Barbados is located in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. Because of its geographic location, the history, culture and economic life of Barbados revolve around being an island country. It is not part of the nearby archipelago of the Lesser Antilles, although most people typically associate them. Barbados has served as a major link between western Europe, eastern Caribbean territories, and parts of the South American mainland since the late 17th century. From then on, the island became a British colony until 1966, when it attained independence. Due to its Britain connection, the culture of Barbados is perhaps more British compared to other Caribbean islands, mixed with some elements of the African culture.
Since 1935, the Barbados Dollar (BBD) has been the currency of Barbados. The symbol used for the dollar is the same as the US Dollar ($), although BDs$ is sometimes used to distinguish the BBD from other dollar currencies. The first dollar-denominated currency issued in Barbados was in the form of private banknotes introduced in 1882. The present dollar was created after the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) was established, which was founded by an Act of parliament in May, 1972. Meanwhile, Barbados had its own coinage for the first time in 1973, and coins were introduced in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, and $1.
Barbados' economy was principally known for its manufacturing, offshore financing sectors, and tourism since the 1970s. Now, the service sector holds the biggest share of national gross domestic product (GDP) by a broad margin, representing over 88 percent of the total.
Offshore tax services have become a growing driver of Barbados' economy since it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Jan. 1995. In fact, by the late 1990s, this new sector had surpassed sugar production, the country's traditional bedrock industry.
Since the Barbados dollar is pegged to the USD at a rate of two-to-one, the currency's value relative to the USD has been very stable. Furthermore, inflation has stayed steady at around 5% per year for several decades, although it has trended beneath that percentage per year more lately.
Since 2007, the real per-capita GDP of Barbados measured based on purchasing power parity (PPP) has expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just below 1%. For 2019, the country's GDP decreased marginally at a rate of -0.10%, with an inflation rate of 4.1%.