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Antigua & Barbuda Island Facts

Contents:   People   Economy   Geography
   
People

Population

64,006 (July 1998 est.)

Languages

English (official), local dialects
Major Religions Anglican (predominant), other Protestant sects, some Roman Catholic
Ethnic groups Black, British, Portuguese, Lebanese, Syrian
Growth rate 0.39% (1998 est.)
Birth rate 16.72 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)
Death rate 5.87 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)
Fertility rate 1.74 children born/woman (1998 est.)
Male life expectancy 68.82 years
Female life expectancy 73.69 years (1998 est.)
Infant mortality rate 21.35 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)


Economy
Economic Overview Tourism continues to be by far the dominant activity in the economy accounting directly or indirectly to more than half of GDP. Increased tourist arrivals have helped spur growth in the construction and transport sectors. The dual island nation's agricultural production is mainly directed to the domestic market; the sector is constrained by the limited water supply and labor shortages that reflect the pull 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 income growth in the industrialized world, especially in the US, which accounts for about half of all tourist arrivals.

Labor force

30,000
Unemployment rate 5%-10%(1995 est.)
Inflation rate CPI 2.5% (1996)
GDP purchasing power parity - 470 million (1997 est.)
Budget Revenues: $107 million
Expenditures: $132 million, including capital expenditures of $18 million (1995)
Debt - external $225 million (1996 est.)
Exports Total value: $45 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
Commodities: petroleum products 48%, manufactures 23%, food and live animals 4%, machinery and transport equipment 17%
Partners: OECS 26%, Barbados 15%, Guyana 4%, Trinidad and Tobago 2%, US 0.3%
Imports Total value: $350.8 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
Commodities: food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil
Partners: US 27%, UK 16%, Canada 4%, OECS 3%, other 50%


Geography

Antigua and Barbuda are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, roughly 17 degrees north of the equator. To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadaloupe, and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin.

Antigua, the largest of the British Leeward Islands, is about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, encompassing 108 square miles. Its highest point is Boggy Peak (1319 ft.), located in the southwestern corner of the island.

Barbuda, with an area of 68 square miles, lies approximately 30 miles due north. The island is 15 miles long and 8 miles wide, mostly very rocky and flat. Much of the island is covered in bush and there are unmarked roads and tracks to the beaches. There is really only one main road on the island. It is possible to cycle almost as easily as driving as speed is of no importance here. The bush hides all kinds of wildlife, including deer and boar, land turtles and guinea fowl and the occasional wild cat. There are feral cattle, horses and donkeys wandering about and in the village sheep and goats roam freely, returning to their pens at night. There are several salt ponds where it is possible to see a great variety of bird life, and in the lagoon the most spectacular of all the birds, the rare Magnificent Frigate bird has a colony of approximately 2000 birds, one of the largest in the world.

The nation also includes the tiny (0.6 square mile) uninhabited island of Redonda, now a nature preserve.

Sources: 1998 CIA World Factbook, Caribbean Islands Handbook 1999 Edition
Claire Frank, Barbuda

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