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Geographically part of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is also the most easterly of the Caribbean nations. The island enjoys an equable climate and fertile soil, approximately 85 percent of the land being arable. Population density is among the world’s highest, although the birth rate has declined in recent years. Approximately 80 percent of the population is of African origin, and another 15 percent is of mixed blood, with Europeans representing only 5 percent of the total; nonetheless, there is a strong and pervasive sense of British tradition and culture. The Anglican Church enjoys official status, but other Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Jewish groups are active. The island historically has been dependent on sugar, which still is a major contributor to the economy. Tourism is ...

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