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Trip to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Barbados

Map of  Barbados
Barbados Flag

U.S. Department of State
Country Profile: Barbados
Released by the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, April 17, 1997.
Official Name: Barbados


Area: 431 sq. km. (166 sq. mi.); about three times the size of Washington, DC.
Cities: Capital--Bridgetown.
Terrain: Generally flat, hilly in the interior.
Climate: Tropical.


Nationality: Noun and adjective--Barbadian(s); also "Bajan(s)."
Population (1995): 264,000.
Average annual growth rate (1995): 0.4%.
Ethnic groups: African 80%, mixed 16%, European 4%.
Religions: Anglican 70%, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, and Moravian.
Language: English.
Education: Attendance--primary school 100%, secondary school 93%. Adult literacy--99%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (1995)--13/1,000. Life expectancy--75 yrs. men, 77 yrs. women.
Work force (1995): 136,000. Sectors--commerce, tourism, government, manufacturing, agriculture, and fishing.
Unemployment (1995): 19.7%


Type: Parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth.
Independence: November 30, 1966.
Constitution: 1966.
Branches: Executive--governor general (representing Queen Elizabeth II, head of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. Legislative--bicameral parliament. Judicial--magistrate's courts, Supreme Court (High Court and Court of Appeals), privy council in London.
Subdivisions: 11 parishes and the city of Bridgetown.
Political parties: Barbados Labor Party (BLP, incumbent), Democratic Labor Party (DLP), National Democratic Party (NDP).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.


GDP (1995): $1.88 billion.
GDP growth rate (1995): 2.7%.
Per capita GDP (1995): $7,100.
Average inflation rate (1995): 1.9%.
Natural resources: Petroleum, fishing, natural gas.
Agriculture (6.4% of GDP): Sugar accounts for 3.4% of GDP and 80% of arable land.
Industry: Manufacturing (6.8% of GDP)--food, beverages, textiles, paper, chemicals, fabricated products.
Services: Tourism, banking and other financial services, Informatics.
Trade: (1995) Exports--$196 million. Major markets-- CARICOM 34%, U.K. 21%, U.S. 18%. Imports--$748 million. Major suppliers--U.S. 40%, European Union 16% (U.K. accounts for 9% of all suppliers), CARICOM 19%.
Official exchange rate: U.S. $1=BDS $2.


Head of State--Queen Elizabeth II
Governor General--Sir Clifford Straughn Husbands
Prime Minister--Owen ArthurAmbassador to the U.S. and the OAS--Dr. Courtney Blackman
Ambassador to the UN--Carlston Boucher

President Clinton's Trip to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Barbados

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Central America
May 1997

Today on the Central American Trip

Central America Trip Briefings

Central America Trip Remarks

Declaration of San Jose



Costa Rica