Antigua and Barbuda : Society

Society

Population density (per sq. km): 
203
Life expectancy: 
76 years (est.)
Primary enrolment: 
85%
Population: 

90,000 (2013); some 2,000 on Barbuda; 25 per cent of people live in urban areas; growth 1.6 per cent p.a. 1990–2013; birth rate 16 per 1,000 people (26 in 1970); life expectancy 76 years (67 in 1970). Some 91 per cent of the population is of African descent (2001 census).

Language: 

English; an English-based Creole is also spoken.

Religion: 

Mainly Christians (Anglicans 18 per cent, Seventh Day Adventists 12 per cent, Pentecostals 12 per cent, Moravians eight per cent, Roman Catholics eight per cent, 2011 census).

Health: 

Public spending on health was four per cent of GDP in 2012. The country has a general hospital (220 beds), a private clinic, seven health centres and 17 associated clinics. Government finances visits by specialists in diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and glaucoma. A new hospital was built in the late 1990s. Some 98 per cent of the population uses an improved drinking water source and 91 per cent have access to adequate sanitation facilities (2011). Infant mortality was eight per 1,000 live births in 2013.

Education: 

Public spending on education was three per cent of GDP in 2009. There are 11 years of compulsory education starting at the age of five. Primary school comprises seven years and secondary five. Some 91 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2007). The school year starts in September. The government administers the majority of the schools.

Antigua State College in St John’s provides technical and teacher education, GCE A-Level and first-year University of the West Indies courses. Antigua and Barbuda is a partner in the regional University of the West Indies, which has its main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. The female–male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 2.00:1 (2011).

Media: 

Daily Observer is published daily; The Workers Voice (Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party and Antigua Trades and Labour Union) twice weekly.

In December 2014 the Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service, which was responsible for providing public radio and TV services, merged with the Government Information Service and the New Media Unit to make a single sector organisation. Observer Radio was the country’s first independent radio station, launched in 2001. Crusader Radio is owned by the United Progressive Party. Cable television is widely available.

Some 97 per cent of households have TV sets (2008). There are 207 personal computers per 1,000 people (2006).

Communications: 

Country code 1 268; internet domain ‘.ag’. Mobile phone coverage is good.

For every 1,000 people there are 368 landlines, 1,271 mobile phone subscriptions and 634 internet users (2013).

Public holidays: 

New Year’s Day, Labour Day (early May), CARICOM Day (early July), Carnival (Monday and Tuesday in early August), Independence Day (1 November), National Heroes’ Day (9 December), Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Religious and other festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday, Easter Monday and Whit Monda