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Antigua and Barbuda

Federation
Commonwealth realm
Flag of Antigua and Barbuda Coat of Arms of Antigua and Barbuda
Motto
Each Endeavouring, All Achieving
Anthem
Fair Antigua and Barbuda
God Save the Queen
Map of Antigua and Barbuda
CapitalSaint John's
Government Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
Monarch
- From 2011Elizabeth II
Governor-General
- From 2007Dame Louise Lake-Tack
Prime Minister
- From 2004Baldwin Spencer
Legislature Parliament
- Unicameral chamberSenate
History
November 1, 1981Independence from the United Kingdom
Commonwealth accessionNovember 1, 1981
Area440 km²
Population
- 201086,754
 Density197.1/km²
GDP2010 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 1.4 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 16,573
CurrencyEast Caribbean dollar
Flag of None State of Antigua and Barbuda
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Antigua and Barbuda is a commonwealth realm and a federal parliamentary democracy in the Caribbean.


Background

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.[1]

Economy

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 120% to about 90% in 2008. However, the global financial crisis that began in 2008, has led to a significant increase in the national debt, which topped 130% at the end of 2010. The Antiguan economy experienced solid growth from 2003 to 2007, reaching over 12% in 2006 driven by a construction boom in hotels and housing associated with the Cricket World Cup, but growth dropped off in 2008 with the end of the boom. In 2009, Antigua's economy was severely hit by the global economic crisis, suffering from the collapse of its largest financial institution and a steep decline in tourism. This decline continued in 2010 as the country struggled with a yawning budget deficit.[2]

Monarch

  • Elizabeth II () (January 1, 2011 - )

Governor-General

  • Dame Louise Lake-Tack () (Jul 17, 2007 - )

Prime Minister

  • Baldwin Spencer () (Mar 24, 2004 - )

Nation

Antiguan Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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