White Barbadian

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White Barbadians Barbados
Total population
(11,000)
Languages
English, Bajan Creole, Portuguese
Religion
Christianity, Judaism
Related ethnic groups
English, Scottish, Irish, Jews, Portuguese

White Barbadians or European Barbadians are Barbadian citizens or residents of European descent. The majority of European Barbadians are descended from English, Irish, Portuguese, Jewish[1] and Scottish settlers, who arrived during the British colonial period. In addition, some of those considered to be European Barbadians are of partial black ancestry and vice versa. There are over 11,000 white Barbadians.[2]

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 European 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 European 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 European Barbadians.[3]

Among European 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]

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