Useful country information
Land area: 166 sq mi (430 sq km); total area 166 sq mi (431 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 289,680 (growth rate: 0.33%); birth rate: 11.97/1000; infant mortality rate: 10.93/1000; life expectancy: 74.99
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Bridgetown, 122,000
Monetary unit: Barbados dollar
Ethnicity/race: black 92.4%, white 2.7%, mixed 3.1%, East Indian 1.3%, other 0.2%, unspecified 0.2% (2010 est.
Religions: Protestant 66.3% (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 .8%), 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.)
National Holiday: Independence Day, November 30
Literacy rate: 99.7% (2012 est.)
The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. 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 is close to Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
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