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Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is 34 kilometres (21 mi) in length and as much as 23 kilometres (14 mi) in width, amounting to 431 square kilometres (166 sq mi). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about 168 kilometres (104 mi) east of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and 400 kilometres (250 mi) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside of the principal Atlantic hurricane belt.
Barbados was initially visited by the Spanish around the late 1400s to early 1500s and first appears on a Spanish map from 1511. The Spanish explorers may have plundered the island of whatever native peoples resided therein to become slaves. Thereafter, the Portuguese in 1536 then visited, but they too left it unclaimed, with their only remnants being an introduction of wild hogs for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. The first English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1625. They took possession of it in the name of 'James I, King of England'. Two years later in 1627 the first permanent settlers arrived from England and it became an English and later British colony.
Barbados has an estimated population of 284,589 people, with around 80,000 living in or around Bridgetown, the largest city and the country's capital. In 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. Barbados is one of the Caribbean's leading tourist destinations and is one of the most developed islands in the region, with an HDI number of 0.788. In 2011 Barbados ranked (16th globally) and 2nd in The Americas on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index.
Barbados is the easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles. It is flat in comparison to its island neighbours to the west, the Windward Islands. The island rises gently to the central highland region, with the highpoint of the nation being Mount Hillaby, in the Scotland District, 340 metres (1,120 ft) above sea level. The island is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, east of the other West Indies Islands.
In the parish of Saint Michael lies Barbados' capital and main city, Bridgetown. Other major towns scattered across the island include Holetown, in the parish of Saint James; Oistins, in the parish of Christ Church; and Speightstown, in the parish of Saint Peter.
Barbados lies on the boundary of the South American and the Caribbean Plates. The shift of the South American plate beneath the Caribbean plate scrapes sediment from the South American plate and deposits it above the subduction zone forming an accretionary prism. The rate of this depositing of material allows Barbados to rise at a rate of about 25 millimetres (0.98 in) per 1,000 years. This subduction means geologically the island is composed of coral roughly (90 m/300 ft thick), where reefs formed above the sediment. The land slopes in a series of "terraces" in the west and goes into an incline in the east. A large proportion of the island is circled by coral reefs. The erosion of limestone rock in the North East of the island, in the Scotland District has resulted in the formation of various caves and gullys, some of which have become popular tourist attractions such as Harrison's Cave and Welchman Hall Gully. On the Atlantic East coast of the island coastal landforms including stacks have been created due to the limestone composition of the area.
Barbadian Domain Country Information Barbadian Domain Registrar Barbadian World Wide Domain Registration Barbadian Country Code Top Level Domain .com.bb Domain Information Barbadian Country Information Barbados Country Information