- Welcome to Barbados
- In the Commonwealth
- Facts and Figures
- Barbados became a member of the Commonwealth in 1966
- Barbados became an independent country on the 30th of November 1966
- Barbados has been competing in the Commonwealth Games since 1954, and has won 12 medals in total
- Sir Garfield Sobers, born in Bridgetown in July 1936, was the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1970, achieving 8,032 runs and 235 wickets in 93 Test matches
- Fast-bowler Joel Garner, born in Christ Church, Barbados, in December 1952, was the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 1984
- Austin Ardinel Chesterfield Clarke, born in St James, Barbados, in July 1934, won the 2003 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize with his tenth published novel The Polished Hoe
- Andrea Blackett of Barbados took the Commonwealth Games Women’s 400 metres hurdles record when she won the event in 53.91 seconds in the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998
- Barbados has one of the best life expectancies in the Commonwealth, more than any other CARICOM country, at 77 years
- Winston A Cox, former Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General
- Sabina Walcott-Denny, President, Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators
- 1990 Eleventh Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Bridgetown
- 2005 Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting
- 2010 Ninth Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting due to be held
Hon. Freundel Stuart
The Prime Minister of Barbados
On behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, welcome to the Barbados portal on the Commonwealth of Nations website. I invite you to take a trip on the internet to learn more about our island paradise.
Barbados became a member of the Commonwealth on its attainment of independence on November 30, 1966 and has built a society consistent with the fundamental principles and values of the Commonwealth. These include a commitment to democracy, human rights, freedom, world peace, rule of law, opportunity for all, balanced development, gender equality, freedom of expression and good governance.
Barbados is proud of its membership in this fifty-three nation association where countries work in partnership to achieve social and economic development.
We have made tremendous strides in our national development over the past forty-seven years since independence and this can be attributed to several factors including prudent and level headed governance, good economic management and a versatile educational system.
Education is compulsory to age sixteen and free from primary to tertiary level. The investment in education has paid great dividends and has contributed to the high standard of living enjoyed in the island. The United Nations Development Programme in its annual reports has consistently rated Barbados as one of the leading developing nations in its Human Development Index.
Barbados is a service economy with tourism, international business and financial services and foreign capital in flows being the principal sources of foreign exchange earnings.
Over the years, the country has built a reputation as a destination of choice for every category of traveller. It offers a peaceful and safe environment, friendly people, a tropical climate with beautiful beaches and a modern infrastructure including a good telecommunication network.
We have a wide range of recreational activities for the visitor. One of our major festivals is Crop Over – “The Sweetest Summer Festival” which provides an opportunity to experience many facets of our culture. Crop Over runs from July 2 to the first Monday in August, when it climaxes with Grand Kadooment – a parade of colourful costume bands which is a spectacle to behold.
I invite you to explore our island on this website and look forward to your visit where a truly unique Bajan experience awaits you.
Barbados in the Commonwealth
did you know?
Senior Commonwealth officers
Commonwealth meetings hosted
Agro-Tourism Trade Linkage Promotion Strategy (2007/08)
This was a project funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat which assisted Barbados in developing stronger linkages between the tourism and agriculture sectors. Regional workshops explored ways of enhancing export competitiveness, identifying the need for stronger sectoral linkages to improve competitiveness and sustainable development.
Advisor – National Building Authority (2005/06)
The Commonwealth provided funding for an advisor to assist the government of Barbados to establish a National Building Authority and to train staff. Technical assistance concentrated on drafting building codes for the Barbados Housing Authority. The project ran over two years and ended in march 2006.
Establishing a computerised database for SBA (2003/04)
This Commonwealth funded project aimed to develop the small business sector through the use of ICTs. By establishing a computerised database, the advisor strengthened the institutional capacity of the Small Businesses Association (SBA) to inform and influence the government policies and programmes.
Development of the Food Sector (1997/8 – 2001/02)
This Commonwealth funded project assisted small-scale food sector industry and conducted a training programme on quality, production and cost management.
Environmental and Development Safety Study Barbados National Oil Company Ltd, May 1997 (1997/8 – 1999/2000)
This was a Commonwealth project where consultants undertook a study of the operations of Barbados National Oil Company with a view of assisting in the upgrading of its safety and environmental practices.
Total area: 431 sq. km
Population in thousands (2015): 284
Population density (2015): 661 per sq. km
Proportion of population under 18 (2015): 23.2%
Proportion of population over 60 (2015): 19.8%
Proportion of population living in urban areas (2015): 32%
GDP in thousands (2015): US$4,385,250
GDP per capita (2015): US$15,429
GDP average annual growth (2006-10): 0.7%
Inflation, average annual (2006-10): 5.7%
Proportion of pupils completing primary school (2014): 95.5%
Net enrolment rate (2007): 93.4%
Adult literacy rate: 99.7%
Gross enrolment ratio all levels (2007-10): 65.9%
Primary pupil-teacher ratio (2011-14): 18
Secondary pupil-teach ratio (2007-10): 15
Public spending on education (2011-14): 6.7%
Gross tertiary enrolment ratio (2007-10): 65.9%
Proportion of people living with HIV/AIDS aged 15-49 (2015): 1.6%
Under 5 mortality per 1,000 live births (2015): 13
Population with access to adequate sanitation facilities (2015): 96%
Population with access to an improved water source (2015): 100%
Life expectancy (2015): 75
Public spending on health per capita (2014): US$1,146
Public spending on health as a proportion of total public expenditure (2014): 7.5%
Medical doctors per 100,000 people (latest data): 181
Nurses and midwives per 100,000 people (latest data): 486
CO2 emissions per capita (2008): 0.3 tonnes
Overall change in annual CO2 emissions (1990-2008): 199.5%
Forest area as a proportion total land area: 19%
Overall deforestation since 1990 (2008): -3.5%
Energy use per capita (2007-09): 163kg of oil equivalent
Electric power consumption per capita (2006-09): 252 kilowatt-hours
Landline telephones per 1,000 people (2015): 546
Cumulative growth/decline in landline telephones (2005-10): -15.9%
PCs per 1,000 people (2009): 23
Mobile subscribers per 1,000 people (2015): 1165
Overall growth in mobile subscribers (2005-15): 54.5%
Internet users per 1,000 (2015): 761