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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is an island nation located in the eastern Caribbean Sea
on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Antigua and Barbuda are part of the
Lesser Antilles with the island of Guadeloupe to the south, Montserrat to
the southwest, Saint Kitts and Nevis to the west and Saint Barthlemy to the northwest.

History
                                                  National motto:
                                        Each Endeavouring, All Achieving
The Siboney were the first to inhabit   Official
the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in   language         English
2400 BC, but Arawak and Carib           Capital          Saint John's
Amerindian tribes populated the islands Queen            Elizabeth II
when Columbus landed on his second
voyage in 1493. Early settlements by    Governor general James Carlisle
the Spanish and French were succeeded   Prime minister   Lester Bird
by the English who formed a colony in
1667. Slavery, established to run the   Area             Ranked 180th
sugar plantations on Antigua, was       - Total         442 km²
abolished in 1834. The islands became   - % water       Negligible
an independent state within the British Population       Ranked 185th
Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.        - Total (2002)  67,448
                                        - Density       152/km²
Politics
                                        Independence     From the United
                                        - Date          Kingdom
                                                         November 1, 1981
                                        Currency         East Caribbean
As with most nations in the                              dollar
Commonwealth, the head of state is      Time zone        UTC -4
Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented
in Antigua and Barbuda by a governor    National anthem  Fair Antigua, We
                                                         Salute Thee
general. Executive power is in the
hands of the prime minister, who is     Internet TLD     .AG
also the head of government. The prime  Calling Code     1
minister is usually the leader of the
winning party of the elections for the House of Representatives (17
members), held every five years. The other chamber of the parliament, the
Senate, has 17 members which are appointed by the governor general.

Parishes and Dependencies

The island of Antigua is separated into six parishes:

   * Saint George
   * Saint John
   * Saint Mary
   * Saint Paul
   * Saint Peter
   * Saint Philip

The island of Barbuda has the status of dependency, as does the tiny island
of Redonda to the west.

Geography

The country consists of a number of islands, of which Antigua is the largest
one, and the most populated. Barbuda, just north of Antigua is the other
main island. The islands have a warm, tropical climate, with fairly constant
temperatures year round.

The islands are mostly low-lying, with the highest point being Boggy Peak,
at 402 m. The small country's main town is the capital Saint John's on
Antigua; Barbuda's largest town is Codrington.

Economy

Tourism continues to dominate the economy, accounting for more than half of
GDP. Weak tourist arrival numbers since early 2000 have slowed the economy,
however, and pressed the government into a tight fiscal corner. The
dual-island nation's agricultural production is focused on the domestic
market and constrained by a limited water supply and a labour shortage
stemming from the lure of higher wages in tourism and construction work.

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 industrialised world, especially in the United States, which accounts
for about one-third of all tourist arrivals.

Demographics

Most of the population are descendants of the slaves that used to work in
the sugar plantations, but there are also groups of Europeans, notably
British and Portuguese. While the official language is English, most of the
locals speak patois, a mixture of English, local languages and some other
European languages.

Almost all Antiguans are Christians, with the Anglican Church (about 50%)
being the largest denomination.
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