Parishes of Barbados

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Sorin Cosoveanu drew attention to the 2010 census report (source [9]).

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter I-8, published on 2007-04-17, has new ISO parish codes for Barbados. They are shown in the table below. They replace codes from a draft version, ISO/DIS 2166-2, which had not been supported.

On 1966-11-30, Barbados became independent. A Geographic Note from the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the U.S. State Department, issued on that same date, says: "Administratively, the Northern and Southern district councils and Bridgetown City Council comprise the first-order civil divisions.... Eleven parishes and the City of Bridgetown (not to be confused with the City Council) are not administrative entities; they presently serve as electoral districts." An accompanying map shows that the Bridgetown City Council has about half of Saint Michael parish and a fragment of Christ Church parish as its jurisdiction. The North district includes the parishes of Saint Andrew, Saint James, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Peter, and Saint Thomas. The South district covers the remainder of the country. Ordinarily, I don't count electoral districts as administrative subdivisions, because they tend to change frequently under redistricting, and it's hard to get maps of them. Barbados is an exception: the parishes have been stable for at least 100 years, and I've seen more maps that show the parishes than the districts. Therefore, I would stay with the parishes as primary divisions of Barbados.

International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on December 15, 1998. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For Barbados, the draft standard showed eleven parishes with their codes. The final standard mentions that there are eleven parishes, but declines to specify names or codes. It says that these divisions are "not relevant".

Country overview: 

Short nameBARBADOS
ISO codeBB
LanguageEnglish (en)
Time zone-4


Barbados was a British possession, until it achieved independence on 1966-11-30.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Barbados
  2. Dutch: Barbados
  3. English: Barbadoes (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Barbados
  5. French: Barbade f
  6. German: Barbados n, Barbaden p (obsolete)
  7. Icelandic: Barbadoseyjar
  8. Italian: Barbados
  9. Norwegian: Barbados
  10. Portuguese: Barbados
  11. Russian: Барбадос
  12. Spanish: Barbados
  13. Swedish: Barbados
  14. Turkish: Barbados

Origin of name: 

Portuguese: the bearded ones, from beard-shaped fig tree leaves.

Primary subdivisions: 

Barbados is divided into eleven parishes.

Christ ChurchBB.CC01BB01X1754,3365722
Saint AndrewBB.AN02BB02A255,1393614
Saint GeorgeBB.GE03BB03G1919,7674417
Saint JamesBB.JM04BB04S2428,4983112
Saint JohnBB.JN05BB05J208,9633413
Saint JosephBB.JS06BB06O216,6202610
Saint LucyBB.LU07BB07L279,7583614
Saint MichaelBB.MI08BB08M11-1488,5293915
Saint PeterBB.PE09BB09E2611,3003413
Saint PhilipBB.PH10BB10P1830,6626023
Saint ThomasBB.TH11BB11T2214,2493413
11 parishes277,821431166

Postal codes: 

Barbados has recently assigned a set of postal codes in the format BBxxyyy, where the x's and y's represent digits. The xx part looks as if it's closely related to the parish, although not completely coincident with it. The table above gives the xx part for the central post office(s) in each parish.

The "L" column above shows license plate codes as listed in source [2]. These codes were used as ISO 3166-2 codes in the draft standard of 1997, except that X was replaced by C for Christ Church; but they were never part of the published standard.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Barbados lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Change history: 

Source [7] says this about local government: "Local government was in operation for sometime until 1969. When it was introduced, each parish had its own local government system called the Vestry. The vestries were later abolished and the island divided into three areas - two districts served by councils and the third, the City of Bridgetown was given a City Council and a Mayor.

"In 1967 the councils were abolished and local government affairs were administered by an Interim Commissioner for Local Government. Two years later the system ended, when the functions of the local government service were transferred to central government and statutory boards.

  1. "1629: The island was divided into six parishes.
  2. "1645: The island was divided into eleven parishes.
  3. "1967-04: The system of Local Government Council[s] was dissolved and replaced by an Interim Commissioner for Local Government.
  4. "1969-09-01: All Local Government services were transferred from the interim Commissioner to the Central Government and such statutory bodies as the Sanitation and Cemeteries Board, the National Assistance Board and Parks and Beaches Commission."

Although the parishes may not have an administrative function any more, they can still be seen on up-to-date maps, and they are constantly used as a guide to location on the island.

Population history:

Christ Church24,96333,42535,98740,20646,94349,49754,336
Saint Andrew7,5817,8137,1636,7205,6245,2545,139
Saint George14,40917,25516,84117,19016,71817,86819,767
Saint James11,29713,61113,37916,94120,77122,74128,498
Saint John10,09610,96710,52410,2569,6408,8738,963
Saint Joseph7,7128,5827,8497,2137,2046,8056,620
Saint Lucy7,8168,9978,7469,2399,2779,3289,758
Saint Michael76,43793,71697,56796,91689,84083,68488,529
Saint Peter9,12710,86010,62210,62310,05510,69911,300
Saint Philip14,87617,07516,81018,33720,54022,86430,662
Saint Thomas8,48610,02610,53910,58710,67612,39714,249
11 parishes192,800232,327236,029244,228247,288250,010277,821


Barbados's population figures vary from source to source. Its 1980 census report gives five different figures for the total population.

  1. (1) 253,883 enumerated in "visitation records"
  2. (2) 252,029 estimated de-facto population
  3. (3) 247,129 estimated resident population
  4. (4) 244,228 total "tabulable" population
  5. (5) 248,983 population "usually resident"

The calculations are reported as follows:

  1. (2) = (1) minus the number of residents abroad on census night
  2. (3) = (2) minus the number of non-residents enumerated
  3. (4) = (3) minus the institutional population excluded from tables (mainly prisoners and hospital patients)
  4. (5) = (1) minus the number of non-residents enumerated

Apparently these or similar calculations are performed for every census.


  1. [1] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955.
  2. [2] "Where's That Vehicle Come From? " (retrieved about 2002).
  3. [3] "Core Document Forming Part of the Reports of States Parties". U.N. Human Rights Instruments document dated 1995-09-01. Originally retrieved from (dead link) on 2004-08-21. A copy is still available on the Bayefsky website .
  4. [4] Barbados State of the Environment Report 2000. Retrieved from (dead link) on 2004-08-21. This report cites a report prepared for the Ministry of Health and the Environment in 1997 by Willms and Shier, titled "Environmental Management and Land Use Planning for Sustainable Development: Socio-economic Conditions and Trends".
  5. [5] "Barbados National Action Programme to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation, and to Mitigate Against the Effects of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought" (working draft ). Contains population data apparently copied from "Barbados Statistical Services. 1990. Population Census" (retrieved 2004-08-21).
  6. [6] Barnes, Grenville. "A Study of Land Tenure Issues in Barbados", University of Florida (download ). Cites "1990 Census Report (p.3)" (retrieved 2004-08-21).
  7. [7] Barbados government's official history page, retrieved from (dead link) on 2004-08-21. The same site had a Notable Dates page (
  8. [8] International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination  reports on Barbados. Cites the "2000 Population and Housing Census" (retrieved 2007-07-25).
  9. [9] 2010 Population and Housing Census . Barbados Statistical Service, 2013-09 (retrieved 2013-11-23).
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