Facts about Antigua-and-Barbuda
|Population||84,522 (July 2008 est.)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico
General info about Antigua-and-Barbuda
The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak Indians populated the islands when COLUMBUS landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.
English (official), local dialects
What about drugs?
considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as an offshore financial center
black 91%, mixed 4.4%, white 1.7%, other 2.9% (2001 census)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation
NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism
Antigua has a relatively high GDP per capita in comparison to most other Caribbean nations. The economy experienced solid growth from 2003 to 2007, reaching over 12% in 2006, driven by a construction boom in hotels and housing associated with the Cricket World Cup. Growth dropped off in 2008 with the end of the boom. Tourism continues to dominate the economy, accounting for nearly 60% of GDP and 40% of investment. The dual-island nation's agricultural production is focused on the domestic market and constrained by a limited water supply and a labor shortage stemming from the lure 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 tourist arrivals from the US, Canada, and Europe and potential damages from natural disasters. Since taking office in 2004, the SPENCER government has adopted an ambitious fiscal reform program, and has been successful in reducing its public debt-to-GDP ratio from 120% to about 90%.
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
Cities in Antigua-and-Barbuda