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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.


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Economy

Economy - overview
Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities. However, in recent years the economy has diversified into light industry and tourism with about four-fifths of GDP and of exports being attributed to services. Growth has rebounded since 2003, bolstered by increases in construction projects and tourism revenues, reflecting its success in the higher-end segment, but the sector faced declining revenues in 2009 with the global economic downturn. The country enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners and thrive from having the same time zone as eastern US financial centers and a relatively highly educated workforce. The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, to encourage direct foreign investment, and to privatize remaining state-owned enterprises. The public debt-to-GDP ratio rose to over 100% in 2009-11, largely because a sharp slowdown in tourism and financial services led to a wide budget deficit.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 156
$6.576 billion (2011 est.)
$6.544 billion (2010 est.)
$6.53 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$4.478 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 185
0.5% (2011 est.)
0.2% (2010 est.)
-4.2% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 56
$23,700 (2011 est.)
$23,700 (2010 est.)
$23,700 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 3.2%
Industry 13.9%
Services 82.9% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 175
175,000 (2007 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 10%
Industry 15%
Services 75% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 125
12% (2011 est.)
10.7% (2003 est.)

Population below poverty line
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% NA%
Highest 10% NA%

Budget
Revenues
$1.25 billion (including grants)
Expenditures $1.429 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 105
27.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 128
-4% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 14
95.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
98.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 186
9.1% (2011 est.)
5.4% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 43
7% (31 December 2010 est.)
7% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 112
8.7% (31 December 2011 est.)
8.7% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 128
$1.876 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.698 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 121
$5.711 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$5.239 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 114
$5.291 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.739 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 83
$4.571 billion (31 December 2011)
$4.366 billion (31 December 2010)
$4.39 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Sugarcane, vegetables, cotton

Industries
Tourism, sugar, light manufacturing, component assembly for export

Industrial production growth rate
NA%

Electricity - production World Ranking: 144
1.011 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 146
945 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 107
738.5 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 155
9,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 134
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 142
8,684 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 96
1.79 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 150
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 150
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 58
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 154
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 102
113.3 million cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 97
-$370.3 million (2011 est.)
-$258.6 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 173
$447.3 million (2011 est.)
$430.7 million (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Manufactures, sugar and molasses, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, electrical components

Exports - partners
Trinidad and Tobago 18.7%, France 10.6%, US 9.6%, St. Lucia 8.7%, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 5.4%, Venezuela 4.8%, Antigua and Barbuda 4.4%, St. Kitts and Nevis 4.2% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 166
$1.55 billion (2011 est.)
$1.507 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components

Imports - partners
Russia 26.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 24.8%, US 18.6%, China 6.1% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 141
$745.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$833.5 million

Debt - external World Ranking: 161
$668 million (2003)

Exchange rates
Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar -
2 (2011 est.)
2 (2010 est.)
Note
The Barbadian dollar is pegged to the US dollar

Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March


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  Barbados (Bridgetown):


  GPS points from Barbados (Bridgetown)

Cookram Rock Saint Lucy

Kendal Saint John

Old Post Office Saint George

Molyneux Saint James

Gibbons Boggs Christ Church

Rockley Beach Christ Church

Rock Hall Saint Lucy

Colony Of Barbados Saint John




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