Antigua and Barbuda

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A country in the Leeward Island group of the Caribbean, comprising the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda (uninhabited).


The main island, Antigua, comprises 280 sq km (108 sq miles) of fairly bare scrubland. Formed of volcanic rock in the south‐west and coral in the north and east, it is moderately hilly, rising to 405 m (1329 feet). The coastline is indented. Water is scarce.


The mainstay of the economy is up‐market tourism. Manufacturing industry includes clothing and the assembly of electrical components for re‐export. Aside from some cultivation of sugar cane and cotton, there is little agriculture.


Antigua and Barbuda were colonized from the 17th century by the British, who brought slaves from Africa to work on the islands. From 1871 until 1956 the islands were part of the British colony of the Leeward Islands. Antigua and Barbuda joined the West Indian Federation, and in 1967 became an Associated State of Britain, gaining internal autonomy. The country became fully independent in 1981. The Antiguan Labour Party (ALP) held power from 1976 until 2004, when it was defeated in a general election by the United Progressive Party.


Saint John's


441.6 sq km (170.5 sq miles)


77,800 (2005)


1 East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents


Anglican 44.5%; other Protestant (mainly Moravian, Methodist, and Seventh‐day Adventist) 41.6%; Roman Catholic 10.2%; Rastafarian 0.7%

Ethnic Groups:

Black 82.4%; White 13.3%; Mixed 3.5%


English (official); English creole

International Organizations:

UN; Commonwealth; CARICOM; OAS; WTO

Subjects: World History.

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