OFFICIAL NAME: Antigua and Barbuda
CAPITAL: St. John's
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
AREA: 442 Sq Km (171 Sq Mi)

Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & 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 origins.

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) countries.

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 security system.

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