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White Barbadian

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White Barbadian

White Barbadian
Total population
est. 11,238[1]
Regions with significant populations
Barbados
Languages
English
Religion
Christianity, Agnosticism, Judaism

White Barbadians or White Bajans are Barbadian citizens or residents of European descent. The majority of White Barbadians are descended from English, Irish, Portuguese, and Scottish settlers, who arrived during the British colonial period; however people of Jewish[2] ancestry are also often classified as White Barbadians. In addition, some of those considered to be White Barbadians are of partial Black ancestry and vice versa.

At first, Indigenous constituted the majority of the Barbadian population. Post-colonization Europeans constituted the majority, with the island being used as a penal colony much as Australia would be later, until the transition of the Barbadian economy to one based on sugarcane production; importation of African slaves to the island altered the demographics of the island, making White Barbadians a minority. During much of the colonial period, whites formed the island's political and economic elite. Since independence from Britain in 1966 when most white Barbadians left for the United Kingdom, most political power has shifted to the black majority, however whites still retain significant economic influence; with many businesses on the island being owned by White Barbadians.[3]

Among White Barbadians, there exists an underclass known as Redlegs; the descendants of indentured servants, and prisoners imported to the island, Redlegs have historically formed a disadvantaged group within Barbadian society.[4] [5]

References

  1. ^ CIA - The World Factbook - Barbados
  2. ^ JewishJournal.com
  3. ^ Government of Barbados History
  4. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/newspapers/sunday_times/scotland/article418993.ece
  5. ^ http://www.barbados.org/history1.htm#.U4NegpRdXgI
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