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Antigua and Barbuda


famous cricket players, caribana, Rastafarians, Protestant denominations, steel bands

Antigua and Barbuda has a total population of 69,842 (2008 estimate). The great majority of the population lives on Antigua; only about 2 percent lives on Barbuda. About 38 percent of the population lives in urban areas, primarily in the capital, Saint Johnís (population, 2003 estimate, 28,000). Other large settlements on Antigua include All Saints (2,230) and Liberta (1,473). Codrington (1,200) is the only significant settlement on Barbuda. The population density is about 158 (408 per sq mi).

More than 91 percent of the population is black, descended from African slaves brought to work on the sugar plantations. Most of the remainder is of mixed ethnic origin or white, although there are also minorities of Syrian-Lebanese, East Asian, and Native American descent.


Christianity is the religion of the vast majority of the population, with about three-fourths of the people belonging to Protestant denominations, mainly Anglican, Moravian, Methodist, and Seventh-Day Adventist. There are also Roman Catholics, Jehovahís Witnesses, and Rastafarians.


English is the official language of Antigua and Barbuda. However, Leeward Caribbean Creole English, an English-based creole, is the language used in informal situations by the majority of the population. Arabic, Portuguese, and some Indian languages are nonindigenous languages spoken by minorities in some parts of the islands.


Antigua holds a celebrated carnival at the end of July, with costumed dancing through the streets behind steel bands. Barbuda has a smaller carnival in June, known as caribana. The game of cricket is also quite popular in Antigua and Barbuda, and the islands have produced some famous cricket players in modern times: the fast bowlers Andy Roberts and Curtly Ambrose, and the batsman Vivian Richards.

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