Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. By 1720, Barbados was no longer a dominant force within the sugar industry, having been surpassed by the Leeward Islands and Jamaica. Social and political reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the UK in 1966. On 30 November 2021, Barbados became a republic.



total: 430 sq km
land: 430 sq km
water: 0 sq km


tropical; rainy season (June to October)

Natural resources

petroleum, fish, natural gas

People and Society


303,431 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

African descent 92.4%, mixed 3.1%, White 2.7%, East Indian 1.3%, other 0.2%, unspecified 0.3% (2010 est.)


English (official), Bajan (English-based creole language, widely spoken in informal settings)


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.)

Population growth rate

0.24% (2023 est.)


Government type

parliamentary republic; a Commonwealth realm


name: Bridgetown

Executive branch

chief of state: President Sandra MASON (since 30 November 2021)
head of government: Prime Minister Mia MOTTLEY (since 25 May 2018)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate (21 seats - 18 for current term; members appointed by the president - 12 on the advice of the prime minister, 2 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 7 at the discretion of the president)
House of Assembly (30 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)


Economic overview

import-driven economy; dependent on US trade; maintains a pegged exchange rate to the US dollar; high Human Development Index; heavy tourism; reducing government debt to improve fiscal health; launched major agricultural subsidy program to improve food security

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$3.868 billion (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$13,800 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, poultry, vegetables, milk, eggs, pork, coconuts, pulses, sweet potatoes, tropical fruit


tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export


$2.228 billion (2017 est.)

Exports - partners

US 21%, Poland 14%, Jamaica 8%, Guyana 6%,Trinidad and Tobago 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

rums and other hard liquor, ships, orthopedic appliances, cement, packaged medicines (2019)


$2.213 billion (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 35%, Trinidad and Tobago 14%, China 9%, Netherlands 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, ships, cars, shipping containers, packaged medicines (2019)

Exchange rates

Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar -
2 (2021 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023