Antigua and Barbuda

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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.


Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates:

17 03 N, 61 48 W


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

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% (2005)

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

Geography - note:

Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors and beaches; Barbuda has a very large western harbor


69,108 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 27.6% (male 9,716/female 9,375)
15-64 years: 68.5% (male 23,801/female 23,524)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 1,020/female 1,672) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 30 years
male: 29.5 years
female: 30.5 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.55% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

16.93 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

5.37 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

-6.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 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: 0.61 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 18.86 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.71 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 72.16 years
male: 69.78 years
female: 74.66 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.24 children born/woman (2006 est.)


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: 85.8%
male: NA%
female: NA% (2003 est.)

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

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 in 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); member Caribbean Court of Justice

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 (PPP):

$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.)

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:

100 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

93 million kWh (2003)

Oil - consumption:

3,600 bbl/day (2003 est.)


$214 million (2004 est.)

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)


$735 million (2004 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)

Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March

Telephones - main lines in use:

38,000 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

54,000 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA
domestic: good automatic telephone system
international: country code - 1-268; 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth station - 2; tropospheric scatter to Saba (Netherlands Antilles) and Guadeloupe

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 4, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television broadcast stations:

2 (1997)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

2,143 (2005)

Internet users:

20,000 (2005)


3 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)


total: 1,165 km
paved: 384 km
unpaved: 781 km (2002)

Merchant marine:

total: 981 ships (1000 GRT or over) 7,040,579 GRT/9,274,996 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 38, cargo 614, chemical tanker 7, container 283, liquefied gas 9, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 19, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 953 (Bangladesh 4, Belgium 3, Colombia 2, Denmark 11, Estonia 12, Germany 853, Iceland 7, Isle of Man 1, Latvia 5, Lebanon 1, Lithuania 1, Netherlands 10, Norway 10, Russia 6, Slovenia 6, Switzerland 4, Turkey 5, UK 5, US 7) (2005)

Ports and terminals:

Saint John's

Military branches:

Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force: Infantry, Coast Guard (2004)

Disputes - international:


Illicit drugs:

considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as an offshore financial center