined petroleum products 17.4%l food products 11.5%; chemical products 9.5%)Major Import sources: US 37.6%; Trinidad and Tobago 22.5% ;UK 5.8%; Japan 3.7%;Canada 3.7%/ Exports (2006;f.o.b.);bds $882,000,000 (refined petroleum products 25.9%;food products 5.2%; rum 5.0%;medicines 4.9%). Major export destinations: US 20.1%; Trinidad and Tobago 11.0%; UK 7.5%; Saint Lucia 5.1%; ships' stores and bunkers 25.9%.

Transport and communications

Transport. railroads:none.Roads (2004): total lenth 1,600km(paved 100%). Vehicles (2004): passenger cars 92,195; trucks and buses 8,597. Air transport (2003): metric ton-km cargo 200,000. Communications, in total units (units per 1,000 persons). Telephone landlines (2005): 206,000(766); personal computers (2005): 40,000 (148); total internet users (2007):280,000 (953); broadband internet subrscibers (2005):32,000 (118).

Education and Health

Education attainment (2003) .Perentage of emplyed labor force having: no formal schooling/unknown 1.4%; primary education 14.9%;secondary 58.7%;technical/vocational 5.4%;university 19.6%.Literacy (2002):total population ages 15 and over literate 99.7%.Health (2002) physicians 376 (1 per 721 persons); infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (2006) 11.8%;undernourished population (2002-04) less than 2.5% of total population.

Military

Total active duty personnel (2007): (army 82.0%, navy 18.0%).Military expenditures are percentage of GDP (2005):0.5%;per capita expenditure US %52.

Background

The island of Barbados was probably inhabted by Arawak Indians who originally came from South America.Spaniards may have landedby 1518, and by 1536 they had apparently wiped out the Indian population. Barbados was settle by the English in the 1620s. Slaves were brought in to work the sugar plantations, which were especially prosperous in the 17th-18th centuries. The British empire abolished slavery in 1834, and all the slaves in Barbados were freed by 1838. In 1958 Barbados joined the West Indies Federation. When the latter dissolved in 1962,Barbados sought independance from Britain; it achieved it and joined the Commonwealth in 1966.

Recent Developments

Barbados reaffirmed in February 2008 its decision not to join Venezuela's PetroCaribe iniative, under which Caracas provided Petroleum products and crude oil to Caricorn countries on a deferred-payment basis.

 

 

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