Island Facts

Antigua is a Caribbean island with a rich history and a unique culture that will make you feel right at home.

Here are some of the island’s essential facts:

• The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda has been independent since 1981, however is still a part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Europeans discovered the island in 1493 and the English settled it in 1632.

• The government is a parliamentary democracy system modeled after that of the United Kingdom and the official language is English. The current prime minister is Gaston Browne. As in the United Kingdom, people drive on the left side of the road and most people write in 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 Carnival, which attracts visitors worldwide and is held at the beginning of August. At the end of April, one of the top rated international regattas, Antigua Sailing Week, attracts participants from the global ocean racing yacht fraternity. Cricket is one of the most popular sports on the island—in fact, 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), and the largest city in Barbuda is Codrington (with a population of 682). The most circulated newspaper on the island is The Daily Observer.