The World Factbook (1990)/Antigua and Barbuda


Antigua and Barbuda

World Factbook (1990) Antigua and Barbuda.jpg

 See regional map III


Total area: 440 km²; land area: 440 km²; includes Redonda

Comparative area: slightly less than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 153 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Extended 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

Natural resources: negligible; pleasant climate fosters tourism

Land use: 18% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 7% meadows and pastures; 16% forest and woodland; 59% other

Environment: subject to hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); insufficient freshwater resources; deeply indented coastline provides many natural harbors

Note: 420 km east-southeast of Puerto Rico


Population: 63,726 (July 1990), growth rate 0.3% (1990)

Birth rate: 18 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 6 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -10 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 23 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 70 years male, 74 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.7 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Antiguan(s); adjective—Antiguan

Ethnic divisions: almost entirely of black African origin; some of British, Portuguese, Lebanese, and Syrian origin

Religion: Anglican (predominant), other Protestant sects, some Roman Catholic

Language: English (official), local dialects

Literacy: 90% (est.)

Labor force: 30,000; 82% commerce and services, 11% agriculture, 7% industry (1983)

Organized labor: Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA), membership 500; Antigua Trades and Labor Union (ATLU), 10,000 members; Antigua Workers Union (AWU), 10,000 members (1986 est.)


Long-form name: none

Type: parliamentary democracy

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)

Constitution: 1 November 1981

Legal system: based on English common law

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 November (1981)

Executive branch: British monarch, governor general, prime minister, deputy prime minister, Cabinet

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of an upper house or Senate and a lower house or House of Representatives

Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Wilfred Ebenezer JACOBS (since 1 November 1981, previously Governor since 1976);

Head of Government—Prime Minister Vere Cornwall BIRD, Sr. (since NA 1976); Deputy Prime Minister Lester BIRD (since NA 1976)

Political parties and leaders: Antigua Labor Party (ALP), Vere C. Bird, Sr., Lester Bird; United National Democratic Party (UNDP), Dr. Ivor Heath

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: House of Representatives—last held 9 March 1989 (next to be held 1994); results—percentage of vote by party NA; seats—(17 total) ALP 15, UNDP 1, independent 1

Communists: negligible

Other political or pressure groups: Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement (ACLM), a small leftist nationalist group led by Leonard (Tim) Hector; Antigua Trades and Labor Union (ATLU), headed by Noel Thomas

Member of: ACP, CARICOM, Commonwealth, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ILO, IMF, ISO, OAS, UN, UNESCO, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Edmund Hawkins LAKE; Chancery at Suite 2H, 3400 International Drive NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 362-5211 or 5166, 5122, 5225; there is an Antiguan Consulate in Miami; US—the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda, and in his absence, the Embassy is headed by Chargé d'Affaires Roger R. GAMBLE; Embassy at Queen Elizabeth Highway, Saint John's (mailing address is FPO Miami 34054); telephone (809) 462-3505 or 3506

Flag: 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


Overview: The economy is primarily service oriented, with tourism the most important determinant of economic performance. During the period 1983-87, real GDP expanded at an annual average rate of 8%. Tourism's contribution to GDP, as measured by value added in hotels and restaurants, rose from about 14% in 1983 to 17% in 1987, and stimulated growth in other sectors—particularly in construction, communications, and public utilities. During the same period the combined share of agriculture and manufacturing declined from 12% to less than 10%. Antigua and Barbuda is one of the few areas in the Caribbean experiencing a labor shortage in some sectors of the economy.

GDP: $353.5 million, per capita $5,550; real growth rate 6.2% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.1% (1988 est.)

Unemployment rate: 5.0% (1988 est.)

Budget: revenues $77 million; expenditures $81 million, including capital expenditures of $13 million (1988 est.)

Exports: $30.4 million (f.o.b., 1988 est.); commodities—petroleum products 46%, manufactures 29%, food and live animals 14%, machinery and transport equipment 11%; partners—Trinidad and Tobago 40%, Barbados 8%, US 0.3%

Imports: $302.1 million (c.i.f., 1988 est.); commodities—food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil; partners—US 27%, UK 14%, CARICOM 7%, Canada 4%, other 48%

External debt: $245.4 million (1987)

Industrial production: growth rate 10% (1987)

Electricity: 49,000 kW capacity; 90 million kWh produced, 1,410 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 4% of GDP; expanding output of cotton, fruits, vegetables, and livestock sector; other crops—bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes; not self-sufficient in food

Aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $40 million

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (plural—dollars); 1 EC dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1—2.70 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Railroads: 64 km 0.760-meter narrow gauge and 13 km 0.610-meter gauge used almost exclusively for handling sugarcane

Highways: 240 km

Ports: St. John's

Merchant marine: 80 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 307,315 GRT/501,552 DWT; includes 50 cargo, 4 refrigerated cargo, 8 container, 8 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 2 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 5 chemical tanker, 2 liquefied gas, 1 short-sea passenger; note—a flag of convenience registry

Civil air: 10 major transport aircraft

Airports: 3 total, 3 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 2 with runways less than 2,440 m

Telecommunications: good automatic telephone system; 6,700 telephones; tropospheric scatter links with Saba and Guadeloupe; stations—4 AM, 2 FM, 2 TV, 2 shortwave; 1 coaxial submarine cable; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force, Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force (includes the Coast Guard)

Military manpower: NA

Defense expenditures: NA