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Antigua and Barbuda



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Introduction

Background: The islands of Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981. Some 3,000 refugees fleeing a volcanic eruption on nearby Montserrat have settled in Antigua and Barbuda since 1995.

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

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Area
  total: 442 sq km (Antigua 281 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)
  land: 442 sq km
  water: 0 sq km (Note: includes Redonda)

Area - comparative: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 153 km

Maritime claims
  contiguous zone: 24 nm
  continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
  exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation

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

Elevation extremes
  lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
  highest point: Boggy Peak 402 m

Natural resources: NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism

Land use
  arable land: 18%
  permanent crops: 0%
  permanent pastures: 9%
  forests and woodland: 11%
  other: 62% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

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

Environment - current issues: water management - a major concern because of limited natural fresh water 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, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
  signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

People

Population: 66,422 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 28% (male 9,414; female 9,098)
  15-64 years: 67% (male 22,199; female 22,341)
  65 years and over: 5% (male 1,424; female 1,946) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.73% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 19.6 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 5.99 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -6.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
  total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 23.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 70.46 years
  male: 68.19 years
  female: 72.84 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.92 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality
  noun: Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)
  adjective: Antiguan, Barbudan

Ethnic groups: black, British, Portuguese, Lebanese, Syrian

Religions: Anglican (predominant), other Protestant, some Roman Catholic

Languages: English (official), local dialects

Literacy
  definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling
  total population: 89%
  male: 90%
  female: 88% (1960 est.)

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: none
  conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda

Data code: AC

Government type: constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament

Capital: Saint John's

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 UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 November (1981)

Constitution: 1 November 1981

Legal system: based on English common law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
  chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General James B. CARLISLE (since NA 1993)
  head of government: Prime Minister Lester Bryant BIRD (since 8 March 1994)
  cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
  elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general chosen by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; prime minister appointed by the governor general

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17-member body appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives (17 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve five-year terms)
  elections: House of Representatives - last held 9 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2004)
  election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ALP 12, UPP 4, independent 1

Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based in Saint Lucia) (one judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the Court of Summary Jurisdiction)

Political parties and leaders: Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement or ACLM [leader NA]; Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Lester Bryant BIRD]; Barbuda People's Movement or BPM [leader NA]; Progressive Labor Movement or PLM [leader NA]; United National Democratic Party or UNDP [leader NA]; United Progressive Party or UPP [Baldwin SPENCER], a coalition of three opposition political parties - UNDP, ACLM, and PLM

Political pressure groups and leaders: Antigua Trades and Labor Union or ATLU [William ROBINSON]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]

International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM (observer), OAS, OECS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Lionel Alexander HURST
  chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
  telephone: [1] (202) 362-5211
  FAX: [1] (202) 362-5225
  consulate(s) general: Miami

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Antigua and Barbuda (embassy closed 30 June 1994); the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda

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

Economy

Economy - overview: Tourism continues to be the dominant activity in the economy accounting directly or indirectly for more than half of GDP. In 1999 the budding offshore financial sector was seriously hurt by financial sanctions imposed by the US and UK as a result of the loosening of its money-laundering controls. The government has made efforts to comply with international demands in order to get the sanctions lifted. The dual island nation's agricultural production is mainly directed to the domestic market; the sector is constrained by the limited water supply and labor shortages that reflect the pull 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 income growth in the industrialized world, especially in the US, which accounts for about one-third of all tourist arrivals.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $524 million (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.8% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $8,200 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 4%
  industry: 12.5%
  services: 83.5% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.6% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 30,000

Labor force - by occupation: commerce and services 82%, agriculture 11%, industry 7% (1983)

Unemployment rate: 7% (1999 est.)

Budget
  revenues: $122.6 million
  expenditures: $141.2 million, including capital expenditures of $17.3 million (1997 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 6% (1997 est.)

Electricity - production: 90 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 100%
  hydro: 0%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 84 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane; livestock

Exports: $38 million (1998)

Exports - commodities: petroleum products 48%, manufactures 23%, food and live animals 4%, machinery and transport equipment 17%

Exports - partners: OECS 26%, Barbados 15%, Guyana 4%, Trinidad and Tobago 2%, US 0.3%

Imports: $330 million (1998)

Imports - commodities: food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil

Imports - partners: US 27%, UK 16%, Canada 4%, OECS 3%

Debt - external: $357 million (1998)

Economic aid - recipient: $2.3 million (1995)

Currency: 1 East Caribbean dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 20,000 (1994)

Telephones - mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system
  domestic: good automatic telephone system
  international: 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Saba (Netherlands Antilles) and Guadeloupe

Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 36,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997)

Televisions: 31,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways
  total: 77 km
  narrow gauge: 64 km 0.760-m gauge; 13 km 0.610-m gauge (used almost exclusively for handling sugarcane)

Highways
  total: 250 km (1996 est.)
  paved: NA km
  unpaved: NA km

Ports and harbors: Saint John's

Merchant marine
  total: 607 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,528,944 GRT/4,590,590 DWT
  ships by type: bulk 17, cargo 385, chemical tanker 9, combination bulk 2, container 149, liquified gas 3, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 12, roll-on/roll-off 28 (1999 est.) (Note: a flag of convenience registry: Germany owns 10 ships, Slovenia 2, and Cyprus 2 (1998 est.))

Airports: 3 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 2
  2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
  under 914 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways
  total: 1
  under 914 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force, Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force (includes Coast Guard)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as a drug-money-laundering center

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Site Version 1.75 - Last updated December 20, 2006

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