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**Historical Background**:
– Barbados emerged from the ocean about 700,000 years ago.
– Permanent settlement by Amerindians dates back to the 4th to 7th centuries AD.
– Arawaks and Kalinago had settlements on the island.
– The first European arrivals were likely Spanish or Portuguese in the 15th or 16th century.
– The island’s name has historical roots in various languages.

**Colonial Period**:
– The arrival of the English in 1625 marked the beginning of significant European influence.
– The introduction of sugar cane in 1640 transformed the economy.
– The Irish were among the labor force in Barbados during the 17th century.
– Slave labor became prevalent in large sugar plantations.
– The abolition of slavery in 1833 led to social and economic changes.

**Post-Colonial Era**:
– Barbados gained independence from the UK in 1966.
– Efforts were made to diversify the economy and improve living standards.
– The country played a key role in regional integration efforts.
– Plans to transition to a republic were announced.
– Sandra Mason became the first president of Barbados.

**Geography and Environment**:
– Barbados is a small island in the Atlantic Ocean.
– The island’s geological features include coral and limestone formations.
– The climate has distinct wet and dry seasons.
– Environmental issues like water stress and coastal management are significant.
Wildlife on the island includes nesting turtles and the green monkey.

**Demographics and Culture**:
– Barbados has a diverse population with a majority of Afro-Caribbean ancestry.
– Ethnic groups include Europeans, Asians, and Indo-Guyanese.
– The country has a high life expectancy and low infant mortality rate.
– The climate, with its distinct seasons, influences daily life.
– Barbados has a rich history and cultural heritage that is reflected in its demographics and traditions.

Barbados (Wikipedia)

Barbados (UK: /bɑːrˈbdɒs/ bar-BAY-doss; US: /bɑːrˈbds/ bar-BAY-dohss; locally /bɑːrˈbdəs/ bar-BAY-dəss) is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America, and is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands. It lies on the boundary of the South American and the Caribbean Plates. Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown.

Motto: "Pride and Industry"
Anthem: "In Plenty and In Time of Need"
Location of Barbados
and largest city
13°05′52″N 59°37′06″W / 13.09778°N 59.61833°W / 13.09778; -59.61833
Official languagesEnglish
Vernacular languageBajan Creole
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
• President
Sandra Mason
Mia Mottley
House of Assembly
• Part of the West Indies Federation
3 January 1958 – 31 May 1962
30 November 1966
7 December 1966
• Joined CARICOM at the Treaty of Chaguaramas
1 August 1973
30 November 2021
• Total
439 km2 (169 sq mi) (183rd)
• Water (%)
• 2023 estimate
281,998 (174th)
• 2021 census
269,090 (174th)
• Density
660/km2 (1,709.4/sq mi) (17th)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $5.436 billion (175th)
• Per capita
Increase $18,738 (90th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $6.220 billion (165th)
• Per capita
Increase $21,442 (50th)
HDI (2022)Increase 0.809
very high (62nd)
CurrencyBarbadian dollar ($) (BBD)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+1 -246
ISO 3166 codeBB

Inhabited by Kalinago people since the 13th century, and prior to that by other Indigenous peoples, Spanish navigators took possession of Barbados in the late 15th century, claiming it for the Crown of Castile. It first appeared on a Spanish map in 1511. The Portuguese Empire claimed the island between 1532 and 1536, but abandoned it in 1620 with their only remnants being an introduction of wild boars for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. An English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados on 14 May 1625; its men took possession of the island in the name of King James I. In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England, and Barbados became an English and later British colony. During this period, the colony operated on a plantation economy, relying on the labour of African slaves who worked on the island's plantations. Slavery continued until it was phased out through most of the British Empire by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

On 30 November 1966, Barbados moved towards political independence and assumed the status of a Commonwealth realm, becoming a separate kingdom with Elizabeth II as the Queen of Barbados according to the then Constitution. On 30 November 2021, Barbados later transitioned to a republic within the Commonwealth replacing its monarchy with a ceremonial president.

Barbados's population is predominantly of African ancestry. While it is technically an Atlantic island, Barbados is closely associated with the Caribbean and is ranked as one of its leading tourist destinations.

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