Island Facts

Before you arrive, you need to know that Antigua isn’t like every other Caribbean island. Antigua has a rich history and a unique culture that will make you feel right at home. Learn more about the island’s essential facts.

The essential facts about Antigua.

The twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda has been independent since 1981. Before then, the island was part of the Commonwealth Realm. Europeans discovered the island in 1493 and the English settled it in 1632.

The government is a parliamentary democracy modeled after the United Kingdom and the official language is English.  The current Prime Minister is Gaston Browne. Like the United Kingdom, people drive on the left side of the road and most people write British English.

The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC).

Like most Caribbean islands, the economy relies primarily on tourism. The most popular event of the year is Antigua Sailing Week, which attracts visitors worldwide. Carnival is held at the end of August. Cricket is one of the most popular sports on the island and the International Cricket Association has approved AUA’s cricket field for practice matches.

Antigua is 108 square miles (280 square kilometers) while Barbuda is 62 square miles (160 square kilometers). The largest city in Antigua is St. John’s (with a population of 24,226), while the largest city in Barbuda is Codrington (with a population of 682). The most popular newspapers on the island are the Daily Observer and the Antigua Sun.