Barbados is an island nation situated east of the Caribbean Sea, in the Lesser Antilles. Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown and most of Barbados’ 284.000 people live in the region surrounding it. Other large cities include Holetown, Oistins, and Speightstown. With a surface area of only 431 square kilometres, Barbados is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Barbados has been an independent state since 1966, and it is nowadays a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II acting as head of state. She is represented by a local Governor General and the Prime Minister.
Barbados has a warm marine climate, with little variations in air and sea temperature throughout the year. Since Barbados is located outside the hurricane belt, such storms are not a common occurrence on the island.
Barbados’ economy is largely dependent on sugarcane cultivation, tourism, and manufacturing. Information services and offshore banking have also become important activities in the region. Barbados’ major exports are represented by sugar, rum, molasses, beverages, electrical components, and chemical products. The local currency is the Barbadian dollar (BBD). Nonetheless, the US dollar (USD) is widely used.
The only official language in the nation is English, but Bajan is a recognized local language, spoken by most of Barbados’ inhabitants. Bajan is a local variant of English, although it is also influenced by other dialects in the Caribbean region. The national sport in Barbados is cricket.