OFFICIAL NAME: Antigua and Barbuda
CAPITAL: St. John's
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
AREA: 442 Sq Km (171 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 70,800
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Antigua and Barbuda are located
along the outer edge of the Leeward islands in the Caribbean
Sea. The territory consists of three islands, of which,
one is a small uninhabited rocky outcrop called Redonda.
Of the two main islands (1.) Antigua is composed of volcanic
rock, coral and limestone. It has inlets and bays with rolling
hills vegetated with flowering trees while (2.) Barbuda
is a flat coral island with a large lagoon on the west side
of the island and has miles of beaches with pink and white
sands. Major Cities (pop. est.); St. John's 22,000 (1991).
Land Use; forested 11%, pastures 9%, agricultural-cultivated
18%, other 62% (1993).
CLIMATE: Although drier than most other Caribbean islands, Antigua
and Barbuda has a tropical climate with low humidity. The islands are tempered
by sea breezes and trade winds. Annual average precipitation is approximately
1,000 mm (39 inches) and the hot season is between May to November. Average
temperature ranges in St. John's are from 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees
Fahrenheit) to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) with night temperatures
during the cool season falling between 16 to 18 degrees Celsius (60 to
65 degrees Fahrenheit).
PEOPLE: Around 89% of the population are of Black African origin
while 10% are Mulattoes, who are of mixed African and European descent.
Around 1% of the population are of British, Portuguese, Lebanese and Syrian
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 184.8 persons per sq km
(478.6 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 32.0% urban, 68.0% rural
(1990). Sex Distribution; 48.0% male, 52.0% female (1985). Life Expectancy
at Birth; 70.0 years male, 73.0 years female (1989). Age Breakdown; 37%
under 15, 31% 15 to 29, 13% 30 to 44, 12% 45 to 59, 6% 60 to 74, 1% 75
and over (1985). Birth Rate; 14.1 per 1,000 (1988). Death Rate; 4.6 per
1,000 (1988). Increase Rate; 9.5 per 1,000 (1988). Infant Mortality Rate;
21.2 per 1,000 live births (1987).
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 45% of the population Anglican
while around 42% are Protestants mainly Moravians, Methodists and Seven
Day Adventists. Another 10% are Roman Catholics and less than 1% are Rastafarians.
LANGUAGES: The official language is English, although there are
some local dialects are also spoken.
EDUCATION: Total population having attained: no formal schooling
15.0%, primary 79.2%, secondary 4.5%, higher 1.3% (1970). Literacy; literate
population aged 15 or over 45,000 or 90.0% (1985).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1951 universal adult suffrage
was introduced and in 1956 a form of ministerial government was introduced.
In 1967 Antigua became an associated state of Britain and on Nov. 1, 1981
Antigua and Barbuda gained independence within the Commonwealth with Vere
Bird of the Antigua Labor Party (ALP) as Prime Minister. In 1984 and 1989
the ALP was re-elected. In Nov. 1990 a judicial report was issued into
the shipment of arms from Israel to Colombia which led to widespread public
discussion on corruption and in Mar. 1991 there was a demonstration in
protest to political corruption. In Sept. 1991 the government embarked
on the development of an economic and political reform program. In Feb.
1992 opposition protest demonstrations began calling for Vere Bird's resignation
as allegations surfaced that he had deposited an $67,000 government check
into his own bank account which also resulted in further demonstrations.
In opposition, the three main political parties banded together to form
the United Progressive Party (UPP). In April 1992, the UPP inspired a general
strike which closed most businesses. Bird as a result of the protests announced
he would step down as leader of the ALP before the 1994 general elections.
In March 1993, the High Court ruled that legislation barring government
employees from publishing political information or expressing political
views was illegal. In April 1993, the government cracked down on foreign
drug traffickers after Antigua and Barbuda was increasingly being used
as a transshipment point. In June 1993, James Carlisle was sworn in as
the new governor-general and in August 1993 son and Foreign Affairs minister
Lester Bird was elected to replaced his father as the new ALP leader in
preparation for elections scheduled for March 1994.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar
(ECD) divided into 100 Cents.
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the USA,
Dominica, the UK and other CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market)
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Cabbages, Carrots, Cattle, Chickens, Cotton,
Cucumbers, Egg Plants, Fish, Fruit, Goats, Pigs, Pineapples, Shellfish,
Sugar Cane, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Vegetables, Yams.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Clothing, Cotton Production, Electronic Component
Assembly, Food Processing, Fishing, Tourism.
MAIN EXPORTS: Clothing, Cotton, Rum, Shellfish, Sugar.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 78 km (48 mi) (1993). Roads;
length 1,161 km (721 mi) (1986). Vehicles; cars 12,000 (1989), trucks and
buses 2,700 (1989). Merchant Marine; vessels 204 (1990), deadweight tonnage
608,438 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 177,000,000 (110,000,000 passenger-mi)
(1990), cargo ton-km nil (1990).
COMMUNICATIONS: Weekly Newspapers; total of 3 and 1 Bi-Weekly
Newspaper with a total circulation of 12,200 (1990). Radio; receivers 75,000
(1994). Television; receivers 28,000 (1994). Telephones; units 19,200 (1993).
MILITARY: Defense force member of the Eastern Caribbean regional