Photos of Antigua and Barbuda

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The Siboney were the first people to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but the Arawaks populated the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early Spanish and French settlements were succeeded by an English colony in 1667. Slavery, which provided labor on the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981. In 2017, Hurricane Irma passed over the island of Barbuda, devastating the island and forcing the evacuation of the population to Antigua. Almost all of the structures on Barbuda were destroyed and the vegetation stripped, but Antigua was spared the worst.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



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

Geographic coordinates

17 03 N, 61 48 W

Map references

Central America and the Caribbean


total: 443 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)

land: 443 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km

comparison ranking: total 200

Area - comparative

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

total: 0 km


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


tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation


mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas


highest point: Mount Obama 402 m

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Natural resources

NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism

Land use

agricultural land: 20.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 9% (2018 est.)

forest: 18.8% (2018 est.)

other: 60.8% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1.3 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

the island of Antigua is home to approximately 97% of the population; nearly the entire population of Barbuda lives in Codrington

Natural hazards

hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts

Geography - note

Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors and beaches; Barbuda has a large western harbor

People and Society


total: 102,634

male: 48,311

female: 54,323 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 192; male 197; total 194


noun: Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)

adjective: Antiguan, Barbudan

Ethnic groups

African descent 87.3%, mixed 4.7%, Hispanic 2.7%, White 1.6%, other 2.7%, unspecified 0.9% (2011 est.)

note: data represent population by ethnic group


English (official), Antiguan Creole (an English-based creole)


Protestant 68.3% (Anglican 17.6%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.4%, Pentecostal 12.2%, Moravian 8.3%, Methodist 5.6%, Wesleyan Holiness 4.5%, Church of God 4.1%, Baptist 3.6%), Roman Catholic 8.2%, other 12.2%, unspecified 5.5%, none 5.9% (2011 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 21.8% (male 11,384/female 11,034)

15-64 years: 67.6% (male 32,312/female 37,094)

65 years and over: 10.5% (2024 est.) (male 4,615/female 6,195)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 40.9

youth dependency ratio: 26.5

elderly dependency ratio: 14.4

potential support ratio: 7 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 33.9 years (2024 est.)

male: 31.9 years

female: 35.7 years

comparison ranking: total 109

Population growth rate

1.11% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 83

Birth rate

14.9 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 113

Death rate

5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 171

Net migration rate

2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 49

Population distribution

the island of Antigua is home to approximately 97% of the population; nearly the entire population of Barbuda lives in Codrington


urban population: 24.3% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.87% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

21,000 SAINT JOHN'S (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

21 deaths/100,000 live births (2020)

comparison ranking: 120

Infant mortality rate

total: 13.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 16.4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.7 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 104

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.3 years (2024 est.)

male: 76.1 years

female: 80.5 years

comparison ranking: total population 80

Total fertility rate

1.93 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 116

Gross reproduction rate

0.94 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: improved: total: 96.7% of population

unimproved: unimproved: total: 3.2% of population (2017 est.)

Current health expenditure

5.6% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

2.76 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

2.9 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: total: 91.7% of population

unimproved: total: 8.1% of population (2017 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

18.9% (2016)

comparison ranking: 115

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 11.88 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 2.97 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 3.95 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 4.55 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.41 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 6

Education expenditures

3.8% of GDP (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 126


definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling

total population: 99%

male: 98.4%

female: 99.4% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 16 years (2012)


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, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation

Land use

agricultural land: 20.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 9% (2018 est.)

forest: 18.8% (2018 est.)

other: 60.8% (2018 est.)


urban population: 24.3% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.87% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 163

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 117

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 8.3 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.56 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.22 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 30,585 tons (2012 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 10 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 2.5 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 1.8 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

50 million cubic meters (2020 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda

etymology: "antiguo" is Spanish for "ancient" or "old"; the island was discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 and, according to tradition, named by him after the church of Santa Maria la Antigua (Old Saint Mary's) in Seville; "barbuda" is Spanish for "bearded" and the adjective may refer to the alleged beards of the indigenous people or to the island's bearded fig trees

Government type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm


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)

etymology: named after Saint John the Apostle

Administrative divisions

6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip


1 November 1981 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 November (1981)


history: several previous; latest presented 31 July 1981, effective 31 October 1981 (The Antigua and Barbuda Constitution Order 1981)

amendments: proposed by either house of Parliament; passage of amendments to constitutional sections such as citizenship, fundamental rights and freedoms, the establishment, power, and authority of the executive and legislative branches, the Supreme Court Order, and the procedure for amending the constitution requires approval by at least two-thirds majority vote of the membership of both houses, approval by at least two-thirds majority in a referendum, and assent to by the governor general; passage of other amendments requires only two-thirds majority vote by both houses; amended 2009, 2011, 2018

Legal system

common law based on the English model

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor General Rodney WILLIAMS (since 14 August 2014)

head of government: Prime Minister Gaston BROWNE (since 13 June 2014)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate (17 seats; members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister and leader of the opposition; members served 5-year terms)
House of Representatives (19 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms; in addition, 1 ex-officio seat is allocated for the attorney general and 1 seat for the speaker of the House - elected by the House membership following its first post-election session)

elections: Senate - last appointed on 17 February 2023 (next appointments in 2028)
House of Representatives - last held on 18 January 2023 (next to be held in March 2028)

election results: Senate - composition - men 10, women 7, percentage women 41.2%

House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - ABLP 47.1%, UPP 45.2%, BPM 1.5%, independent 5.2%; seats by party - ABLP 9, UPP 6, BPM 1, independent 1; composition - men 17, women 1, percentage women 5.6%; total Parliament percentage women 22.9%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the superior court of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - headquartered on St. Lucia - consists of the Court of Appeal - headed by the chief justice and 4 judges - and the High Court with 18 judges; the Court of Appeal is itinerant, travelling to member states on a schedule to hear appeals from the High Court and subordinate courts; High Court judges reside in the member states, with 2 assigned to Antigua and Barbuda

judge selection and term of office: chief justice of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court appointed by the His Majesty, King CHARLES III; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62

subordinate courts: Industrial Court; Magistrates' Courts

Political parties and leaders

Antigua Labor Party or ABLP [Gaston BROWNE]
Barbuda People's Movement or BPM [Trevor WALKER]
Democratic National Alliance or DNA [Joanne MASSIAH]
Go Green for Life or GGL [Owen GEORGE]
United Progressive Party or UPP [Harold LOVELL]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Sir Ronald SANDERS (since 17 September 2015)

chancery: 3216 New Mexico Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016

telephone: [1] (202) 362-5122

FAX: [1] (202) 362-5225

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: 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 symbol(s)

fallow deer; national colors: red, white, blue, black, yellow

National anthem

name: Fair Antigua, We Salute Thee

lyrics/music: Novelle Hamilton RICHARDS/Walter Garnet Picart CHAMBERS

note: adopted 1967; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the King" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 1 (cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Antigua Naval Dockyard 


Economic overview

dual island-tourism and construction-driven economy; emerging “blue economy”; limited water supply and susceptibility to hurricanes limit activity; improving road infrastructure; friendly to foreign direct investment; looking at financial innovation in cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2.093 billion (2022 est.)
$1.911 billion (2021 est.)
$1.766 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 196

Real GDP growth rate

9.52% (2022 est.)
8.19% (2021 est.)
-18.88% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 17

Real GDP per capita

$22,300 (2022 est.)
$20,500 (2021 est.)
$19,100 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 87

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.868 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

7.53% (2022 est.)
2.06% (2021 est.)
0.63% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 116

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 20.8% (2017 est.)

services: 77.3% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 40; industry 141; agriculture 178

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 53.5% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 15.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23.9% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 73.9% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -66.5% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

tropical fruits, milk, mangoes/guavas, eggs, lemons/limes, pumpkins/squash, vegetables, sweet potatoes, cassava, yams (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


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

Industrial production growth rate

3.16% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 113

Unemployment rate

11% (2014 est.)

comparison ranking: 170


1.85% of GDP (2022 est.)
2.83% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.57% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $278 million (2020 est.)

expenditures: $357 million (2020 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 112

Public debt

86.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
86.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 32

Taxes and other revenues

19.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 88

Current account balance

-$284.522 million (2022 est.)
-$243.68 million (2021 est.)
-$230.679 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 100


$1.021 billion (2022 est.)
$752.375 million (2021 est.)
$591.276 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 182

Exports - partners

Suriname 28%, Poland 20%, Germany 13%, UK 8%, Barbados 5% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, ships, gas turbines, soybean meal, liquor (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$1.176 billion (2022 est.)
$866.971 million (2021 est.)
$739.747 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 190

Imports - partners

US 57%, China 7%, Spain 4%, Brazil 4%, Finland 3% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, ships, engine parts, plastic products, cars (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$396.506 million (2022 est.)
$367.512 million (2021 est.)
$221.809 million (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 172

Debt - external

$441.2 million (31 December 2012)
$458 million (June 2010)

comparison ranking: 179

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
2.7 (2022 est.)
2.7 (2021 est.)
2.7 (2020 est.)
2.7 (2019 est.)
2.7 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 117,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 278 million kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 65 million kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: imports 149; exports 137; installed generating capacity 182; transmission/distribution losses 48; consumption 182

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 95.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 4.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 5,000 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 180

Refined petroleum products - exports

91 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 119

Refined petroleum products - imports

5,065 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 172

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

729,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 729,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 182

Energy consumption per capita

107.154 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 52


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 27,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 29 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 168

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 184,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 197 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 185

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the telecom sector has seen a decline in subscriber numbers (particularly for prepaid mobile services the mainstay of short term visitors) and revenue; fixed and mobile broadband services are two areas that have benefited from the crisis as employees and students have resorted to working from home; one area of the telecom market that is not prepared for growth is 5G mobile; governments, regulators, and even the mobile network operators have shown that they have not been investing in 5G opportunities at the present time; network expansion and enhancements remain concentrated around improving LTE coverage (2021)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity roughly 27 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is about 200 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 1-268; landing points for the ECFS and Southern Caribbean Fiber submarine cable systems with links to other islands in the eastern Caribbean; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)

Broadcast media

state-controlled Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service (ABS) operates 1 TV station; multi-channel cable TV subscription services are available; ABS operates 1 radio station; roughly 15 radio stations, some broadcasting on multiple frequencies

Internet users

total: 89,280 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 96% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 191

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 8,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 181


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 10

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 580,174 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 290,000 (2018) mt-km


3 (2024)

comparison ranking: 187


2 (2024)


total: 1,170 km

paved: 386 km

unpaved: 784 km (2011)

comparison ranking: total 182

Merchant marine

total: 614 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 24, container ship 109, general cargo 425, oil tanker 6, other 50

comparison ranking: total 36


total ports: 1 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 1

small: 0

very small: 0

ports with oil terminals: 1

key ports: St. John's

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (ABDF): Antigua and Barbuda Regiment, Air Wing, Coast Guard

Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (2024)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 250 active military personnel (2024)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the ABDF's equipment inventory is limited to small arms, light weapons, and soft-skin vehicles; the Coast Guard maintains ex-US patrol vessels and some smaller boats (2024)

Military service age and obligation

18-23 years of age for voluntary military service for both men and women; no conscription (2023)

Military - note

the ABDF’s responsibilities include providing for internal security and support to the police in maintaining law and order, interdicting narcotics smuggling, responding to natural disasters, and monitoring the country’s territorial waters and maritime resources; established in 1981 from colonial forces originally created in 1897, it is one of the world’s smallest militaries

the country has been a member of the Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS) since its creation in 1982; RSS signatories (Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) agreed to prepare contingency plans and assist one another, on request, in national emergencies, prevention of smuggling, search and rescue, immigration control, fishery protection, customs and excise control, maritime policing duties, protection of off-shore installations, pollution control, national and other disasters, and threats to national security (2023)

Transnational Issues

Illicit drugs

a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean; some local demand for cocaine and some use of synthetic drugs