Antigua and Barbuda Overview
|Antigua and Barbuda
|Form of government
||Independent Commonwealth parliamentary
||East Caribbean dollar
|Telephone area code
The Central American island nation, which lies in the
Caribbean, includes three islands: Antigua with an area
of 280 km², Barbuda with 161 km² and Redonde with 1.6
km². The islands belong to the northern Lesser Antilles
(Leeward Islands). Like the other Caribbean islands,
they originated from volcanic eruptions around 10
million years ago. The Sheekerley Mountains (Boggy Peak,
403 m) in southwest Antigua are also made of volcanic
rock. The rest of the island's surfaces consist of coral
lime and are mostly flat and karstified.
Antigua is 12 km long and around 18 km wide, has a
coastline rich in bays and many offshore coral reefs.
Barbuda is about 40 km east of Antigua, the highest
point is about 40 m above sea level. Long sandy beaches
are typical of the island.
The island of Redonde, which is only 1.6 square
kilometers in size, rises steeply from the sea to over
300 m, has no natural harbors and is not inhabited. The
capital of the island state, Saint John's, is located in
The tropical climate is characterized by the
north-east trade wind, the temperatures are constant all
year round (average in January and July at 25 กใ C). The
rainy season is from May to September and the annual
rainfall is around 1,050 mm. Antigua and Barbuda are
located within the hurricane-prone area of the
Caribbean, the hurricanes occur mainly in the months of
June to November.
Flora and fauna
The vegetation on the island nation is poor in
species. During the colonial period, the existing
forests were cut down in favor of plantations. In the
southwest of Antigua there are still remains of
deciduous and bush forests. There are even larger trees
in Barbuda and there are areas with mangroves on the
coast. Large parts of the island have been declared a
Wild boars and isolated deer live in the forests of
larger mammals on the islands, and the donkey introduced
by the Europeans also lives wild here. In addition to
reptiles (lizards, turtles), over 150 bird species have
been observed. The Barbuda bird reserve has a large
colony of frigate birds.
In total, the population of Antigua and Barbuda
comprises around 84,000 people. According to COUNTRYAAH,
around 30,000 live in
Antigua's capital, Saint John's (the only larger town in
Barbuda is Codrington with just under 1,000 residents).
A good 90% of the total population are blacks,
descendants of the slaves abducted from Africa. Mixed
breeds and whites (mostly of British origin) form small
minorities. Around 75% of the population belong to the
Anglican Church, around 10% are Catholics; a minority of
1.2% are Jehovah's Witnesses.
The life expectancy of women is 76 and that of men 72
years. The population growth is given as 1.3%. The
literacy rate of 89% is relatively high compared to
other Caribbean countries, children are required to
The usual language is Creole English.
The island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is an
independent parliamentary monarchy in the British
Commonwealth. The constitution dates from 1981. The head
of state is the British monarch Elizabeth II, who is
represented by a governor-general who mainly fulfills
representative functions (since August 2014 Rodney
Williams). The government is headed by the Prime
Minister (Gaston Browne since June 2014).
The legislature lies with the parliament. It consists
of the Senate with 17 appointed members and the Chamber
of Deputies with 19 members (17 elected, 1 ex officio, 1
Antigua and Barbuda is divided into six districts and
two secondary areas (Dependencies; Barbuda and Redonda).
Tourism has replaced sugar cane cultivation as the
most important economic factor since the 1970s, and over
three quarters of the gross domestic product (GDP) is
generated by tourism. Around a quarter million tourists
visit the islands every year.
Agriculture only makes up around 2% of the gross
domestic product; the most important crops are cotton,
vegetables, fruit, sugar cane and cereals. The industry
is poorly developed, there are mostly food processing
By granting tax benefits, the island nation was able
to establish itself as an international financial
There is an international airport (VC Bird) on
Antigua, the capital of Saint John's has a deep-sea port
that can also be reached by large cruise ships. Antigua
is well developed and has around 1 200 km of roads, of
which only about 400 km are paved. There are only sandy
roads on Barbuda.
The currency is the East Caribbean dollar.