Typical Characteristics of the Caribbean Region

The Caribbean Region Map

The Country Similarity Index groups the countries of Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago into the Caribbean Region. It is one of the 27 world sub-regions identified by the Index. In addition, countries in the West Indies, including Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, have similar characteristics, but they are too small in population and land area to have enough reliable data for this project. Here are some of the traits most of these countries share:

Countries in this region are located in between North America and South America, in close proximity to the Caribbean Sea. They all have tropical climates, so the region tends to be hot and gets a lot of rainfall as well. In addition, these countries are heavily forested with Neotropical trees. Most people in these countries live within 100 km of the coast. The region does not have any skyscrapers.

photo by Kent Wang

The majority of people in the Caribbean have African ancestry and are decedents of slaves brought to the region by the British. The vast majority of people work in the service sector. The population is fairly well educated. Most people have at least completed middle school, although few people complete college. Its people are neither especially wealthy or poor. They have an average height and weight that is close to the world average.

photo by Monifa Henry

All countries in the region have English as their official language, except for Suriname, but English is widespread there as well. Most of their people natively speak Germanic languages. The majority of people are Christian and Protestantism is the most common denomination. Five of the six countries in this region celebrate Emancipation Day as a national holiday. Unfortunately, the murder rate is quite high in these countries. The rate of marriage tends to be lower than other regions. The athletes in this region are especially good at the sprinting events in track and field. Soccer, cricket, and basketball are popular team sports there. Chicken is by far the most consumed meat in the region, but due to the region’s proximity to the ocean, but seafood is also popular. Fruits are an especially large part of the diet in this tropical region. Rice, potatoes and wheat are common staple grains.

photo by Dan Sloan

All the governments in the region are democratic and there is little censorship. Most have a parliamentary style system of government but also supreme courts based on the American model. Furthermore, all countries except Suriname use Common Law, where judges use past precedents to make their rulings. Same sex marriage is not allowed and polygamy is criminalized. However, gambling is allowed. These countries are all part of the Caribbean Community common market. They use currencies that are named the dollar as well. Most of their governments do not have extensive unemployment benefits, but they do have pensions for their elderly people.

photo by Bohao Zhao

All countries in the region, except Belize, drive on the left side of the road, due to their British colonization. However, they use Type A, B electrical outlets, like the United States. The voltage and frequency of the electricity in the region varies. Most countries do not have railroads, but they do have significant shipping infrastructure. Access to drinking water and electricity is quite high in the region. The countries in the Caribbean have especially little military infrastructure.

photo by Arnold Reinhold

The Caribbean’s Most Representative Country: Trinidad & Tobago (74.3 regional average)

Most Similar Region to the Caribbean: Latin America (2-B)

(Statistics as of 2020)

photo by Steven Miller

List of countries by region


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