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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Antigua and Barbuda


The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak 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


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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) country comparison to the world: 199 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% (2005)

Irrigated land:

Total renewable water resources:

0.1 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.005 cu km/yr (60%/20%/20%)

per capita: 63 cu m/yr (1990)

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, Wetlands, 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 large western harbor

People ::Antigua and Barbuda


86,754 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 197

Age structure:

0-14 years: 26.8% (male 11,660/female 11,303)

15-64 years: 66.6% (male 26,597/female 30,414)

65 years and over: 6.6% (male 2,456/female 3,202) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 30 years

male: 28.5 years

female: 31.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

Birth rate:

16.43 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126

Death rate:

5.77 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 173

Net migration rate:

2.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 35


urban population: 30% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 124 male: 17.41 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.26 years country comparison to the world: 86 male: 73.27 years

female: 77.35 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.06 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 124

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 91%, mixed 4.4%, white 1.7%, other 2.9% (2001 census)


Anglican 25.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.3%, Pentecostal 10.6%,
Moravian 10.5%, Roman Catholic 10.4%, Methodist 7.9%, Baptist 4.9%,
Church of God 4.5%, other Christian 5.4%, other 2%, none or
unspecified 5.8% (2001 census)


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.)

Education expenditures:

3.9% of GDP (2002) country comparison to the world: 108

Government ::Antigua and Barbuda

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda

Government type:

constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a Commonwealth realm


name: Saint John's

geographic coordinates: 17 07 N, 61 51 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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 the 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 Louisse LAKE-TACK (since 17 July 2007)

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 (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy 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 usually appointed prime minister by the governor general

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17 seats; members 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 on 12 March 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - UPP 50.9%, ALP 47.2%, BPM 1.1%; seats by party - UPP 9, ALP 7, BPM 1

Judicial branch:

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court consisting of a High Court of
Justice and a Court of Appeal (based in Saint Lucia; two judges of
the Supreme Court are residents of the islands and preside over the
Court of Summary Jurisdiction); Magistrates' Courts; member of the
Caribbean Court of Justice

Political parties and leaders:

Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Lester Bryant BIRD]; Barbuda People's Movement or BPM [Thomas H. FRANK]; Barbuda People's Movement for Change [Arthur NIBBS]; Barbudans for a Better Barbuda [Ordrick SAMUEL]; United Progressive Party or UPP [Baldwin SPENCER] (a coalition of three parties - Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement or ACLM, Progressive Labor Movement or PLM, United National Democratic Party or UNDP)

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 Deborah Mae LOVELL

chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

telephone: [1] (202) 362-5122
FAX: [1] (202) 362-5225

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Antigua and Barbuda; 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; the sun symbolizes the dawn of a new era, black represents the African heritage of most of the population, blue is for hope, and red is for the dynamism of the people; the "V" stands for victory; the successive yellow, blue, and white coloring is also meant to evoke the country's tourist attractions of sun, sea, and sand

National anthem:

name: "Fair Antigua, We Salute Thee"

lyrics/music: Novelle Hamilton RICHARDS/Walter Garnet Picart CHAMBERS

note: adopted 1967; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Antigua and Barbuda

Economy - overview:

Tourism continues to dominate Antigua and Barbuda's economy, accounting for nearly 60% of GDP and 40% of investment. 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 tourist arrivals from the US, Canada, and Europe and potential damages from natural disasters. After taking office in 2004, the SPENCER government adopted an ambitious fiscal reform program, and was successful in reducing its public debt-to-GDP ratio from 120% to about 90% in 2008. However, the global financial crisis that began in 2008, has led to a significant increase in the national debt, which topped 130% at the end of 2010. The Antiguan economy experienced solid growth from 2003 to 2007, reaching over 12% in 2006 driven by a construction boom in hotels and housing associated with the Cricket World Cup, but growth dropped off in 2008 with the end of the boom. In 2009, Antigua's economy was severely hit by the global economic crisis, suffering from the collapse of its largest financial institution and a steep decline in tourism. This decline continued in 2010 as the country struggled with a yawning budget deficit.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.433 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 195 $1.494 billion (2009 est.)

$1.64 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.099 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-4.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 210 -8.9% (2009 est.)

1.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$16,500 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68 $17,400 (2009 est.)

$19,400 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 3.8%

industry: 22%

services: 74.3% (2002 est.)

Labor force:

30,000 (1991) country comparison to the world: 204

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 7%

industry: 11%

services: 82% (1983)

Unemployment rate:

11% (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 120

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.5% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 69 6.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10.07% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 86 10.43% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$233.5 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 170 $266.7 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$1.186 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 157 $1.236 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.13 billion (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 147 $1.002 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:

cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane; livestock


tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances)

Industrial production growth rate:

Electricity - production:

110 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Electricity - consumption:

102.3 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 189

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 208

Oil - consumption:

5,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

Oil - exports:

219 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 130

Oil - imports:

4,690 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 159

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 204

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 207

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 209

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 205

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 205

Current account balance:

-$211 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 90


$84.3 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 197

Exports - commodities:

petroleum products, bedding, handicrafts, electronic components, transport equipment, food and live animals


$522.8 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Imports - commodities:

food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil

Debt - external:

$359.8 million (June 2006) country comparison to the world: 166

Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

note: fixed rate since 1976

Communications ::Antigua and Barbuda

Telephones - main lines in use:

37,400 (2009) country comparison to the world: 172

Telephones - mobile cellular:

134,900 (2009) country comparison to the world: 178

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA

domestic: good automatic telephone system

international: country code - 1-268; landing points for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) and the Global Caribbean Network (GCN) submarine cable systems with links to other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 2; tropospheric scatter to Saba (Netherlands) and Guadeloupe (France) (2007)

Broadcast media:

state-controlled Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service (ABS) operates 1 TV station; multi-channel cable TV subscription services are available; 1 radio station operated by ABS; roughly 15 radio stations, some broadcasting on multiple frequencies (2007)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

9,795 (2010) country comparison to the world: 122

Internet users:

65,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 171

Transportation ::Antigua and Barbuda


3 (2010) country comparison to the world: 194

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2010)


total: 1,165 km country comparison to the world: 181 paved: 384 km

unpaved: 781 km (2002)

Merchant marine:

total: 1,219 country comparison to the world: 9 by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 53, cargo 703, carrier 6, chemical tanker 4, container 412, liquefied gas 12, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 16, vehicle carrier 2

foreign-owned: 1,186 (Albania 1, Colombia 1, Denmark 20, Estonia 20,
Germany 1050, Greece 5, Iceland 9, Isle of Man 2, Latvia 16,
Lithuania 4, Mexico 2, Netherlands 18, Norway 9, NZ 2, Poland 2,
Russia 3, Slovenia 1, Sweden 1, Switzerland 7, Turkey 7, US 6) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Saint John's

Military ::Antigua and Barbuda

Military branches:

Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (including Antigua and
Barbuda Coast Guard) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 20,909

females age 16-49: 23,815 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 17,475

females age 16-49: 19,764 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 763

female: 758 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.5% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 161

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


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