Antigua and Barbuda

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The Siboney were the first people 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 Spanish and French settlements were succeeded by an English 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

Area 201/257

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

Area - comparative

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

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

Climate

tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain

mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Boggy Peak 402 m

Natural resources

NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism

Land use

agricultural land: 20.5%

arable land 9.1%; permanent crops 2.3%; permanent pasture 9.1%

forest: 22.3%

other: 57.2% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

1.3 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

0.05 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 0.01 cu km/yr (63%/21%/15%)

per capita: 97.67 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts

Environment - current issues

water management - a major concern because of limited natural freshwater 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 and Society

Nationality

noun: Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)

adjective: Antiguan, Barbudan

Ethnic groups

black 87.3%, mixed 4.7%, hispanic 2.7%, white 1.6%, other 2.7%, unspecified 0.9% (2011 est.)

Languages

English (official), Antiguan creole

Religions

Protestant 68.3% (Anglican 17.6%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.4%, Pentecostal 12.2%, Moravian 8.3%, Methodist 5.6%, Wesleyan Holiness 4.5%, Church of God 4.1%, Baptist 3.6%), Roman Catholic 8.2%, other 12.2%, unspecified 5.5%, none 5.9% (2011 est.)

Population 198/238

92,436 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.85% (male 11,203/female 10,847)

15-24 years: 16.89% (male 7,751/female 7,861)

25-54 years: 42.47% (male 17,939/female 21,319)

55-64 years: 9.23% (male 3,859/female 4,672)

65 years and over: 7.56% (male 3,004/female 3,981) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 45.7%

youth dependency ratio: 35.2%

elderly dependency ratio: 10.4%

potential support ratio: 9.6% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 31.4 years

male: 29.6 years

female: 32.9 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 95/233

1.24% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 123/224

15.85 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 173/225

5.69 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 47/222

2.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 23.8% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: -0.95% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

SAINT JOHN'S (capital) 22,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.84 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female

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

total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 117/224

total: 12.87 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 14.82 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 87/224

total population: 76.33 years

male: 74.23 years

female: 78.53 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 120/224

2.02 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 134/191

4.9% of GDP (2013)

Hospital bed density

2.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 97.9% of population

rural: 97.9% of population

total: 97.9% of population

unimproved:

urban: 2.1% of population

rural: 2.1% of population

total: 2.1% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 91.4% of population

rural: 91.4% of population

total: 91.4% of population

unimproved:

urban: 8.6% of population

rural: 8.6% of population

total: 8.6% of population (2011 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 52/191

31% (2014)

Education expenditures 159/173

2.6% of GDP (2009)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 15 years (2012)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda

etymology: "antiguo" is Spanish for "ancient" or "old"; the island was discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 and, according to tradition, named by him after the the church of Santa Maria la Antigua (Old Saint Mary's) in Seville; "barbuda" is Spanish for "bearded" and the adjective may refer to the alleged beards of the indigenous people or to the island's bearded-fig trees

Government type

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

Capital

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

Independence

1 November 1981 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)

Constitution

several previous; latest presented 31 July 1981, effective 31 October 1981 (Antigua and Barbuda Constitutional Order 1981); amended 2009, 2011 (2015)

Legal system

common law based on the English model

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Rodney WILLIAMS (since 14 August 2014)

head of government: Prime Minister Gaston BROWNE (since 13 June 2014)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17 seats; members appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives (17 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held on 12 June 2014 (next to be held in 2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - ALP 56.4% UPP 42%; seats by party - ALP 14, UPP 3

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to include Antigua and Barbuda; the ECSC - headquartered on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the 9 member states; 2 High Court judges reside on Antigua and Barbuda

judge selection and term of office: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Chief Justice appointed by the Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62

subordinate courts: Industrial Court; Magistrates' Courts

Political parties and leaders

Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Gaston BROWNE]

Barbuda People's Movement or BPM [Trevor WALKER]

Barbuda People's Movement for Change [Arthur NIBBS]

Barbudans for a Better Barbuda [Ordrick SAMUEL]

United Progressive Party or UPP [W. 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 [Wigley GEORGE]

People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]

International organization participation

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

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 symbol(s)

fallow deer; national colors: red, white, blue, black, yellow

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

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 approximately 130% in 2010 to 89% in 2012. In 2009, Antigua's economy was severely hit by the global economic crisis and suffered from the collapse of its largest private sector employer, a steep decline in tourism, a rise in debt, and a sharp economic contraction between 2009 and 2011. Antigua has not yet returned to its pre-crisis growth levels.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 194/230

$2.096 billion (2015 est.)

$2.052 billion (2014 est.)

$1.969 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.285 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 137/225

2.2% (2015 est.)

4.2% (2014 est.)

1.5% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 78/230

$23,700 (2015 est.)

$23,200 (2014 est.)

$22,300 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 121/179

14.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

10.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

8.8% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 51.1%

government consumption: 10.2%

investment in fixed capital: 21.3%

investment in inventories: 0.1%

exports of goods and services: 47.5%

imports of goods and services: -30.2%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.4%

industry: 17.9%

services: 79.7% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

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

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate 118/202

2% (2015 est.)

Labor force 205/233

30,000 (1991)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 7%

industry: 11%

services: 82% (1983)

Unemployment rate 125/207

11% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $255.9 million

expenditures: $217 million (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 162/219

19.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 11/220

3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 27/176

89% of GDP (2012 est.)

130% of GDP (2010 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 112/226

2% (2015 est.)

1.4% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 53/156

6.5% (31 December 2010)

6.5% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 82/184

10% (31 December 2015 est.)

10.1% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 180/192

$240.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$234.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 168/193

$1.127 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.116 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 157/191

$1.037 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.037 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Current account balance 74/197

-$135 million (2015 est.)

-$181 million (2014 est.)

Exports 200/224

$61 million (2015 est.)

$59.8 million (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

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

Imports 193/223

$482.5 million (2015 est.)

$469.5 million (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

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

Debt - external 182/206

$441.2 million (31 December 2012)

$458 million (June 2010)

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -

2.7 (2015 est.)

2.7 (2014 est.)

2.7 (2013 est.)

2.7 (2012 est.)

2.7 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 174/220

315 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 179/219

293 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 96/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 113/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 184/214

55,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 1/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 35/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 214/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 149/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 103/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 93/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 151/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 103/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 151/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 169/212

4,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 119/214

174.8 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 160/213

5,077 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 153/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 115/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 53/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 151/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 108/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 178/212

586,400 Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 172/219

total subscriptions: 32,400

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 35 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 189/217

total: 109,100

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 120 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: good automatic telephone system

domestic: fixed-line teledensity roughly 40 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is some 200 per 100 persons

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) (2011)

Broadcast media

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

Radio broadcast stations

AM 3, FM 17, shortwave 0 (2008)

Television broadcast stations

2 (1997)

Internet country code

.ag

Internet hosts 130/232

11,532 (2012)

Internet users 174/217

total: 81,900

percent of population: 89.7% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 193/236

3 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways 183/223

total: 1,170 km

paved: 386 km

unpaved: 784 km (2011)

Merchant marine 9/156

total: 1,257

by type: bulk carrier 49, cargo 753, carrier 6, chemical tanker 4, container 407, liquefied gas 12, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 17, vehicle carrier 2

foreign-owned: 1,215 (Albania 1, Colombia 1, Denmark 20, Estonia 10, Germany 1094, Greece 4, Iceland 10, Latvia 16, Lithuania 3, Mexico 1, Netherlands 17, Norway 9, NZ 2, Poland 2, Russia 3, Switzerland 7, Turkey 7, UK 1, US 7) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Saint John's

Military and Security

Military branches

Ministry of National Security, Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (includes Antigua and Barbuda Coast Guard) (2012)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; Governor-General has powers to call up men for national service and set the age at which they could be called up (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none

Illicit drugs

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