Antigua and Barbuda Geography

Antigua and Barbuda Geography and Population

OFFICIAL NAME: Antigua and Barbuda


POPULATION: 81,800 (2011)

AREA: 440 km²

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): English, Creole-English

RELIGION: Protestants 74%, Catholics 11%, Rastafarians 1%, others 14%

COIN: eastern caribbean dollar


ENGLISH NAME: Antigua and Barbuda


POPULATION COMPOSITION: Afro-Caribbean 91%, others (especially of European and Middle Eastern origin) 9%

GDP PER residents: $ 13,428 (2012)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 70 years, women 75 years (2006)




Antigua and Barbuda, an island nation in the Caribbean, independent in 1981. The state consists of the main island of Antigua with the capital St. John’s, the slightly smaller Barbuda and the small, uninhabited Redonda. The majority of the population is of African descent, and the vast majority live in Antigua; with approximately 1500 people live in Barbuda, all in the island’s only town, Codrington.

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The islands are made up of coral and limestone. The terrain of Antigua is hilly (with the highest point in Boggy Peak, 402 m) and the coast is incised with bays and promontories, while Barbuda is relatively flat. The climate is tropical and semi-arid with a short rainy season from September to November. The islands, like the rest of the Caribbean, have been hit by violent hurricanes on a regular basis.

Previously, the main occupation was agriculture with sugar cultivation, but Antigua has become a popular travel destination and tourism is now the main source of income. Annual exceeds 1/2 million. tourists to the good beaches; approximately half arrive by cruise ship and an increasing proportion are Europeans.

At the beautiful bay of English Harbor on the south coast of Antigua lies Nelson’s Dockyard, built from the mid-18th century as a British naval base and naval shipyard. The shipyard area and its beautiful Georgian buildings were thoroughly restored in the 1950’s and are today Antigua’s main attraction. Nelson’s Dockyard is also the center of the island’s sailing tourism and forms the core of one of the Caribbean’s largest marinas.

To promote employment and foreign exchange earnings, a free zone has been set up in part of the capital St. Petersburg. John’s. Following pressure from the United States and the United Kingdom, the government entered into a series of agreements in 1999 to tighten supervision of drug trafficking and the growing offshore banking business.

National flag

The flag dates from 1967. Sun, sea and sand are expressed in an abstract way in the flag, in which a V (victory) can also be read for victory. The red fields express power and dynamism; the black is the African background.


Columbus landed on Antigua in 1493 and named the island, but it was not colonized until after 1632 by England, who established plantations on the island and introduced African slaves. Barbuda was colonized from 1678, but passed into private ownership in 1680 and first came under the British crown again in the late 1800’s. In 1834, slavery was abolished, and from 1871 to 1956, the islands became part of the British colony of Leeward Islands.

In the 1940’s, initiatives were taken to form a West Indian federation. Antigua and Barbuda was a member of the West Indies Federation from 1958 until its abolition in 1962. In 1967 Antigua and Barbuda gained the status of an associated British state with autonomy, and in 1968 the island state was one of the initiators of the CARIFTA (Caribbean Free Trade Agreement) – from 1973 transformed into CARICOM (Caribbean Community) headquartered in St. John’s.

After years of political debate, the parties ALP (Antigua Labor Party) and PLM (Progressive Labor Movement) agreed in 1978 to work for independence from Britain. The plans were met with some resistance by the people, but on November 1, 1981, the island state was proclaimed an independent state within the Commonwealth and became a member of the UN.

The ALP held power in the country from 1976 to 2004. Lester B. Bird (b. 1938), son of VC Bird (1909-99), who had secured the country’s independence in 1981, became prime minister in 1994. In the 2004 election, the UPP (United Progressive Party) won, and Baldwin Spencer (b. 1948) became Prime Minister. In the 2009 election, UPP won again and Spencer was able to retain the post of Prime Minister.

Antigua and Barbuda Geography