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Map of Antigua and Barbuda
Introduction Antigua and Barbuda
The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak and Carib Indians populated the islands when Columbus landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.
Geography Antigua and Barbuda
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates:
17 03 N, 61 48 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 442.6 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)
land: 442.6 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km
Area - comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
153 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation
mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Boggy Peak 402 m
Natural resources:
NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism
Land use:
arable land: 18.18%
permanent crops: 4.55%
other: 77.27% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Natural hazards:
hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
water management - a major concern because of limited natural fresh water resources - is further hampered by the clearing of trees to increase crop production, causing rainfall to run off quickly
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors and beaches; Barbuda has a very large western harbor
People Antigua and Barbuda
68,722 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 27.9% (male 9,767/female 9,427)
15-64 years: 68% (male 23,466/female 23,250)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 1,085/female 1,727) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 29.67 years
male: 29.19 years
female: 30.15 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.57% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
17.26 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
5.44 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
-6.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 19.46 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 23.43 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.9 years
male: 69.53 years
female: 74.38 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.26 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)
adjective: Antiguan, Barbudan
Ethnic groups:
black, British, Portuguese, Lebanese, Syrian
Christian, (predominantly Anglican with other Protestant, and some Roman Catholic)
English (official), local dialects
definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling
total population: 89%
male: 90%
female: 88% (1960 est.)
Government Antigua and Barbuda
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda
Government type:
constitutional monarchy with UK-style parliament
Saint John's (Antigua)
Administrative divisions:
6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip
1 November 1981 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)
1 November 1981
Legal system:
based on English common law
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir James B. CARLISLE (since 10 June 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Winston Baldwin SPENCER (since 24 March 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general chosen by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17-member body appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives (17 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 23 March 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - ALP 4, UPP 13
Judicial branch:
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based in Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the Court of Summary Jurisdiction)
Political parties and leaders:
Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Lester Bryant BIRD]; Barbuda People's Movement or BPM [Thomas H. FRANK]; United Progressive Party or UPP [Baldwin SPENCER] (a coalition of three opposition parties - United National Democratic Party or UNDP, Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement or ACLM, and Progressive Labor Movement or PLM)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Antigua Trades and Labor Union or ATLU [William ROBINSON]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Lionel A. HURST
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 362-5122
FAX: [1] (202) 362-5225
consulate(s) general: Miami
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Antigua and Barbuda (embassy closed 30 June 1994); the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda
Flag description:
red, with an inverted isosceles triangle based on the top edge of the flag; the triangle contains three horizontal bands of black (top), light blue, and white, with a yellow rising sun in the black band
Economy Antigua and Barbuda
Economy - overview:
Tourism continues to dominate the economy, accounting for more than half of GDP. Weak tourist arrival numbers since early 2000 have slowed the economy, however, and pressed the government into a tight fiscal corner. The dual-island nation's agricultural production is focused on the domestic market and constrained by a limited water supply and a labor shortage stemming from the lure of higher wages in tourism and construction. Manufacturing comprises enclave-type assembly for export with major products being bedding, handicrafts, and electronic components. Prospects for economic growth in the medium term will continue to depend on income growth in the industrialized world, especially in the US, which accounts for slightly more than one-third of tourist arrivals.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$750 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $11,000 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.9%
industry: 19.2%
services: 76.8% (2002)
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 7%, industry 11%, services 82% (1983)
Unemployment rate:
11% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.4% (2000 est.)
revenues: $123.7 million
expenditures: $145.9 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2000 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane; livestock
tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances)
Industrial production growth rate:
6% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:
110.8 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
103 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
3,600 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Oil - imports:
$689 million (2002)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum products 48%, manufactures 23%, machinery and transport equipment 17%, food and live animals 4%, other 8%
Exports - partners:
Poland 47.8%, UK 24.6%, Germany 8.7% (2004)
$692 million (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil
Imports - partners:
China 19.5%, US 18.7%, Singapore 14.8%, Poland 8.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.7% (2004)
Debt - external:
$231 million (1999)
Economic aid - recipient:
$2.3 million (1995)
Currency (code):
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003), 2.7 (2002), 2.7 (2001), 2.7 (2000)
note: fixed rate since 1976
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Antigua and Barbuda
Telephones - main lines in use:
38,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
38,200 (2002)
Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: good automatic telephone system
international: country code - 1-268; 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Saba (Netherlands Antilles) and Guadeloupe
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 4, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
36,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
2 (1997)
31,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
1,665 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)
Internet users:
10,000 (2002)
Transportation Antigua and Barbuda
total: 250 km (1999 est.)
Ports and harbors:
Saint John's
Merchant marine:
total: 980 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 5,873,626 GRT/7,683,143 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 33, cargo 630, chemical tanker 9, container 272, liquefied gas 9, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 17, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 923 (Australia 2, Bangladesh 4, Belgium 4, Colombia 2, Denmark 8, Estonia 2, Germany 849, Iceland 5, Latvia 5, Lebanon 2, Lithuania 1, Netherlands 11, Norway 3, Philippines 1, Russia 1, Slovenia 5, Sweden 1, Switzerland 5, Turkey 4, United Kingdom 1, United States 7) (2005)
3 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Military Antigua and Barbuda
Military branches:
Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force: Infantry, Coast Guard (2004)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.); no conscript military service (2001)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues Antigua and Barbuda
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as an offshore financial center

This page was last updated on 20 October, 2005