About Barbados - The Traveller

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Monday, October 10, 2011

About Barbados


- Area: 430 km ².

- Population: about 286,000 inhabitants (estimated in the summer of 2010), called Bajans.

- Ethnic groups: the population is black, of African origin, 93%, add to that 3.2% of whites (from England), 2.6% mixed, 1% Indian.

- Capital: Bridgetown (about 110 000 inhabitants).

- Government: Parliamentary democracy, a member of the Commonwealth.

- Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor General Sir Clifford Straughn Husbands, in office since 1996.

- Head of Government: Fruendel Stuart, from October 23, 2010.

- Political parties: they are two to divide the electorate bajan, both anchored on the left - an unusual case in the world! The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) of the current Prime Minister is the newest and most leftist of the two. The Barbados Labour Party (BLP), which is rather the center-left was defeated in 2008 after 14 years of government under the thumb of the popular Owen Arthur, who proposed to make Barbados a republic parliamentary.

- Languages: English (official), bajan.

- Human Rights: that its application be suspended since 1984, capital punishment remains officially in force in Barbados. It even automatically marked for murder.

- World heritage site by Unesco: the historical center of Bridgetown and its Garrison (inscribed in 2011).

Economy

Like many Caribbean islands, Barbados has marked a dramatic transition from a plantation economy to a service economy. They now account for 78% of GDP, mainly through tourism. Note also the significant contribution of financial services and banking offshore, with as many as 47 banks and hundreds of listed investment companies!

The country has experienced strong growth in the period 2003-2007 through the tourist boom (particularly in the luxury sector), supported by many foreign investors. However, the situation has been tense since the crisis, with falling attendance, resulting in negative growth (-5.6% in 2009) and a public debt exceeding 100% of GDP. Nevertheless, Barbados continues to show the 3rd highest GDP / capita in the Caribbean, with 17,700 USD. Reserves off-shore oil and gas have been identified.

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