Antigua Country Report

The following is a comprehensive report on Antigua & Barbuda

 

Within this report you will find information that may be of use to you in evaluating the suitability, attractiveness or otherwise of your involvement with the country of Antigua and Barbuda for the purposes of obtaining a passport from that country, doing business with that country or living in that country.

 

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ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA – Country Report

 

Background:

 

antigua-country-report

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The Siboney were the first people 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 Spanish and French settlements were succeeded by an English 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.

Location:

Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico

Area:

Total: 442.6 sq. km (Antigua 280 sq. km; Barbuda 161 sq. km)

Land: 442.6 sq. km

Water: 0 sq. km

Area – comparative:

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

153 km

Climate:

Tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain:

Mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas

Elevation:

Mean elevation: NA

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Highest point: Mount Obama 402 m

Natural resources:

NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism

Land use:

Agricultural land: 20.5%

Arable land 9.1%; permanent crops 2.3%; permanent pasture 9.1%

Forest: 22.3%

Other: 57.2% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

1.3 sq. km (2012)

Total renewable water resources:

0.05 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

Total: 0.01 cu km/yr. (63%/21%/15%)

Per capita: 97.67 cu m/yr. (2005)

Natural hazards:

Hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts

Environment – current issues:

The clearing of trees to increase crop production, causing rainfall to run off quickly, further hampers water management -a major concern because of limited natural freshwater resources –

Environment – international agreements:

Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography – note:

Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors and beaches; Barbuda has a large western harbor

People and Society:

Nationality:

Noun: Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s)

Adjective: Antiguan, Barbudan

Ethnic groups:

Black 87.3%, Mixed 4.7%, Hispanic 2.7%, White 1.6%, Other 2.7%, Unspecified 0.9% (2011 est.)

Languages:

English (official), Antiguan creole

Religions:

Protestant 68.3% (Anglican 17.6%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.4%, Pentecostal 12.2%, Moravian 8.3%, Methodist 5.6%, Wesleyan Holiness 4.5%, Church of God 4.1%, Baptist 3.6%), Roman Catholic 8.2%, other 12.2%, unspecified 5.5%, none 5.9% (2011 est.)

Population:

92,436 (July 2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 198

Age structure:

0-14 years: 23.85% (male 11,203/female 10,847)

15-24 years: 16.89% (male 7,751/female 7,861)

25-54 years: 42.47% (male 17,939/female 21,319)

55-64 years: 9.23% (male 3,859/female 4,672)

65 years and over: 7.56% (male 3,004/female 3,981) (2015 est.)

Median age:

Total: 31.6 years

Male: 29.8 years

Female: 33.2 years (2016 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 101

Population growth rate:

1.24% (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 95

Birth rate:

15.85 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 123

Death rate:

5.69 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 173

Net migration rate:

2.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 47

Urbanization:

Urban population: 23.8% of total population (2015)

Rate of urbanization: -0.95% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas – population:

SAINT JOHN’S (capital) 22,000 (2014)

Sex ratio:

At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.84 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

Total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

Total: 12.87 deaths/1,000 live births

Male: 14.82 deaths/1,000 live births

Female: 10.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 117

Life expectancy at birth:

Total population: 76.33 years

Male: 74.23 years

Female: 78.53 years (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 87

Total fertility rate:

2.02 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 120

Health expenditures:

5.5% of GDP (2014)

Country comparison to the world: 134

Hospital bed density:

2.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source:

Improved:

Urban: 97.9% of population

Rural: 97.9% of population

Total: 97.9% of population

Unimproved:

Urban: 2.1% of population

Rural: 2.1% of population

Total: 2.1% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access:

Improved:

Urban: 91.4% of population

Rural: 91.4% of population

Total: 91.4% of population

Unimproved:

Urban: 8.6% of population

Rural: 8.6% of population

Total: 8.6% of population (2011 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS – deaths:

NA

Major infectious diseases:

Note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:

31% (2014)

Country comparison to the world: 52

Education expenditures:

2.6% of GDP (2009)

Country comparison to the world: 159

Literacy:

Definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling

Total population: 99%

Male: 98.4%

Female: 99.4% (2012 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

Total: 14 years

Male: 13 years

Female: 15 years (2012)

Government: ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Country name:

Conventional long form: none

Conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda

Etymology: “antiguo” is Spanish for “ancient” or “old”; the island was discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 and, according to tradition, named by him after the church of Santa Maria la Antigua (Old Saint Mary’s) in Seville; “barbuda” is Spanish for “bearded” and the adjective may refer to the alleged beards of the indigenous people or to the island’s bearded-fig trees

Government type:

Parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

Name: Saint John’s

Geographic coordinates: 17 07 N, 61 51 W

Time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip

Independence:

1 November 1981 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)

Constitution:

Several previous; latest presented 31 July 1981, effective 31 October 1981 (Antigua and Barbuda Constitutional Order 1981); amended 2009, 2011 (2016)

Legal system:

Common law based on the English model

International law organization participation:

Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCT jurisdiction

Citizenship:

Citizenship by birth: yes

Citizenship by descent: yes

Dual citizenship recognized: yes

Residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Rodney WILLIAMS (since 14 August 2014)

Head of government: Prime Minister Gaston BROWNE (since 13 June 2014)

Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister

Elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general

Legislative branch:

Description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17 seats; members appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives (17 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

Elections: House of Representatives – last held on 12 June 2014 (next to be held in 2019)

Election results: percent of vote by party – ALP 56.4% UPP 42%; seats by party – ALP 14, UPP 3

Judicial branch:

Highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to include Antigua and Barbuda; the ECSC – headquartered on St. Lucia – is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the 9 member states; 2 High Court judges reside on Antigua and Barbuda

Judge selection and term of office: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Chief Justice appointed by the Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62

Subordinate courts: Industrial Court; Magistrates’ Courts

Political parties and leaders:

Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Gaston BROWNE]

Barbuda People’s Movement or BPM [Trevor WALKER]

Barbuda People’s Movement for Change [Arthur NIBBS]

Barbudans for a Better Barbuda [Ordrick SAMUEL]

United Progressive Party or UPP [W. Baldwin SPENCER] (a coalition of three parties – Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement or ACLM, Progressive Labor Movement or PLM, United National Democratic Party or UNDP)

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Antigua Trades and Labor Union or ATLU [Wigley GEORGE]

People’s Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]

International organization participation:

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCT, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

Chief of mission: Ambassador Sir Ronald SANDERS (since 17 September 2015)

Chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

Telephone: [1] (202) 362-5122

FAX: [1] (202) 362-5525

Consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

The US does not have an embassy in Antigua and Barbuda; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda

Flag description:

Red, with an inverted isosceles triangle based on the top edge of the flag; the triangle contains three horizontal bands of black (top), light blue, and white, with a yellow rising sun in the black band; the sun symbolizes the dawn of a new era, black represents the African heritage of most of the population, blue is for hope, and red is for the dynamism of the people; the “V” stands for victory; the successive yellow, blue, and white coloring is also meant to evoke the country’s tourist attractions of sun, sea, and sand

National symbol(s):

Fallow deer; national colors: red, white, blue, black, yellow

National anthem:

Name: “Fair Antigua, We Salute Thee”

Lyrics/music: Novelle Hamilton RICHARDS/Walter Garnet Picart CHAMBERS

Note: adopted 1967; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, “God Save the Queen” serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

 

 

 

Economy:

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.

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, the country’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 and 2011. The country has not yet returned to its pre-crisis growth levels.

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.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.097 billion (2015 est.)

$2.053 billion (2014 est.)

$1.97 billion (2013 est.)

Note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Country comparison to the world: 194

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.287 billion (2015 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:

2.2% (2015 est.)

4.2% (2014 est.)

1.5% (2013 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 133

GDP – per capita (PPP):

$23,600 (2015 est.)

$23,300 (2014 est.)

$22,600 (2013 est.)

Note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Country comparison to the world: 79

Gross national saving:

12.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

10.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

8.8% of GDP (2013 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 133

GDP – composition, by end use:

Household consumption: 51.1%

Government consumption: 10.2%

Investment in fixed capital: 21.3%

Investment in inventories: 0.1%

Exports of goods and services: 47.5%

Imports of goods and services: -30.2% (2015 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:

Agriculture: 2.4%

Industry: 17.9%

Services: 79.7% (2015 est.)

Agriculture – products:

Cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane; livestock

Industries:

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

Industrial production growth rate:

2% (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 112

Labor force:

30,000 (1991)

Country comparison to the world: 205

Labor force – by occupation:

Agriculture: 7%

Industry: 11%

Services: 82% (1983)

Unemployment rate:

11% (2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 126

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

Lowest 10%: NA%

Highest 10%: NA%

Budget:

Revenues: $255.9 million

Expenditures: $217 million (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

19.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 160

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 13

Public debt:

89% of GDP (2012 est.)

130% of GDP (2010 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 27

Fiscal year:

1 April – 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1% (2015 est.)

1.1% (2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 80

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2010)

6.5% (31 December 2009)

Country comparison to the world: 55

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10% (31 December 2015 est.)

10.1% (31 December 2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 83

Stock of narrow money:

$240.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$234.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 180

Stock of broad money:

$1.127 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.116 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 168

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.037 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.037 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 157

Current account balance:

-$129 million (2015 est.)

-$181 million (2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 71

Exports:

$61 million (2015 est.)

$59.8 million (2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 200

Exports – commodities:

Petroleum products, bedding, handicrafts, electronic components, transport equipment, food and live animals

Imports:

$482.5 million (2015 est.)

$469.5 million (2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 194

Imports – commodities:

Food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil

Debt – external:

$441.2 million (31 December 2012)

$458 million (June 2010)

Country comparison to the world: 182

Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar –

2.7 (2015 est.)

2.7 (2014 est.)

2.7 (2013 est.)

2.7 (2012 est.)

2.7 (2011 est.)

Energy:

Electricity – production:

315 million kWh (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 173

Electricity – consumption:

293 million kWh (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 178

Electricity – exports:

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 96

Electricity – imports:

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 113

Electricity – installed generating capacity:

55,000 kW (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 185

Electricity – from fossil fuels:

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 1

Electricity – from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 35

Electricity – from hydroelectric plants:

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 214

Electricity – from other renewable sources:

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 149

Crude oil – production:

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 103

Crude oil – exports:

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 93

Crude oil – imports:

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 151

Crude oil – proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 103

Refined petroleum products – production:

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 151

Refined petroleum products – consumption:

4,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 169

Refined petroleum products – exports:

175 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 119

Refined petroleum products – imports:

5,077 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 160

Natural gas – production:

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 153

Natural gas – consumption:

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 115

Natural gas – exports:

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 53

Natural gas – imports:

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 151

Natural gas – proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 108

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

586,400 Mt (2012 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 179

Communications:

Telephones – fixed lines:

Total subscriptions: 12,000

Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (July 2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 172

Telephones – mobile cellular:

Total: 126,000

Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 136 (July 2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 189

Telephone system:

General assessment: good automatic telephone system

Domestic: fixed-line teledensity roughly 15 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is about 135 per 100 persons

International: country code – 1-268; landing points for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) and the Global Caribbean Network (GCN) submarine cable systems with links to other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; satellite earth stations – 2; tropospheric scatter to Saba (Netherlands) and Guadeloupe (France) (2015)

Broadcast media:

State-controlled Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service (ABS) operates 1 TV station; multi-channel cable TV subscription services are available; ABS operates 1 radio station; roughly 15 radio stations, some broadcasting on multiple frequencies (2007)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 3, FM 17, shortwave 0 (2008)

Television broadcast stations:

2 (1997)

Internet country code:

.ag

Internet hosts:

11,532 (2012)

Country comparison to the world: 130

Internet users:

Total: 60,000

Percent of population: 65.2% (July 2015 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 174

Transportation:

Airports:

3 (2013)

Country comparison to the world: 193

Airports – with paved runways:

Total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

Under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports – with unpaved runways:

Total: 1

Under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways:

Total: 1,170 km

Paved: 386 km

Unpaved: 784 km (2011)

Country comparison to the world: 183

Merchant marine:

Total: 1,257

By type: bulk carrier 49, cargo 753, carrier 6, chemical tanker 4, container 407, liquefied gas 12, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 17, vehicle carrier 2

Foreign-owned: 1,215 (Albania 1, Colombia 1, Denmark 20, Estonia 10, Germany 1094, Greece 4, Iceland 10, Latvia 16, Lithuania 3, Mexico 1, Netherlands 17, Norway 9, NZ 2, Poland 2, Russia 3, Switzerland 7, Turkey 7, UK 1, US 7) (2010)

Country comparison to the world: 9

Ports and terminals:

Major seaport(s): Saint John’s

Military and Security:

Military branches:

Ministry of National Security, Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (includes Antigua and Barbuda Coast Guard) (2012)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; Governor-General has powers to call up men for national service and set the age at which they could be called up (2012)

Transnational Issues:

Disputes – international:

None

Trafficking in persons:

Current situation: Antigua and Barbuda is a destination and transit country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; forced prostitution has been reported in bars, taverns, and brothels, while forced labor occurs in domestic service and the retail sector

Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Antigua and Barbuda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government made no discernible progress in convicting traffickers in 2014 but charged two individuals in separate cases; efforts to convict traffickers have been impeded by a 2014 ruling that found the 2010 anti-trafficking act was unconstitutional because jurisdiction rests with the Magistrate’s Court rather than the High Court; no new prosecutions, convictions, or punishments were recorded in 2014; credible sources have raised concerns about trafficking-related complicity among some off-duty police officers, which could hinder investigations or victims willingness to report offenses; prevention efforts were sustained, but progress in protecting victims was uneven; seven victims were assisted, which was an increase over 2013 (2015)

Illicit drugs:

Considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as an offshore financial center