ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
 

Also Known as:

The Island of 365 Beaches

Motto:

Each Endeavoring All Achieving

History

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

Location:

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
Area: total:  442 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.
Coastline: 153 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone:  24 NM
continental shelf:  200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone:  200 NM
territorial sea:  12 NM
Climate: Tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: 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: pleasant climate fosters tourism
Land use: arable land:  18%
permanent crops:  4.55%
other:  77.27% (2005 est.)
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

                     People

Population:

85,632 (July 2009 est.)
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) (2009 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.3% (2009 est.)
Birth rate: 16.59 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate: 5.94 deaths/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.38 migrants/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth:  1.05 male/female
under 15 years:  1.03 male/female
15-64 years:  0.87 male/female
65 years and over:  0.77 male/female
total population:  0.91 male/female (2009 est.)
Nationality: noun:  Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)
adjective:  Antiguan, Barbudan
Ethnic groups: black 91%, mixed 4.4%, white 1.7%, other 2.9% (2001)
Religions: Anglican 25.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.3%, Pentacostal 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)
Languages: English (official), local dialects

                Government

Country name: Conventional short form:  Antigua and Barbuda
Government type: constitutional monarchy with parlimentary system of government and a commonwealth realm
Capital: Saint John's
Administrative divisions: 6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip
Independence: 1 November 1981 (from UK)
National holidays: Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)National Holidays: New Year's Day (01 January), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day (First Monday in May), Whit Monday (First Monday in June), Summer Carnival (Monday and Tuesday of first week of August), Independence Day (01 November), Vere Cornwall Bird, Snr Day (09 December), Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December). Holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed the following Monday
Constitution: 1 November 1981
Legal system: Based on English Common Law
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 is Prime Minister Winston Baldwin Spencer (since 24 March 2004): cabinet made up of a Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister. elections: 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 part 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 March 2009, Next to be held in 2014 

Election results:  United Progressive Party holds 50.9%, ALP 47.2%, BPM 1.1%
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); Magistrates Courts; member of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Political parties and leaders: The Hon. Baldwin Spencer is Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. He was born on the 8th day of October 1948. He attended the Greenbay Primary School and the Princess Margaret Secondary School. He is married with a son and a daughter. Mr. Spencer is a Trade Unionist/Politician by profession.     
The Political Parties: Antigua Labor Party of ALP (Lester Bryant Bird); Barbudans for a Better Barbuda (Ordrick Samuel); Barbuda People's Movement of BPM (Thomas H. Frank); Barbuda People's Movement for Change (Arthur Nibbs); 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)
International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, ICct, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, ISO (subscriber), ITUC, MIGA,  IOC, ITU, NAM , OAS, OECS, OPCW, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US: Chief of mission:  Ambassador Deborah Mae Lovell
Chancery:  3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone:  [1] (202) 362-5211
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
Caricom Membership: 4 July 1974
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.

                      Economy

Overview: Antigua has a relatively high GDP per capita in comparison to most other Caribbean nations. The 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. Growth dropped off in 2008 with the end of the boom. Tourism continues to dominate the 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. Since taking office in 2004, the Spencer government has adopted an ambitious fiscal reform program and has been successful in reducing its public debt-to-GDP ratio from 120% to about 90%.
GDP: $1.657 billion (2008 est)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.2% (2008 est)
GDP - per capita:  19,600 (2008 est)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  3.8%
industry:  22%
services:  74.3% (2002 est)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.5% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 30,000 (1991)
Labor force - by occupation: commerce and services 82%, agriculture 7%, industry 11% (1983)
Unemployment rate: 11% (2001 est)
Budget: revenues:  $123.7 million
expenditures:  $145.9 million (2000 est)
Agriculture: cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane, livestock
Industries:  tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances)
Agriculture - products: cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane; livestock
Exports: $84.3 million (2007)
Exports - commodities: petroleum products , bedding, handicrafts, electronic components, transport equipment, food and live animals
Imports: $522.8 million (2007 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: $359.8 million (June 2006)
Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)
Business Hours: Commercial: 08:00-12:00 hrs; 13:00-16:00 hrs (Monday to Saturday). Closed on Thursday afternoons.
Government: 08:00-16:30 hrs. (Monday to Thursday); 08:00-15:00 hrs (Friday)
Fiscal Year: 1 April - 31 March

      Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 37,500 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 110,200 (2006)
Telephone system: domestic:  good automatic telephone system
international: 
country code - 1-268; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations - 2; tropospheric scatter to Saba (Netherlands Antilles) and Guadeloupe (2007)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 36,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997)
Internet Country code: .ag
Internet Hosts: 2215 (2008)
Internet Users: 60,000 (2007)

        Transportation

Airports: 3 (2008 est.); 2 main airports: V.C. Bird International (Antigua) and Codrington (Barbuda)
Airports with paved runways: total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 1;
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
Railways: total:  77 km

Narrow gauge:  64 km 0.760-m gauge; 13 km 0.610-m gauge (used almost exclusively for handling sugarcane
Highways: Total:  1,165 km
Paved:  384 km
Unpaved:  781 km (1999 est.)
Ports and Terminals: Saint John's
Merchant marine: total: 1,146

by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 50, cargo 651, carrier 4, chemical tanker 5, container 392, liquefied gas 12, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 20 foreign owned: 1.113 (Australia 1, Colombia 2, Cyprus 18, Denmark 19, Estonia 23, France 1, Germany 941, Greece 3, Iceland 12, Italy 1, Latvia 13, Lithuania 5, Netherlands 20, NZ 2, Norway 8, Poland 2, Russia 4, Slovenia 6, Sweden 1, Switzerland 8, Turkey 6, UK 9 US 8) (2008)


Military

Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (2009)
  Main Source of Information: the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook

Items of Interest  
National Anthem: Fair Antigua and Barbuda

Fair Antigua and Barbuda
We thy sons and daughters stand
Strong and firm in peace or danger
To safeguard our native land
We commit, ourselves to building
A true nation, brave and free
Ever striving, ever seeking
Dwell in love and unity. Raise the standard! Raise it boldly!

Answer now to duty's call
To the service of your country
Sparing nothing, giving all
Gird your loins and join the battle
'Gainst fear, hate and poverty
Each endeavouring, all achieving
Live in peace where man is free. God of nations, let thy blessings
Fall upon this land of ours
Rain and sunshine ever sending
Fill her fields with crops and flowers
We her children do implore thee
Give us strength, faith, loyalty
Never failing, all enduring
To defend her liberty.

(Words by Novelle H. Richards; Music by Walter P. Chambers)
 

Highest National Award: Order of the Nation
Favourite Dish Antigua Pepperpot
Government web page http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/