Prime Minister Mia Mottley made the announcement on Monday evening in a nationwide address.
The next polls were not constitutionally due for another 18 months. Mottley explains why she has called the election so soon.
January 3 will be Nomination Day and the elections will be held on January 19.
Mottley led her Barbados Labor Party to an unprecedented clean sweep of the parliamentary seats in the last elections.
The main challenge in the election is expected to come from the Democratic Labor Party led by Veria De Peiza.
This will be the first general election in the history of Barbados in which the two main contending parties are led by women.