Geographic and Governmental Profile of Barbados

Background
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.
Location
Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates
13 10 N, 59 32 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total:
430 sq km
rank:
201
land:
430 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
97 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
Climate
tropical; rainy season (June to October)
Terrain
relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Mount Hillaby 336 m
Natural resources
petroleum, fish, natural gas
Land use
arable land:
37.21%
permanent crops:
2.33%
other:
60.46% (2005)
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Irrigated land
50 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
0.1 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.09 cu km/yr (33%/44%/22%)
per capita:
333 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides
Environment - current issues
pollution of coastal waters from waste disposal by ships; soil erosion; illegal solid waste disposal threatens contamination of aquifers
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
easternmost Caribbean island
Country name
conventional long form:
none
conventional short form:
Barbados
Government type
parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Capital
name:
Bridgetown
geographic coordinates:
13 06 N, 59 37 W
time difference:
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
11 parishes and 1 city*; Bridgetown*, Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas
Independence
30 November 1966 (from the UK)
Constitution
30 November 1966
Legal system
English common law; no judicial review of legislative acts
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Elliot BELGRAVE (since 1 June 2012)
head of government:
Prime Minister Fruendel STUART (since 23 October 2010)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections:
the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is 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 his discretion) and the House of Assembly (30 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
House of Assembly - last held on 15 January 2008 (next to be called in 2012)
election results:
House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - DLP 52.5%, BLP 47.3%; seats by party - DLP 20, BLP 10
Judicial branch
Supreme Court of Judicature consists of a High Court and a Court of Appeal (judges are appointed by the Service Commissions for the Judicial and Legal Services); Caribbean Court of Justice or CCJ is the highest court of appeal; based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Political parties and leaders
Barbados Labor Party or BLP [Owen ARTHUR]; Democratic Labor Party or DLP [Freundel STUART]; People's Empowerment Party or PEP [David COMISSIONG]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Barbados Secondary Teachers' Union or BSTU [Patrick FROST]; Barbados Union of Teachers or BUT [Herbert GITTENS]; Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados or CTUSAB, (includes the BWU, NUPW, BUT, and BSTU) [Leroy TROTMAN]; Barbados Workers Union or BWU [Leroy TROTMAN]; Clement Payne Labor Union [David COMISSIONG]; National Union of Public Workers [Joseph GODDARD]
International organization participation
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador John BEALE
chancery:
2144 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 939-9200
FAX:
[1] (202) 332-7467
consulate(s) general:
Miami, New York
consulate(s):
Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d' Affaires D. Brent HARDT
embassy:
U.S. Embassy, Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006
mailing address:
P. O. Box 302, Bridgetown BB 11000; CMR 1014, APO AA 34055
telephone:
[1] (246) 227-4399
FAX:
[1] (246) 431-0179
Flag description
three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold, and blue with the head of a black trident centered on the gold band; the band colors represent the blue of the sea and sky and the gold of the beaches; the trident head represents independence and a break with the past (the colonial coat of arms contained a complete trident)
National symbol(s)
Neptune's trident
National anthem
name:
"The National Anthem of Barbados"
lyrics/music:
Irving BURGIE/C. Van Roland EDWARDS
adopted 1966; the anthem is also known as "In Plenty and In Time of Need"
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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