Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua i Barbuda

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The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak and Carib 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.

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1. Dependency status: UN Country

2. Government type: constitutional monarchy with UK-style parliament

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

4. Border Countries: none (islands)

5. Climate: tropical; little seasonal temperature variation

6. Terrain: tropical; little seasonal temperature variation

7. Area: 443 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)

8. Capital: Saint John's (Antigua)

9. Administrative divisions: 6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip

10. Population: 68,320 (July 2004 est.)

11. Languages: English (official), local dialects

12. Religions: Christian, (predominantly Anglican with other Protestant, and some Roman Catholic)

13. Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

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