Political Status: Independent member of the Commonwealth since November 30, 1966.

Area: 166 sq. mi. (431 sq. km.).

Population: 250,010 (2000C); 273,000 (2006E). The 2000 figure does not include an adjustment for underenumeration.

Major Urban Center (2005E): BRIDGETOWN (urban area, 142,000).

Official Language: English.

Monetary Unit: Barbados Dollar (official rate November 2, 2007: 2.00 dollars = $1US).

Sovereign: Queen ELIZABETH II.

Governor General: Sir Clifford HUSBANDS; named to succeed Dame Ruth Nita BARROW, who died December 19, 1995.

Prime Minister: Owen Seymour ARTHUR (Barbados Labour Party); appointed September 7, 1994, to head cabinet, sworn in September 12, in succession to Dr. Lloyd Erskine SANDIFORD (Democratic Labour Party), following election of September 6; formed new government on January 25, 1999, following election of January 20, and on May 26, 2003, following election of May ...

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