Antigua and Barbuda

Capital: St. John's
Currency: East Caribbean dollar
Continent: Americas, North America
Official language: English Language
Government: Federal monarchy, Parliamentary system

Name of the Country:

  • Conventional long form: none
  • Conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda
  • Local name: Land of Wadadli


Antigua was named after the Church of Santa Maria de la Antigua in Seville.


  • Antigua was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493.
  • Antigua was colonized by Britain in 1632.
  • Barbuda was discovered later and colonized in 1678.
  • The country joined the West Indies Federation in 1958.
  • When the Federation dissociated, became one of the West Indies Associated States in 1967.
  • Antigua became an independent country on November 1, 1981.
  • The Bird family has controlled the islands since the mid-1940s.
  • In the 1990’s there were several scandals and controversies regarding drug trade and money laundering.
  • In 2000, Antigua and 35 other offshore banking centers agreed to reforms to prevent money laundering.
  • In March 2004, Baldwin Spencer defeated Lester Bird and took over as Prime Minister.
  • Income tax was reinforced in 2005.
  • On July 17 2007, Louise Lake-Tack became the first woman Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda.


Ethnic distribution in Antigua and Barbuda is as follows:

    • Black: 91%
    • Mixed Race: 4.4%
    • White: 1.7%
    • Other: 2.9%
  • Most of the white population is Irish and British.
  • Christian Levantine Arabs, Asians and Sephardic Jews are present in minorities.
  • A large part of Antiguan population has migrated to the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.
  • A minority of the Antiguan residents are immigrants from Dominica, Guyana and Jamaica.
  • Antiguan population is one of the largest American citizen populations in the English speaking Eastern Caribbean.

Government and Politics:

  • The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are run by a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government.
  • Administrative divisions comprise of 6 parishes and 2 dependencies namely Barbuda, Redonda, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter and Saint Philip.
  • Independence Day is observed as a national holiday.
  • The Legal system is based on English common law.
  • Queen ELIZABETH II is the chief of state since 6 February 1952.
  • She is represented by Governor General Louisse LAKE-TACK since 17 July 2007.

Prime Minister Winston Baldwin SPENCER is the head of government since 24 March 2004.

The Council of Ministers is appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister.

The monarch is chosen by hierarchy.

  • The governor general is chosen by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister.
  • The leader of the majority party or coalition is usually appointed prime minister.
  • The Legislative branch is a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
  • The Judicial branch is represented by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court which is a member Caribbean Court of Justice.


  • 74% of the Antiguan population is Christian.
  • Anglican Church and Catholicism are the prominent denominations.
  • The Protestant minority includes Methodists, Moravians, Pentecostals and Seventh-Day Adventists.
  • Other religions include Rastafari, Islam, Judaism, and Baha'i.
  • Antiguan culture bears a strong British influence.
  • American popular culture is also quite widespread.
  • Antiguans give lot of importance to family and religion.
  • There is a national Carnival celebration held during August ever year.
  • The Carnival commemorates the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies.
  • Carnival celebrations include pageants, shows, contests and festive activities.
  • The popular music genres are Calypso and Soca music.


  • Antigua is one of the richest Caribbean nations.
  • Antigua owes most part of its economical growth to the tourism industry.
  • Tourism accounts for more than half of the GDP.
  • Agriculture is limited due to labor shortage and poor water supply.
  • Manufacture and export goods are bedding, handicrafts, and electronic components.
  • GDP (purchasing power parity) as calculated in 2007 was $1.526 billion.
  • 11% of the population is unemployed (2001 est.)
  • Agricultural produce comprises of cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane and livestock.
  • The major industries are tourism, construction and light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances).
  • Export commodities are petroleum products, bedding, handicrafts, electronic components, transport equipment, food and live animals.
  • Imported commodities are food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals and oil.


  • Telephone and mobile services are well developed in Antigua.
  • Antigua has the highest level of medical facilities and technology in the Caribbean.
  • There are six radio broadcast stations.
  • Internet facilities are well established and readily available.
  • There are two television broadcast stations.
  • Roadways span over 1,165 km.
  • Main ports and harbors are located in Saint John's.
  • There are three Airports.


  • The level of literacy in Antigua and Barbuda is above 90%.
  • The island of Antigua currently has two medical schools, the American University of Antigua (AUA) and The University of Health Sciences Antigua (UHSA).
  • There is a government owned state college in Antigua.
  • Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Information Technology (ABIIT) is also located in Antigua.
  • Antigua has university which is branch of West Indies, for the locals to continue their university studies.

Many people are also pursuing higher education via distance learning.

Neighbor Countires:

  • Antigua and Barbuda are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean.
  • Islands of Montserrat and Guadaloupe (South)
  • Islands of Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin (North).

Geographical Settings:

  • The island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.
  • Its geographic coordinates are 17 03 N, 61 48 W.
  • The total area of the two nations is 442.6 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km).
  • The coastline is 153 km long.
  • The islands enjoy a tropical maritime with little seasonal temperature variation.
  • The terrain is mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands with some higher volcanic areas.
  • The highest peak is Boggy Peak standing at 402 m.
  • Natural resources include NEGL and a pleasant climate which fosters tourism.
  • 18.18% of the land is arable.
  • Hurricanes and tropical storms are common from July to October with periodic droughts.
  • Natural fresh water resources are limited.
  • Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors and beaches.
  • Barbuda has a large western harbor.


Antigua gained complete freedom from the United Kingdom on November 1, 1981.

Eminent Personalities:

Burning Flames (popular band)

  • Viv Richards (cricket legend)
  • Marie-Elena John ( writer and former African Development Foundation specialist)
  • Jamaica Kincaid ( novelist)
  • Allen Stanford (businessman)
  • Marianne Jean-Baptiste (actress)
  • DJ Red Alert (Disc Jockey)
  • Special Delivery Jones ( professional wrestler)

Country Famous For:

  • The pleasant climate of the islands makes them a popular tourist destination.
  • Antigua and Barbuda are famous for beautiful beaches and coral reefs.
  • The reefs are also popular with scuba divers and snorkelers.
  • The August Carnival is a mega cultural event.

Total Populatiom:

  • The total population, according to a 2008 census was estimated to be 69,842.
  • The annual population growth rate is 0.508% (2008 est.)
  • Birth rate: 16.35 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
  • Death rate: 5.25 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Antigua and Barbuda Related Topics:

» Sports in Antigua and Barbuda » Antigua and Barbuda National Anthem » Colleges and Universities in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda Tourist Attractions:

  • Nelson's Dockyard
  • Falmouth Harbour
  • Museum of Antigua and Barbuda
  • Fort James
  • St.John's Cathedral
  • Government House
  • Mount Obama
  • Dockyard Museum
  • Falmouth Harbour
  • Fort Barrington