Antiqua i Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda Islands
Antigua and Barbuda Islands by MSN Maps

Antiqua and Barbuda - Coat of Arms

Informacja PWN.

Encyclopedia Brytannica (ang.)

Oficjalna strona Departamentu Turystyki (ang.)


ANTIGUA I BARBUDA, Antigua and Barbuda, państwo w Ameryce Środk., w Indiach Zach., na części Wysp Podwietrznych (Małe Antyle) na M. Karaibskim.


Informacje ogólne

Stolica: Saint John's

Powierzchnia: 442 km2

Ludność: 66 tys. mieszk. (1996); większość stanowią Murzyni

Język urzędowy: angielski

Jednostka monetarna: dolar wschodniokaraibski

Święto narodowe: 1 listopada — rocznica uzyskania niepodległości (1981)

Podział administracyjny: 6 parafii. Antigua i Barbuda obejmuje 3 wyspy, Antiguę (280,7 km2, ok. 80 tys. mieszk.), Barbudę (160,6 km2, ok. 1,5 tys. mieszk.) i nie zamieszkaną Redondę (1,5 km2)


WARUNKI NATURALNE. Wyspa Antigua pochodzenia wulk., pagórkowata (wys. do 405 m), Barbuda zbud. z wapieni, nizinna; klimat podrównikowy, w lecie cyklony; wilgotne lasy równikowe; rzeki nieliczne, okresowe. Antigua i Barbuda obejmuje 3 wyspy: Antiguę (280,7 km2), Barbudę (160,6 km2) i nie zamieszkaną Redondę (1,5 km 2).

GOSPODARKA. Podstawą gospodarki jest eksport usług; dochód nar. 2570 dol. USA na 1 mieszk. (1987); turystyka dostarcza bezpośrednio lub pośrednio ok. 52% produktu wewn. brutto i zapewnia dość wysokie jego tempo wzrostu — 5,6% (1977–87); 1987 Antiguę i Barbudę odwiedziło 160 tys. turystów; wyspa Antigua jest także odwiedzana przez uczestników turyst. rejsów morskich. Uprawa gł. trzciny cukrowej i bawełny oraz batatów, jamu i manioku; rafineria cukru, destylarnia rumu, oczyszczalnia bawełny; w pobliżu Saint John`s rafineria ropy naft., a także zakłady przemysłu przetwórczego produkujące przede wszystkim na eksport; wywóz gł. bawełny, środków transportu, odzieży; import gł. żywności; handel z USA, W. Brytanią, Trynidadem i Tobago.

USTRÓJ POLITYCZNY. Formalnie monarchia konstytucyjna; czł. bryt. Wspólnoty Narodów; konstytucja z 1981; głową państwa jest monarcha bryt., którego reprezentuje mianowany przez niego gubernator generalny; gubernator powołuje premiera rządu, a na jego wniosek — pozostałych członków rządu; władza ustawodawcza należy do 2-izbowego parlamentu o kadencji 5-letniej: Izba Reprezentantów wybierana w wyborach powszechnych, Senat mianowany przez gubernatora; władzę wykonawczą sprawuje rząd odpowiedzialny przed Izbą Reprezentantów; wyspa Barbuda ma autonomię w sprawach lokalnych.


Antiqua and Barbuda

islands that form an independent state in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. They lie at the southern end of the Leeward Islands chain and have an area of 171 square miles (442 square kilometres). There is one dependency, the small island of Redonda. The capital is St. John's, on Antigua.
The nation's nearby neighbours include Anguilla to the northwest, St. Kitts and Nevis to the west, and Montserrat to the southwest. The Atlantic Ocean washes Antigua's northeastern shore. The population in 1990 was estimated to be 79,000.

For information about regional aspects of Antigua and Barbuda, see West Indies: Antigua and Barbuda.

The land

The largest of the islands, Antigua, covers a total area of 108 square miles (280 square km). It lacks forests, mountains, and rivers and is subject to droughts. Though mostly low and undulating and underlain by limestone, the terrain rises westward in volcanic rocks that reach 1,330 feet (405 m) at Boggy Peak. The intricate coastline has bays and headlands fringed by reefs and shoals. Anchorages include the deepwater harbour of St. John's and the shallower harbours of Parham and English. The mean annual temperature of Antigua is about 81° F (27° C). Temperatures vary little from month to month, and the annual rainfall averages about 40 inches (1,000 mm), which is relatively sparse compared with other islands of the Lesser Antilles. Antigua and the nation's other islands lie in the path of the seasonal hurricanes that occur in the West Indies.

Barbuda, formerly Dulcina, lies 25 miles (40 km) north of Antigua and covers 62 square miles (161 square km). It is a coral island, flat and well-wooded, with highlands rising to 143 feet (44 m) at Lindsay Hill in the northeast. A game reserve, Barbuda is inhabited by a variety of wildlife, including duck, guinea fowl, plover, pigeon, wild deer, and wild pig. The only settlement on Barbuda is Codrington, which is situated on a lagoon on the west side of the island.

Redonda, an uninhabited rock covering 0.5 square mile (1.3 square km) and rising sheer to 1,000 feet (305 m), lies 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Antigua proper. Phosphate deposits are located there.

The people

The vast majority of the population of Antigua and Barbuda is made up of the descendants of African slaves who were brought there during colonial times to work on the islands' sugar plantations. Today the people are largely engaged in tourism and in agricultural pursuits. The main settlements are St. John's on Antigua and Codrington on Barbuda. The language is English, and the vast majority of the population are Christians, with the Anglican church being predominant. The average life expectancy is about 72 years.


Antigua was visited in 1493 by Christopher Columbus, who named it for the Church of Santa Maria de la Antigua in Seville, Spain. It was colonized by English settlers in 1632 and remained a British possession although it was raided by the French in 1666. The early colonizers were also attacked by Carib Indians, who were once one of the dominant peoples of the West Indies. At first tobacco was grown, but in the later 17th century sugar was found to be more profitable.

The nearby island of Barbuda was colonized in 1678. The crown granted the island to the Codrington family in 1685. It was planned as a slave-breeding colony but never became one; the slaves who were imported came to live self-reliantly in their own community.

The emancipation in 1834 of slaves, who had been employed on the profitable sugar estates, gave rise to difficulties in obtaining labour. An earthquake in 1843 and a hurricane in 1847 caused further economic problems. Barbuda reverted back to the crown in the late 19th century, and its administration came to be so closely related to that of Antigua that it eventually became a dependency of that island.

The Leeward Islands colony, of which the islands were a part, was defederated in 1956, and in 1958 Antigua joined the West Indies Federation. When the federation was dissolved in 1962, Antigua persevered with discussions of alternative forms of federation. Provision was made in the West Indies Act of 1967 for Antigua to assume a status of association with the United Kingdom on Feb. 27, 1967. As an associated state, Antigua was fully self-governing in all internal affairs, while the United Kingdom retained responsibility for external affairs and defense.

By the 1970s Antigua had developed an independence movement, particularly under its prime minister George Walter, who wanted complete independence for the islands and opposed the British plan of independence within a federation of islands. Walter lost the 1976 elections to Vere Bird, who favoured regional integration. In 1978 Antigua reversed its position and announced it wanted independence. The autonomy talks were complicated by the fact that Barbuda, long a dependency of Antigua, felt that it had been economically stifled by the larger island and wanted to secede. Finally, on Nov. 1, 1981, Antigua and Barbuda achieved independence, with Vere Bird as the first prime minister. The state obtained United Nations and Commonwealth membership and joined the Organization of East Caribbean States. Bird's party won again in 1984 and 1989 by overwhelming margins, giving the prime minister firm control of the islands' government.

Richard Tolson
David Lawrence Niddrie
Janet D. Momsen

The economy

Antigua and Barbuda has experienced a slow but steady growth in its economy since the late 1970s. The gross national product (GNP) is growing more rapidly than the population; the GNP per capita is fairly high for a Caribbean nation. Tourism is the mainstay of the economy, accounting for about 60 percent of the GNP when related services are taken into account.

From the 1950s agriculture's contribution to the GNP dropped dramatically, until in the late 1980s it was less than 5 percent. Over the same period the number of agricultural workers in the nation fell to about 2,100, or about one-fourth the number formerly employed in agriculture. A severe blow to the agricultural sector came in 1972 when the sugar industry closed down. Attempts were made in the early 1980s to replant some of the sugarcane fields and to restore the refinery, but, because of financial problems, the sugar industry was again closed in 1985. Sea Island cotton has traditionally been grown, and fruits, vegetables, and livestock are also raised. The fishing industry has grown in importance, especially after the government established a corporation for catching and processing fish, including lobster.

Manufacturing is in the development stage in Antigua and Barbuda. Most of the nation's industries are involved with the processing of agricultural products, and the chief items produced include foods, clothing and textiles, concrete blocks, paints, optical lenses, and wood and paper products. Electronic components are assembled for export. The country's imports include mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment, food and live animals, and chemical products. Antigua and Barbuda's main trading partners are the United States, the members of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom), and the United Kingdom.

Transportation on the islands is mainly provided by motor vehicles, and almost 50 percent of the roads are paved. The nation's main airfield, which handles international flights, is V.C. Bird (formerly Coolidge) on Antigua; there is another, smaller airfield on Barbuda. The main port is St. John's, with its deepwater harbour.

Government and social conditions

Antigua and Barbuda is an independent member of the Commonwealth. The 1981 constitution provides for a two-house parliamentary type of government. Members of the House of Representatives are elected every five years, and members of the Senate are appointed by the governor-general, who represents the British monarch as the country's head of state. The governor-general is advised in his Senate selections by the prime minister and the leader of the minority party.

Two welfare plans administered by the government are available to the islanders. One is a medical plan, which covers most expenses for medical treatment and hospitalization. The other is a social-security plan, which provides old-age pensions and a number of other benefits. The groundwater supply is augmented by distillation of seawater.

Basic education is compulsory, beginning at age 5 and lasting 11 years. The country also has a teachers' college and a technical and vocational school. The literacy rate is high and has been estimated at about 90 percent of the total population.

Radio and television broadcasting is controlled by a government agency. The country has several newspapers, all under private ownership.

Points of interest to visitors on Antigua include the colourful public market, the old Court House (1748–50) in which the parliament meets, and St. John's Cathedral (1847), all in St. John's. The annual Midsummer Carnival, second only to Trinidad's in size, includes calypso contests, processions, and other celebrations.