Map of Antigua and Barbuda. Where Antigua and Barbuda on the world map
Map of Antigua and Barbuda with cities. Where Antigua and Barbuda is on the world map. The main geographical facts about Antigua and Barbuda - population, country area, capital, official language, religions, industry and culture.
Antigua and Barbuda Fact File
Official name Antigua and Barbuda
Form of government Democracy with two legislative bodies (Senate and House of Representatives)
Capital St Johns
Area 440 sq km (170 sq miles)
Time zone GMT-4 hours
Projected population 2015 68,000
Population density 153.4 per sq km (397.1 per sq mile)
Life expectancy 71
Infant mortality (per 1,000) 21.6
Official language English
Other languages Indigenous languages
Literacy rate 89c
Religions Protestant 90%, Roman Catholic 10%
Ethnic groups African 94.4%, other 5.6%
Currency East Caribbean dollar
Economy Services 67%, industry 21 %, agriculture 12%
GNP per capita US$ 10,000
Climate Tropical, moderated by sea breezes
Highest point Boggy Peak 405 m (1,328 ft)
Map reference Page 427
Antigua and Barbuda consists of three islands in the eastern Caribbean. In 1493 the largest of the group was visited by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage, who named it Antigua. It was first settled by the Spanish and the French, but became a British colony in 1667 and in the eighteenth century flourished under a plantation system using African slaves to produce sugar. This ended with the end of slavery in the British Empire in 1834. Originally populated by the Siboney in 2400 bc and later, when the Europeans arrived, by Arawak and Carib Indians, today the islands are peopled by Afro-Caribbean descendants of the plantation days. The islands were run by the Antiguan Labour Party and the Bird family, a combination that has held power almost constantly since 1956. Full independence was obtained in 1981. The elections of 2004, however, brought the former opposition under Baldwin Spencer to power.
Antigua rises to 405 m (1,328 ft) at Boggy Peak, a volcanic prominence in the southwest. Unlike the other Leeward Islands, to which it belongs, Antigua was denuded of forest long ago, and lacks both trees and rivers. In contrast, the flat coral-island game reserve of Barbuda, 40 km (25 miles) to the north, is fairly well wooded. Barbuda's one town is Codrington. The third island, Redonda, is an uninhabited islet southwest of Antigua. The tropical climate and palm-fringed beaches make Antigua and Barbuda an attractive tourist location. There is, however, little fresh water, and the region is hurricane-prone; one in 1995 caused extensive damage.
Since the sugar industry closed in 1971 the islands have relied almost entirely on tourism, with some income from two US military bases on Antigua. The Bird family's hold on power, and allegations of corruption and misuse of funds, plus a high level of external debt, are cause for concern.
The coastal town of Soufriere, Dominica (below). The spires of the Pitons tower above a small village on the southwest coast of St Lucia (above). Kingstown Harbor on the island of St Vincent (right page top).