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You are in:  Nations > Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda*Antigua and Barbuda flag
Basic facts
The country 
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Capital: St John's
Area: 442 sq km; 171 sq miles
Population: 66,970 (July 2001 estimate)
Urbanisation: Urban 37 per cent; Rural 63 per cent


Exports: Petroleum products, manufactured goods, food and livestock, machinery and transport equipment

Industry: Tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances)

Agriculture: Cotton, fruits, vegetables and livestock; other crops: bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugar cane; not self-sufficient in food

Currency: 1 East Caribbean dollar (EC$), consisting of 100 cents

Natural resources: Negligible; pleasant climate fosters tourism


The people

Ethnic: Black African 96 per cent, European 3 per cent, Lebanese, Syrian, other 1 per cent

Language: English (official), local dialects. Most Antiguans and Barbudans speak English, but a dialect that is a mixture of English, various African languages and some European languages is also spoken. Commonly used words such as nyam ("to eat") have African origins. "T'all" means "not at all" and "how!" means "but of course!". Traditional sayings are still popular, such as "No tro way you belly and tek trash tuff um" ("Don't lose the substance for the shadow") and "Wah eye no see heart no grieve" ("What the eye doesn't see, the heart won't grieve over").

Religion: Anglican (predominant), other Protestant sects, some Roman Catholic; also Islam, Baha'i and Rastafarianism. Women and children attend church regularly; men go less frequently. Most Antiguans and Barbudans belong to various Protestant groups, although there is a significant number of Catholics and some followers of Islam, Baha'i and Rastafarianism. The Anglican Church, with Antigua's largest cathedral (St John's), is the state religion. The people of Antigua and Barbuda take a casual approach to life, sometimes expressed in the phrase "Soon come", which is related to a general feeling that things take care of themselves, or are in the hands of God. On Saturday, which is a busy day for chores and errands, people may buy barbecued chicken or fried fish at the market for the main meal.


The history

Independence: 1 November 1981 (from the United Kingdom)

Government: As a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth, Antigua and Barbuda continues to recognize Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. A governor-general represents her. Parliament has two houses: a Senate, which is appointed and a House of Representatives, which is directly elected; each house has 17 seats. The voting age is 18.

*Antigua and Barbuda
*British Virgin Islands
*Cayman Islands
*St Kitts and Nevis
*St Lucia
*St Vincent and the Grenadines
*Trinidad & Tobago
*Turks & Caicos
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