Geographic and Governmental Profile of Antigua and Barbuda

Background
The Siboney were the first people 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 Spanish and French settlements were succeeded by an English 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.
Location
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates
17 03 N, 61 48 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total:
442.6 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)
rank:
200
land:
442.6 sq km
water:
0 sq km
includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km
Area - comparative
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
153 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain
mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point:
Boggy Peak 402 m
Natural resources
NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism
Land use
arable land:
18.18%
permanent crops:
4.55%
other:
77.27% (2005)
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Irrigated land
1.3 sq km
Total renewable water resources
0.1 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.005 cu km/yr (60%/20%/20%)
per capita:
63 cu m/yr (1990)
Natural hazards
hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts
Environment - current issues
water management - a major concern because of limited natural freshwater resources - is further hampered by the clearing of trees to increase crop production, causing rainfall to run off quickly
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors and beaches; Barbuda has a large western harbor
Country name
conventional long form:
none
conventional short form:
Antigua and Barbuda
Government type
constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a Commonwealth realm
Capital
name:
Saint John's
geographic coordinates:
17 07 N, 61 51 W
time difference:
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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 the UK)
National holiday
Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)
Constitution
1 November 1981
Legal system
common law based on the English model
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Louisse LAKE-TACK (since 17 July 2007)
head of government:
Prime Minister Winston Baldwin SPENCER (since 24 March 2004)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections:
the monarchy is hereditary; governor general chosen by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general
Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17 seats; members appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives (17 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve five-year terms)
elections:
House of Representatives - last held on 12 March 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results:
percent of vote by party - UPP 50.9%, ALP 47.2%, BPM 1.1%, other 0.8%; seats by party - UPP 9, ALP 7, BPM 1
Judicial branch
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court consisting of a High Court of Justice and a Court of Appeal (based in Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court are residents of the islands and preside over the Court of Summary Jurisdiction); Magistrates' Courts; member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
Political parties and leaders
Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Lester Bryant BIRD]; Barbuda People's Movement or BPM [Thomas H. FRANK]; Barbuda People's Movement for Change [Arthur NIBBS]; Barbudans for a Better Barbuda [Ordrick SAMUEL]; United Progressive Party or UPP [Baldwin SPENCER] (a coalition of three parties - Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement or ACLM, Progressive Labor Movement or PLM, United National Democratic Party or UNDP)
Political pressure groups and leaders
Antigua Trades and Labor Union or ATLU [William ROBINSON]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]
International organization participation
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Deborah Mae LOVELL
chancery:
3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone:
[1] (202) 362-5122
FAX:
[1] (202) 362-5225
consulate(s) general:
Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
the US does not have an embassy in Antigua and Barbuda; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda
Flag description
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; the sun symbolizes the dawn of a new era, black represents the African heritage of most of the population, blue is for hope, and red is for the dynamism of the people; the "V" stands for victory; the successive yellow, blue, and white coloring is also meant to evoke the country's tourist attractions of sun, sea, and sand
National anthem
name:
"Fair Antigua, We Salute Thee"
lyrics/music:
Novelle Hamilton RICHARDS/Walter Garnet Picart CHAMBERS
adopted 1967; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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