Workers Reaping Produce in a Field, Barbados Pocket Guide

Population of Barbados

Throughout the seventeenth century, Barbados was populated primarily by whites who held an approximate 97% whites to a 3% blacks ratio. By the mid seventeenth century, an increase in population figures changed that ratio to an approximate 86% whites and 14% blacks. This ratio change in favour of blacks allowed Barbados to continuously preserve the population and in so doing, was able to keep the sugarcane industry at a sustainable level.


This ratio would have shifted considerably over the years and as of 2008, the population in Barbados was recorded at some 280,000 making the island one of the highest populated in the world. An updated approximated percentage is as follows:- 80% of African descent, 16% of mixed descent and 4% of European descent. Guyanese, Indians, Chinese and Syrians make up the races of the mixed descent here in Barbados. As of late, there has been a substantial immigration population to the shores of the island that has resulted in what seems to be an influx of Guyanese.


The life expectancy on the island has been rounded off to around the age of 73.


English is the main language spoken by the population of Barbados. However, Bajan dialect is widely spoken and is a built-in aspect of our culture.


Barbados’ population boasts a consistently high literacy rate throughout the island as education is seen as an essential source in the mapping of its social and economic paths.


A great percentage of the population is of Anglican persuasion but there are many other denominations scattered throughout the island.


Barbados is made up of four towns. There are Bridgetown, Speightstown, Oistins and Holetown.



Bridgetown is the capital city of Barbados and the largest town on the island. Located in the parish of St. Michael on the south west coast of the island, this is home to a hub of business activities including shopping facilities, banks and restaurants, to name a few. The population there is approximately 140,000.



Speightstown, formerly known as Little Bristol, is the second largest town in Barbados and is located in the parish of St. Peter on the north-west coast of the island. A town that is small in size but large on architecture and history. The population there is approximately 3600.



Oistins is Barbados’ prime fishing community. Located in the parish of Christ Church on the south coast of the island, Oistins is also the home of the annual Oistins Fish Festival. A festival that celebrates the tireless contribution made by those involved in the local fishing industry. The population there is approximately 2300.



Holetown, originally named Jamestown, is a small town in Barbados where the first settlers arrived. Located in the parish of St. James on the west coast of the island, this town is also the home of the annual Holetown Festival. A festival that is filled with lots of local craft, a police band parade, an antique car parade and lots of dancing in the streets among many others. The population there is approximately 1400.


2019 BPG SunAds bit
2019 BPG SunAds imart