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Barbados Country Profile
Barbados, the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, lies south of St Lucia, east of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and north of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is a comparatively flat island, rising in a series of terraced tablelands to Mount Hillaby at 336m. The northeast (Scotland District) is broken, eroded and rocky. The rest of the island is coral limestone crossed with deep river-bed gullies which fill with water during heavy rain. There are no permanent rivers. On the east coast, much of the shoreline is rocky, pounded by a strong surf; elsewhere, natural coral reefs surround turquoise seas and beaches of white sand.
Full Name Barbados
Geographic Coordinates 13 10 N, 59 32 W
Capital and Largest City Bridgetown (90,000, 2014 est)
Area 430 sq km (166 sq miles)
Terrain Relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region
Climate Tropical
Internet domain .bb
International dialling code +1 246
Nationality Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial)
Population 290,604 (July 2015 est.)
Annual Growth Rate 0.31% (2015 est.)
Ethnic Groups black 92.4%, white 2.7%, mixed 3.1%, East Indian 1.3%, other 0.2%, unspecified 0.2% (2010 est.)
Major Languages English (official), Bajan (English-based creole language, widely spoken in informal settings)
Major 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.)
Adult Literacy 99.7%
Infant Mortality Rate 10.42 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy Total population - 75.18 years;  male – 72.82 years; female –77.56 years (2015 est.)
Type Parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth.
Independence 30 November 1966 (from the United Kingdom)
Constitution 30 November 1966
Executive Branch

Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor-General Dame Sandra MASON (since 8 Jnauary 2018)

Head of Government: Prime Minister Mia Amor 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

Bicameral Parliament consists of the 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) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms) | Learn more »

Elections: House of Assembly - last held on 21 February 2013 (next to be called in 2018) | Learn more »

Election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - BLP 74.6%, DLP 2.6.3%, other 2.8%; seats by party - BLP 30, DLP 0 | Learn more »

Judicial Branch

Highest Court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the High Court with 8 justices) and the Court of Appeal (consists of the Chief Justice and president of the court and 4 justices; note - Barbados, a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice, replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final court of appeal

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

Legislature Parliament of Barbados
Parliament Name House of Assembly of Barbados
Structure of Parliament Bicameral
Members of Parliament 30 members elected at least every five years by universal adult suffrage
Electoral Law Barbados Constitution (1966); Barbados Representation of the People's Act
Constituencies 30 single-member constituencies.
Voting System In the House of Assembly, 30 members are elected by simple majority vote (first past the post).in single-member constituencies
Term of Office 5 years
Voter Requirements
  • Age: 18 years
  • British Commonwealth citizenship
  • Ordinary domicile or residence in the country during the preceding 12 months
  • Disqualifications: insanity, undischarged bankruptcy, death sentence or imprisonment exceeding 12 months, allegiance to a foreign State
Suffrage Universal at 18 years of age
Candidate Eligibility and Requirements
  • Age: 21 years
  • British Commonwealth citizenship
  • Ability to speak and read the English language
  • Support of six electors of the constituency
  • Deposit of BBD 500, reimbursed if candidate obtains at least 1/8 of the votes cast
Electoral Authority Supervisor of Elections
Last Parliamentary Election 21 February 2013 | Learn more »
Next Parliamentary Election May 2018 | Learn more »
Number of Registered Electors Approximately 255,833 (2018)
GDP (purchasing power parity) USD $4.636 billion (2015 est.)
GDP Growth Rate 0.5% (2015 est.)
GDP Per Capita USD $16,600 (2015 est.)
Inflation Rate 0.5% (2015 est.)
Unemployment 10.8% (2015 est.)
Main Exports Manufactures, sugar, molasses, rum, other foodstuffs and beverages, chemicals, electrical components
Monetary Unit 1 Barbados dollar (BBD)  = 100 cents
Official Exchange Rate BBD 2.00 = USD 1.00
  Bajan Free Party   NDP = National Democratic Party   United Progressive Party
  Barbados Integrity Movement   People's Democratic Congress   WPB = Workers Party of Barbados
  Barbados Labour Party   PEP = People's Empowerment Party   Independent Candidate
  Democratic Labour Party   PPA = People's Political Alliance   *incumbent
  Kingdom Government of Barbados   Solutions Barbados   ** Political Leader
Barbados Electoral and Boundaries Commission
Bajan Free Party (2018). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Bajan-Free-Party-BFP-HonAlex-MitchellEl-1767331239973521/
Barbados Integrity Movement (2018). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/barbdaosintegritymovement/?ref=py_c
Barbados Labour Party. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.blp.org.bb/
Coalition of United Party. (2018) Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/alexmitchell.el/
Democratic Labour Party. (2018). Retrieved from http://dlpbarbados.org/site/
Solutions Barbados. (2018). Retrieved from https://solutionsbarbados.com/
United Progressive Party. (2018). Retrieved from https://uppbarbados.org/
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   Barbados Country Profile
   Barbados Government Structure
   Barbados Election Basics
   Political History and Dynamics
   Barbados Heads of Government
   Women in Politics in Barbados
   Barbados Timeline
   Teacher Resources
  Bajan Free Party
  Barbados Integrity Movement
  Barbados Labour Party
  Democratic Labour Party
  Kingdom Government of Barbados
  People's Democratic Congress
  Solutions Barbados
  United Progressive Party
Download BLP 2018 Manifesto
Download DLP 2018 Manifesto
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