Information on this page was last reviewed in December 2023.

Our Fast Facts Guide is independently checked and verified each year by EY Management Ltd. All of the information in this guide has been carefully collected and prepared, but it remains subject to change and correction. Use these contents for general guidance only and seek assistance from a professional advisor with regard to specific matters.


Barbados, the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, is located to the east of the Windward islands and 460km (285.7 miles) northwest of Venezuela. By air it is about 4.5 hours from New York, 5 hours from Toronto and 8 hours from London. The island’s geographic location makes it very convenient for doing business with North America.

Climate & Geography

The topography is relatively flat and composed mostly of coral. The highest point on the island is Mount Hillaby, at 336m or (1,104 ft) above sea level. Barbados has lovely sandy beaches and a pleasant tropical climate that attracts visitors and investors alike. The average daytime temperature ranges between 84-86 degrees Fahrenheit (29-30 degrees Celsius). Barbados has used these resources effectively to develop a viable tourist industry, which now serves as the base for a stable and buoyant economy.

Population & Labour Force

2024 Public Holidays


The Barbados educational system is modelled after the British system and is considered to provide one of the highest standards of education in the English Caribbean. The educational system ranges from pre-school to university. School is compulsory up to age 16 and government schools are free at the primary and secondary levels. Educational institutions at the post-secondary level include colleges, a university, vocational and technical training schools. There are also special schools for the mentally and physically disabled.


Barbados is recognised as having the most modern medical facilities in the Eastern Caribbean. The life expectancy at birth is 75.83 years for males and 79.73 years for females.  Medical services are provided by two major hospitals and several well-equipped clinics, health centres and nursing homes. The government-run 600 bed Queen Elizabeth Hospital provides several specialist services along with a 24-hour casualty service.

The second major hospital, Bayview Hospital, is a private health facility that also provides a variety of medical services.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital - (246) 436-6450
Bayview Hospital - (246) 436-5446
Sandy Crest Medical Centre – (246) 419-4911
Coverley Medical Centre - (246) 627-1000
Island Care Ambulance - (246) 537-9425 or (246) 537-9315



Barbados has a reliable supply of electricity. The domestic and commercial supply voltage in major residential areas and in all new developments is 115/230 volts at 50Hz. In Bridgetown and some other areas, the supply voltage is 115/200 volts at 50Hz.


The Barbados Water Authority, a Government statutory corporation, is the sole provider of water services. Water service can be connected within 48 to 72 hours. A monthly payment for continued service is based on the meter system, with garbage and sewage contribution fees also being collected on this monthly bill. The water service in Barbados is reliable and tap water is safe to drink.


Barbados is equipped with a modern telecommunications infrastructure with the latest in digital technology and fibre optics systems including international direct dialling, facsimile transfer and satellite telecommunications which allows for the efficient transmission of electronic data. Internet and e-mail services, as well as express mail and courier delivery, are also available.

Local cell-phone operators are divisions of international telecommunications providers with service offerings that the international business traveller has come to expect, such as the ability to easily roam and the availability of high-speed 3G and 4G data networks island-wide. The International direct distance dialling code for Barbados is (1-246), followed by a seven-digit local number.



Barbados has an extensive road system of about 1,475 km of paved roads.  Highways link the north and south of the island, as well as the west coast and the airport on the south-east coast.


The Grantley Adams International Airport, located about 15 minutes from the capital city Bridgetown, plays an important role as a vital centre and link for international air traffic in the Eastern Caribbean. The main passenger terminal handles in excess of 2 million passengers each year and has been upgraded to accommodate increases in traffic.


Barbados has one of the most modern ports in the Caribbean with both a deep-water harbour and a shallow draught facility. There are regular freight sailings to North America, Europe, and the Caribbean. The Bridgetown port is well equipped with container-handling and berth facilities for ocean-going freighters and passenger vessels, including major luxury liners and has undergone recent upgrading to expand its berth and customs facilities. The port has won awards for the most improved port facility and the most receptive destination.