Antigua Facts

 

 

BACKGROUND:

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.

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LOCATION:

Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico.

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PEOPLE AND SOCIETY:

Population:
85,632 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:     0-14 years:  26.8% (male 11,660; female 11,303)
15-64 years:  66.6% (male 26,597; female 30,414)
65 years and over:  6.6% (male 2,456; female 3,202) (2009 est.)
Population growth rate:     1.3% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:     16.59 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate:     5.94 deaths/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Net migration rate:     2.38 migrants/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Sex ratio:     at birth:  1.05 male/female
under 15 years:  1.03 male/female
15-64 years:  0.87 male/female
65 years and over:  0.77 male/female
total population:  0.91 male/female (2009 est.)
Nationality:     noun:  Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)
adjective:  Antiguan, Barbudan
Ethnic groups:     black 91%, mixed 4.4%, white 1.7%, other 2.9% (2001)
Religions:     Anglican 25.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.3%, Pentacostal 10.6%, Moravian 10.5%, Roman Catholic 10.4%, Methodist 7.9%, Baptist 4.9%, Church of God 4.5%, other Christian 5.4%, other 2%, none or unspecified 5.8% (2001 census)
Languages:     English (official), local dialects

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ECONOMY:

Overview:     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%.
GDP:     $1.657 billion (2008 est)
GDP – real growth rate:     4.2% (2008 est)
GDP – per capita:      19,600 (2008 est)
GDP – composition by sector:     agriculture:  3.8%
industry:  22%
services:  74.3% (2002 est)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):     1.5% (2007 est.)
Labor force:     30,000 (1991)
Labor force – by occupation:     commerce and services 82%, agriculture 7%, industry 11% (1983)
Unemployment rate:     11% (2001 est)
Budget:     revenues:  $123.7 million
expenditures:  $145.9 million (2000 est)
Agriculture:     cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane, livestock
Industries:      tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances)
Agriculture – products:     cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane; livestock
Exports:     $84.3 million (2007)
Exports – commodities:     petroleum products , bedding, handicrafts, electronic components, transport equipment, food and live animals
Imports:     $522.8 million (2007 est)
Imports – commodities:     food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil
Imports – partners:     US 27%, UK 16%, Canada 4%, OECS 3%
Debt – external:     $359.8 million (June 2006)
Exchange rates:     East Caribbean dollars per US dollar – 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)
Business Hours:     Commercial: 08:00-12:00 hrs; 13:00-16:00 hrs (Monday to Saturday). Closed on Thursday afternoons.
Government: 08:00-16:30 hrs. (Monday to Thursday); 08:00-15:00 hrs (Friday)
Fiscal Year:     1 April – 31 March

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COMMUNICATIONS:
1. Telephone mainlines in use:

41,700 (2010)

country comparison to the world: 170

2. Telephones – Mopbile cellular

163,900 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 183 
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TRANSPORTATION:
Airports
3 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 191
Airports with paved runways
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
Roadways:
total: 1,165 km

country comparison to the world:181

paved: 384 km
unpaved: 781 km (2002)
Merchant Marine:
total: 1,219

country comparison to the world:9

by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 53, cargo 703, carrier 6, chemical tanker 4, container 412, liquefied gas 12, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 16, vehicle carrier 2
foreign-owned: 1,186 (Albania 1, Colombia 1, Denmark 20, Estonia 20, Germany 1050, Greece 5, Iceland 9, Isle of Man 2, Latvia 16, Lithuania 4, Mexico 2, Netherlands 18, Norway 9, NZ 2, Poland 2, Russia 3, Slovenia 1, Sweden 1, Switzerland 7, Turkey 7, US 6)
note: this country allows large numbers of ships owned by foreign entities to be registered in its national shipping registry and to fly its flag; these ships operate under the laws of the flag state (2010)
Ports and Terminals:
Saint John’s
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MILITARY:
Military Branches
Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (includes Antigua and Barbuda Coast Guard) (2012)
Military service age and obligation:18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)
Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 21,141
females age 16-49: 24,056 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 17,676
females age 16-49: 19,960 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:male: 806
female: 799 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:

0.5% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 161

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TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES:
Disputes – International
None
Illicit Drugs:
considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as an offshore financial center.
Facts courtesy the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook