Location: The island of Barbados is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, lying about 400 km north east of the mainland of South America. It is included in the Windward Isles. British settlers arrived in 1627. Slavery existed until 1834. Barbados became fully self-governing within the Commonwealth on Nov. 30, 1966. In 1997, a commission was appointed to consider abandoning all ties to Britain.
Agriculture: Agriculture and tourism dominate the economy of Barbados. Sugar, molasses, rum, electrical components and chemicals are major exports.
Economy: The island's economy has become diversified, thus reducing the importance of sugar. Service, especially tourism, are the main source of employment.
Industry: Light manufacturing, electronic component, sugar, food processing, beverages, rum, beer.
Wildlife Reserve: Barbados' wildlife Reserve is home to two species of animals unique to the island-the green monkey and the large red-footed tortoise.