Country List | World Factbook Home
CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Antigua and Barbuda
Flag of Antigua and Barbuda
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: 443 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km
land: 442 sq km
Area - comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
153 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
tropical marine; 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: 0%
other: 81.82% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
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, Nuclear Test Ban, 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
67,448 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 28% (male 9,618; female 9,293)
15-64 years: 67.3% (male 22,695; female 22,682)
65 years and over: 4.7% (male 1,289; female 1,871) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.69% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
18.84 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
5.75 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-6.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
21.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.02 years
female: 73.45 years (2002 est.)
male: 68.72 years
Total fertility rate:
2.29 children born/woman (2002 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
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 James B. CARLISLE (since NA 1993)
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
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister Lester Bryant BIRD (since 8 March 1994); Deputy Prime Minister Robin YEARWOOD
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)
election results: percent of vote by party - ALP 53.2%, UPP 45.5%, independent 1.3%; seats by party - ALP 12, UPP 4, independent 1
elections: House of Representatives - last held 9 March 1999 (next to be held prior to March 2004)
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 Alexander HURST
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 362-5211
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 work. 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 about one-third of all tourist arrivals.
purchasing power parity - $674 million (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.5% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $10,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 19%
services: 77% (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.)
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
commerce and services 82%, agriculture 11%, industry 7% (1983) (1983)
Unemployment rate:
7% (2000 est.)
revenues: $123.7 million
expenditures: $145.9 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances)
Industrial production growth rate:
6% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:
100 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
93 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane; livestock
$40 million (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum products 48%, manufactures 23%, machinery and transport equipment 17%, food and live animals 4%, other 8%
Exports - partners:
OECS 26%, Barbados 15%, Guyana 4%, Trinidad and Tobago 2%, US 0.3%
$357 million (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil
Imports - partners:
US 27%, UK 16%, Canada 4%, OECS 3%
Debt - external:
$231 million (1999)
Economic aid - recipient:
$2.3 million (1995)
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Antigua and Barbuda
Telephones - main lines in use:
28,000 (1996)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
1,300 (1996)
Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: good automatic telephone system
international: 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 Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)
Internet users:
5,000 (2001)
Transportation Antigua and Barbuda
total: 77 km
narrow gauge: 64 km 0.760-m gauge; 13 km 0.610-m gauge (used almost exclusively for handling sugarcane) (2001 est.)
total: 1,165 km
paved: 384 km
unpaved: 781 km
note: it is assumed that the main roads are paved; the secondary roads are assumed to be unpaved (1995)
Ports and harbors:
Saint John's
Merchant marine:
total: 762 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,541,940 GRT/5,894,553 DWT
ships by type: bulk 20, cargo 469, chemical tanker 9, combination bulk 4, container 202, liquefied gas 7, multi-functional large-load carrier 6, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 35
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Australia 1, Bangladesh 2, Belgium 3, Colombia 1, Cuba 1, Estonia 1, Germany 747, Greece 1, Iceland 8, Latvia 1, Lebanon 2, Lithuania 1, Netherlands 22, New Zealand 2, Portugal 1, Slovenia 6, South Africa 1, Sweden 2, United Kingdom 1, United States 7 (2002 est.)
3 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Military Antigua and Barbuda
Military branches:
Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force, Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force (including the Coast Guard)
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 19 March 2003