Fun Facts About Barbados

A street in Bridgetown, Barbados. Editorial credit: Solarisys /
A street in Bridgetown, Barbados. Editorial credit: Solarisys /

Barbados is a Caribbean nation in North America. The island is located in the North Atlantic, 62 miles east of the Caribbean Sea. Below are some of the fun facts about Barbados.

  • The name “Barbados” is derived from “Los Barbados,” a Portuguese beaded fig tree indigenous to the island.
  • The people of Barbados are referred to as Barbadians. The singer Rihanna was born in Saint Michael, Barbados.
  • The flying fish is not only among the symbols of the island, but also the national food, which is why the country is sometimes referred to as ‘the land of the flying fish.'
  • Between 1841 and 1845, the island was considered the healthiest place on earth. It registered a death rate of 1 in every 66 people, which was far above the global rate of 1 per 35 people.
  • Mount Gay Barbados Rum is among the islands’ main export. The company is 300 years old and Barbados exports around $57 million of rum annually.
  • The parliamentary system of Barbados has been in existence since 1639, making it the third oldest parliament.
  • Barbados imported mongoose from India to control the rat problem. Instead, the mongoose fed on snakes who were the rats' main predators, and led to an uncontrolled population of rats.
  • Barbadians consider the mongoose a symbol of good luck, and when one crosses your path, it is a sign of luck and good fortune in your life.
  • Sir Garfield St. Auburn Sobers, who is among the world’s greatest cricketer, was born on the island. Cricket is among the major sports played in Barbados.
  • Despite a population of about 285,000, Barbados is considered among the most densely populated countries.
  • Despite being an island in the Atlantic, Barbados has pure piped water, unlike other islands.
  • The literacy level of Barbados stands at 97%, the third highest in the world. Children under the age of 16 must attend school.
  • The first president of the US George Washington visited Barbados in 1751, before he rose to power in 1789.
  • The island is the third most developed state in the western hemisphere, behind only the United States and Canada.
  • The first two governors of the island were both arrested during their terms and returned to England in chains.
  • A firing squad executed Sir William Tufton, who was the Commander-in-Chief from Dec 1629 until July 1630, for treason in 1631.
  • Bridgetown, the Capital city of Barbados, was once called the "Indian Bridge” after the Indians who built the rude bridge.
  • The flower "Pride of Barbados" is the national flower of the country and is dipped into breast milk to stop babies from crying.
  • Barbados is a famous tourist destination receiving about 500,000 tourists annually, 39% of which return to the country.
  • The island became independent from the British on November 30, 1966, and marks its independence day on the same day of the same month annually.
  • Tourists can purchase a yearly driving license from police stations and car rental service for $5 USD.
  • “Pride and Industry” is the motto of the island.
  • The first governor of South Carolina was from Barbados.
  • The fertility center in Barbados is more successful than those in Britain and the United States, and is the only one in the Caribbean region.
  • The island has 20 Green certified hotels, which are among the highest per square mile in the world.
  • It is the only island in the Caribbean island with daily flights to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
  • The first slaves in Barbados were whites who were considered enemies of the crown between 1640 and 1650.
  • The first airplane from the Barbados was brought to the island by a ship, assembled and then piloted from Garrison Savannah
  • The legal age of drinking alcohol is 18 years, although children between the age of 10-17 can also drink alcohol as long as they are accompanied by parents.
  • In the past, people believed that the beaches of Cattlewash had healing qualities and immersed their bodies into the sand, except for their heads.

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