Central America :: Barbados
  • Introduction :: Barbados
  • Background:
    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.
    BARBADOS SUMMARY: PDF
  • Geography :: Barbados
  • Location:
    Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
    Geographic coordinates:
    13 10 N, 59 32 W
    Map references:
    Central America and the Caribbean
    Area:
    total: 430 sq km
    land: 430 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 202
    Area - comparative:
    2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
    Land boundaries:
    0 km
    Coastline:
    97 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    Climate:
    tropical; rainy season (June to October)
    Terrain:
    relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region
    Elevation:
    0 m lowest point: Atlantic Ocean
    336 highest point: Mount Hillaby
    Natural resources:
    petroleum, fish, natural gas
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 32.6% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 25.6% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 2.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 4.7% (2011 est.)
    forest: 19.4% (2011 est.)
    other: 48% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    50 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    most densely populated country in the eastern Caribbean; approximately one-third live in urban areas
    Natural hazards:
    infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides
    Environment - current issues:
    pollution of coastal waters from waste disposal by ships; soil erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens contamination of aquifers
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note:
    easternmost Caribbean island
  • People and Society :: Barbados
  • Population:
    293,131 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Nationality:
    noun: Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)
    adjective: Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial)
    Ethnic groups:
    black 92.4%, mixed 3.1%, white 2.7%, East Indian 1.3%, other 0.2%, unspecified 0.3% (2010 est.)
    Languages:
    English (official), Bajan (English-based creole language, widely spoken in informal settings)
    Religions:
    Protestant 66.4% (includes Anglican 23.9%, other Pentecostal 19.5%, Adventist 5.9%, Methodist 4.2%, Wesleyan 3.4%, Nazarene 3.2%, Church of God 2.4%, Baptist 1.8%, Moravian 1.2%, other Protestant 0.9%), Roman Catholic 3.8%, other Christian 5.4% (includes Jehovah's Witness 2.0%, other 3.4%), Rastafarian 1%, other 1.5%, none 20.6%, unspecified 1.2% (2010 est.)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 17.8% (male 26,084 /female 26,090)
    15-24 years: 12.53% (male 18,236 /female 18,479)
    25-54 years: 43.69% (male 63,829 /female 64,249)
    55-64 years: 13.62% (male 18,888 /female 21,043)
    65 years and over: 12.36% (male 14,705 /female 21,528) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 50.4 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 29.1 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 21.3 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 4.7 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 38.9 years
    male: 37.8 years
    female: 40.1 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Population growth rate:
    0.26% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Birth rate:
    11.6 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Death rate:
    8.6 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Net migration rate:
    -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Population distribution:
    most densely populated country in the eastern Caribbean; approximately one-third live in urban areas
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 31.1% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.2% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    89,000 BRIDGETOWN (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    27 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 10 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 11.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 8.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 75.7 years (2018 est.)
    male: 73.3 years (2018 est.)
    female: 78.1 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Total fertility rate:
    1.68 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    59.2% (2012)
    Health expenditures:
    7.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Hospital bed density:
    5.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 99.7% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 99.7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 99.7% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0.3% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 0.3% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 0.3% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 96.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 96.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 96.2% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    1.6% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    2,700 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    <100 (2017 est.)
    Major infectious diseases:

    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus

    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    23.1% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    3.5% (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Education expenditures:
    5.1% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 15 years (2011)
    male: 14 years (2011)
    female: 17 years (2011)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 29.6% (2016 est.)
    male: 27.9% (2016 est.)
    female: 31.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
  • Government :: Barbados
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Barbados
    etymology: the name derives from the Portuguese "as barbadas," which means "the bearded ones" and can refer either to the long, hanging roots of the island's bearded fig trees or to the alleged beards of the native Carib inhabitants
    Government type:
    parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
    Capital:
    name: Bridgetown
    geographic coordinates: 13 06 N, 59 37 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: named after a bridge constructed over the swampy area (known as the Careenage) around the Constitution River that flows through the center of Bridgetown
    Administrative divisions:
    11 parishes and 1 city*; Bridgetown*, Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas
    Independence:
    30 November 1966 (from the UK)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 30 November (1966)
    Constitution:
    history: adopted 22 November 1966, effective 30 November 1966 (2018)
    amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage of amendments to constitutional sections such as citizenship, fundamental rights and freedoms, and the organization and authorities of the branches of government requires two-thirds majority vote by the membership of both houses of Parliament; passage of other amendments only requires a majority vote of both houses; amended several times, last in 2010 (2018)
    International law organization participation:
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sandra MASON (since 8 January 2018)
    head of government: Prime Minister Mia MOTTLEY (since 25 May 2018)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; the prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister
    Legislative branch:
    description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
    Senate (21 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 12 on the advice of the Prime Minister, 2 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 7 at the discretion of the governor general)
    House of Assembly (30 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
    elections:
    House of Assembly - last held on 24 May 2018 (next to be held in 2023)
    election results:
    House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - BLP 74.6%, DLP 22.6%, other 2.8%; seats by party - BLP 30
    note: tradition dictates that the election is held within 5 years of the last election, but constitutionally it is 5 years from the first seating of Parliament plus a 90-day grace period
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the High Court with 8 justices) and the Court of Appeal (consists of the High Court chief justice and president of the court and 4 justices; note - in 2005, Barbados acceded to the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final court of appeal, replacing that of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the prime minister and opposition leader of Parliament; other justices appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, a 5-member independent body consisting of the Supreme Court chief justice, the commission head, and governor-general appointees recommended by the prime minister; justices serve until mandatory retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Bajan Free Party [Alex MITCHELL]
    Barbados Integrity Movement [Neil HOLDER]
    Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Mia MOTTLEY]
    Democratic Labor Party or DLP [Freundel STUART]
    People’s Democratic Congress [Mark ADAMSON]
    People's Empowerment Party or PEP [David COMISSIONG]
    Solutions Barbados [Grenville PHILLIPS II]
    United Progressive Party or UPP [Lynette EASTMOND]
    International organization participation:
    ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Selwin Charles HART (since 18 January 2017)
    chancery: 2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 939-9200
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-7467
    consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Linda S. TAGLIALATELA (since 1 February 2016) note - also accredited to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    embassy: Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006, Barbados
    mailing address: P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; (Department Name) Unit 3120, DPO AA 34055
    telephone: [1] (246) 227-4000
    FAX: [1] (246) 431-0179
    Flag description:
    three equal vertical bands of ultramarine blue (hoist side), gold, and ultramarine 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)
    National symbol(s):
    Neptune's trident, pelican, Red Bird of Paradise flower (also known as Pride of Barbados); national colors: blue, yellow, black
    National anthem:
    name: The National Anthem of Barbados
    lyrics/music: Irving BURGIE/C. Van Roland EDWARDS

    note: adopted 1966; the anthem is also known as "In Plenty and In Time of Need"

  • Economy :: Barbados
  • Economy - overview:
    Barbados is the wealthiest and one of the most developed countries in the Eastern Caribbean and enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. 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. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners, boosted by being in the same time zone as eastern US financial centers and by a relatively highly educated workforce. Following the 2008-09 recession, external vulnerabilities such as fluctuations in international oil prices have hurt economic growth, raised Barbados' already high public debt to GDP ratio - which stood at 105% of GDP in 2016 - and cut into its international reserves.
    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $5.218 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.227 billion (2016 est.)
    $5.111 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 178
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $4.99 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    -0.2% (2017 est.)
    2.3% (2016 est.)
    2.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $18,600 (2017 est.)
    $18,700 (2016 est.)
    $18,300 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 95
    Gross national saving:
    7.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    11.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
    10.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 84.2% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 13.4% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 17.6% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 31.6% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -47% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 1.5% (2017 est.)
    industry: 9.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 88.7% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    sugarcane, vegetables, cotton
    Industries:
    tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export
    Industrial production growth rate:
    2.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Labor force:
    144,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 10%
    industry: 15%
    services: 75% (1996 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    10.1% (2017 est.)
    9.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Population below poverty line:
    NA
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget:
    revenues: 1.466 billion (2013 est.) (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 1.664 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    29.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Public debt:
    157.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
    149.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Fiscal year:
    1 April - 31 March
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    4.4% (2017 est.)
    1.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Central bank discount rate:
    7% (2017)
    7% (31 December 2016)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    8.1% (31 December 2017 est.)
    8.05% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Stock of narrow money:
    $2.47 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.381 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Stock of broad money:
    $2.47 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.381 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $6.184 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $5.871 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $4.495 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $4.571 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.366 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Current account balance:
    -$189 million (2017 est.)
    -$206 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Exports:
    $485.4 million (2017 est.)
    $516.9 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Exports - partners:
    US 38%, Trinidad and Tobago 10.2%, Guyana 5.5%, Jamaica 5%, China 4.8%, St. Lucia 4.6% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    manufactures, sugar, molasses, rum, other foodstuffs and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
    Imports:
    $1.52 billion (2017 est.)
    $1.541 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Imports - commodities:
    consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components
    Imports - partners:
    US 38.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.6%, China 7.1%, UK 4.7% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $264.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $341.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Debt - external:
    $4.49 billion (2010 est.)
    $668 million (2003 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Exchange rates:
    Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar -
    2 (2017 est.)
    2 (2016 est.)
    2 (2015 est.)
    2 (2014 est.)
    2 (2013 est.)
    note: the Barbadian dollar is pegged to the US dollar
  • Energy :: Barbados
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 29,149 (2012)
    electrification - total population: 91% (2012)
    electrification - urban areas: 100% (2012)
    electrification - rural areas: 80% (2012)
    Electricity - production:
    1.01 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Electricity - consumption:
    990 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    269,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    93% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    7% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Crude oil - production:
    1,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Crude oil - exports:
    674 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    2.534 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    11,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    10,630 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    Natural gas - production:
    14.16 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Natural gas - consumption:
    19.82 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Natural gas - imports:
    5.653 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    141.6 million cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    1.76 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
  • Communications :: Barbados
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 139,645 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 337,791 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 116 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: island-wide automatic telephone system; telecom sector across the Caribbean region remains one of the key growth areas; numerous competitors licensed, but small and localized (2017)
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity of roughly 48 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density about 116 per 100 persons (2017)
    international: country code - 1-246; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 1 (Intelsat - Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Trinidad and Saint Lucia (2016)
    Broadcast media:
    government-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) operates the lone terrestrial TV station; CBC also operates a multi-channel cable TV subscription service; roughly a dozen radio stations, consisting of a CBC-operated network operating alongside privately owned radio stations (2009)
    Internet country code:
    .bb
    Internet users:
    total: 231,883 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 79.5% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 89,340 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
  • Transportation :: Barbados
  • Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    8P (2016)
    Airports:
    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 1 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    Pipelines:
    33 km gas, 64 km oil, 6 km refined products (2013)
    Roadways:
    total: 1,700 km (2015)
    paved: 1,700 km (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Merchant marine:
    total: 112 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 18, general cargo 71, oil tanker 2, other 21 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Bridgetown
  • Military and Security :: Barbados
  • Military branches:
    Royal Barbados Defense Force: Troops Command, Barbados Coast Guard (2011)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18 years of age for voluntary military service, or earlier with parental consent; no conscription (2013)
    Military - note:
    the Royal Barbados Defense Force includes a land-based Troop Command and a small Coast Guard; the primary role of the land element is island defense against external aggression; the Command consists of a single, part-time battalion with a small regular cadre deployed throughout the island; the cadre increasingly supports the police in patrolling the coastline for smuggling and other illicit activities
  • Transnational Issues :: Barbados
  • Disputes - international:
    Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago abide by the April 2006 Permanent Court of Arbitration decision delimiting a maritime boundary and limiting catches of flying fish in Trinidad and Tobago's exclusive economic zonejoins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea
    Illicit drugs:
    one of many Caribbean transshipment points for narcotics bound for Europe and the US; offshore financial center