Antigua and Barbuda

Reference work entry


  • Capital: St John’s

  • Population estimate, 2015: 92,000

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 20,070

  • HDI/world rank, 2014: 0·783/58

  • Internet domain extension: .ag

Civil Aviation

V. C. Bird International Airport is near St John’s. A domestic flight links the airports on Antigua and Barbuda.


A tropical climate, but drier than most West Indies islands. The hot season is from May to Nov., when rainfall is greater. Mean annual rainfall is 40″ (1,000 mm).

Constitution and Government

H.M. Queen Elizabeth, as Head of State, is represented by a Governor-General appointed by her on the advice of the Prime Minister. There is a bicameral legislature, comprising a 17-member Senate appointed by the Governor-General and an 18-member House of Representatives (with 17 members elected by universal suffrage for a 5-year term plus the Speaker). The Governor-General appoints a Prime Minister and, on the latter’s advice, other members of the Cabinet. Barbuda is administered by a nine-member directly-elected council.


The unit of currency is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD), issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.


The Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) numbers 170 and has four units: the Antigua and Barbuda Regiment, the Service and Support Unit, the Coast Guard and the Antigua and Barbuda Cadet Corps. There are 75 reserves. In 2013 defence expenditure totalled US$26 m. (US$286 per capita), representing 2.1% of GDP.


In 2009 agriculture accounted for 1.7% of GDP, industry 22.0% and services 76.3%.


In 2008, 38,500 people were in employment. The main areas of activity were: hotels and restaurants, 5,800; wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods, 5,500; public administration and defence, and compulsory social security, 5,000. The hourly minimum wage was raised to EC$7.50 (US$2.78) in Jan. 2008.


The main newspapers are The Antigua Sun and The Daily Observer, with a combined circulation of 9,000 in 2008.


In 2010 an estimated 93.0% of the population were Christians (mainly Protestants) and 3.6% folk religionists according to the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.


In 2012 there were about 1,170 km of roads. 20,100 vehicles were in use in 2009, including 13,400 passenger cars and 5,300 commercial vehicles.


The main port is St John’s Harbour. In Jan. 2009 there were 1,166 ships of 300 GT or over registered, totalling 9,620,000 GT.

Social Statistics

Expectation of life, 2009: males, 73 years, females, 76. Annual population growth rate, 2010–15, 1.1%. 2007: births, 1,240; deaths, 504. Infant mortality in 2010 was 7 per 1,000 live births; fertility rate, 2008, 2.1 births per woman.


There were 41,700 fixed telephone lines in 2010, or 470.5 per 1,000 inhabitants. Mobile phone subscribers numbered 163,900 in 2010. There were 742.0 internet users per 1,000 inhabitants in 2009. Fixed internet subscriptions totalled 15,600 in 2009 (177.7 per 1,000 inhabitants).

Territory and Population

Antigua and Barbuda comprises three islands of the Lesser Antilles situated in the eastern Caribbean with a total land area of 442 km2 (171 sq. miles); it consists of Antigua (280 km2), Barbuda, 40 km to the north (161 km2) and uninhabited Redonda, 40 km to the southwest (1 km2). The population at the census of May 2011 was 85,567 (1,634 on Barbuda); density, 194 per km2. In 2011, 30.4% of the population lived in urban areas. The chief town is St John’s, the capital, on Antigua (22,219 inhabitants in 2011). Codrington (914 inhabitants in 2001) is the only settlement on Barbuda. English is the official language; local dialects are also spoken.


Tourism is the main industry, contributing about 70% of GDP and 80% of foreign exchange earnings and related activities. In 2010 there were 229,943 tourist arrivals by air and 557,635 cruise passengers arrivals.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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