Antigua and Barbuda

Region: Caribbean

Capital: St John’s

Population: 91,295 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 442.6 sq km

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity USD $18,400 (2013 CIA est.)


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.

Economy – Overview:

Tourism continues to dominate Antigua and Barbuda’s 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. After taking office in 2004, the SPENCER government adopted an ambitious fiscal reform program and was successful in reducing its public debt-to-GDP ratio from approximately 130% in 2010 to 89% in 2012. In 2009, Antigua’s economy was severely hit by the global economic crisis and suffered from the collapse of its largest private sector employer, a steep decline in tourism, a rise in debt, and a sharp economic contraction between 2009-11. Antigua has not yet returned to its pre-crisis growth levels. (CIA 2014 )

Major Export Commodities: petroleum products, bedding, handicrafts, electronic components, transport equipment, food, and live animals (CIA 2014)

Remittances inflows: USD $21 million (World Bank 2012 est.) 

Human Development Index 2013 ranking: 67 of 186 countries (UNDP 2013)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA US $2,350,000 USD million (World Bank 2012 est.)

Major development partners include: Japan, EU, CarDB, Australia, GEF, US, Korea, Spain, France, Greece (OECD 2012)

Total External Debt: US $441.2 million (31 December 2012 CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 76.12 years (CIA 2014)

Environmental Indicators: Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 8.3

Forested Area (percentage of land area): 22.3
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 5.1 (UNDP 2013) 

United Nations membership date: 11 November 1981

New York Mission:

Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations
305 East 47th Street, 6th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10017
Telephone: (212)-541-4117
Fax: (212)-757-1607


CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.

World Development Indicators. World Bank

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Human Development Report 2013.United Nations Development Programme.

Updated January 2015