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Where Is Barbados and What
Is It Known For?


Bottom Bay, Barbados

Barbados is an island nation of the Lesser Antilles, 34 kilometres (21 mi) in length and as much as 23 kilometres (14 mi) in width, amounting to 431 square kilometres (166 sq mi). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic Ocean and 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about 168 kilometres (104 mi) east of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and 400 kilometres (250 mi) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside of the principal Atlantic hurricane belt.

Once a Portuguese territorial possession known as Os Barbados, in 1625 it became English, and later a British colony. The island has an estimated population of 275,338 people, with around 80,000 living in or around Bridgetown, the largest city and the country's capital. In 1966, Barbados became an independent nation and Commonwealth realm, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. Barbados is one of the Caribbean's leading tourist destinations and is the most developed island in the region, with an HDI number of 0.788.

Barbadosí weather is mostly sunny and fair with warm days, cool winds and cozy nights. Tourism drives the economy in Barbados, but offshore banking and financial services have become an increasingly important source of foreign exchange and economic growth. The sugar industry, once dominant, now makes up less than one percent of GDP and employs only around 500 people. The labor force totaled 142,000 persons at the end of 2006. The average rate of unemployment during the last quarter of 2006 was estimated at 7.6%.

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