Barbados is an island nation in the North Atlantic, just east of the Caribbean Sea and the Windward Islands, with Venezuela to the south-east. Barbados is an independent sovereign state within the British Commonwealth, with a bicameral parliament. The British sovereign was head of state until 2021, when Barbados became a republic.
The population of under 300,000 are mostly of African heritage, being descended from slave labour from the early 17th century until the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1834. The island covers only 430 sq km (166 sq miles) and has many beaches and lagoons which, together with the tropical climate, have encouraged tourism to the point where it outweighs the traditional production of sugar as the main source of income.