The island of Antigua was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for the Church of Santa Maria de la Antigua in Seville. Antigua was colonized by Britain in 1632; Barbuda was first colonized in 1678. Antigua and Barbuda joined the West Indies Federation in 1958. With the breakup of the federation, it became one of the West Indies Associated States in 1967, self-governing its internal affairs. Full independence was granted Nov. 1, 1981.
Capital: Saint John's
Official language: English
Local language: Antiguan Creole
Independence: November 1, 1981
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Driving Side: left
Dependencies: Barbuda, Redonda