Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea. Barbados is outside of the principal Atlantic hurricane belt.
Once a Spanish and Portuguese territorial possession in 1625 it became an Kingdom of England, and later a British colonization of the Americas. The island has an estimated population of 284,589 people, with around 80,000 living in or around Bridgetown, the largest city and the country's capital. In 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm, retaining Elizabeth II as Head of state. Barbados is one of the Caribbean's leading tourist destinations and is the most developed island in the region.