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Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of the Americas, and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It occupies an area of 432 km2 (167 sq mi) and has a population of about 287,000 (2019 estimate).[3] Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown.

Quick facts: Barbados, Capitaland largest city, Official&n...
Motto: "Pride and Industry"
Anthem: "In Plenty and In Time of Need"
and largest city
13°05′52″N 59°37′06″W
Official languagesEnglish
Vernacular languageBajan Dialect
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
Sandra Mason
Mia Mottley
House of Assembly
 Part of the West Indies Federation
3 January 1958 – 31 May 1962
30 November 1966
7 December 1966
 Joined CARICOM at the Treaty of Chaguaramas
1 August 1973
30 November 2021
439 km2 (169 sq mi) (183rd)
 Water (%)
 2019 estimate
287,025[2] (182nd)
 2010 census
660/km2 (1,709.4/sq mi) (15th)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
$5.398 billion
 Per capita
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
$5.207 billion
 Per capita
HDI (2021) 0.790[5]
high · 70th
CurrencyBarbadian dollar ($) (BBD)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Driving sideleft[6]
Calling code+1 -246
ISO 3166 codeBB

Inhabited by Kalinago people since the 13th century, and prior to that by other Amerindians, Spanish navigators took possession of Barbados in the late 15th century, claiming it for the Crown of Castile. It first appeared on a Spanish map in 1511.[7] The Portuguese Empire claimed the island between 1532 and 1536, but abandoned it in 1620 with their only remnants being an introduction of wild boars for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. An English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados on 14 May 1625; its men took possession of the island in the name of King James I. In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England, and Barbados became an English and later British colony.[8] During this period, the colony operated on a plantation economy, relying on the labour of enslaved Africans who worked on the island's plantations. The slave trade to the island continued until it was outlawed throughout the British Empire by the Slave Trade Act 1807, with final emancipation of enslaved persons in Barbados occurring over a period of five years following the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

On 30 November 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm with Elizabeth II as Queen of Barbados. On 30 November 2021, Barbados transitioned to a republic within the Commonwealth.[9][10]

Barbados's population is predominantly of African ancestry. While it is technically an Atlantic island, Barbados is closely associated with the Caribbean and is ranked as one of its leading tourist destinations.[11]