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Antigua and Barbuda, independent island state, West Indies, in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It consists of three of the Leeward Islands—Antigua and two smaller islands, Barbuda to the north and Redonda, an uninhabited rocky islet, to the southwest. The total area is 442 sq km (171 sq mi), and the country has a population of 64,461 (2000 estimate). Antigua is a generally low-lying island but rises to 470 m (1,542 ft) atop Boggy Peak. Barbuda is a flat coral island with fine beaches. The climate is tropical, but the islands are subject to drought. Christopher Columbus was the first European to land on the island he named Antigua in 1493. Inhabited by the Carib tribe, the island was not successfully colonized until 1632, when the British established a settlement. Barbuda was colonized by settlers from Antigua in 1661. From 1958 to 1962 Antigua (which included the dependencies of Barbuda and Redonda) was a member of the Federation of the West Indies. In 1967 it became an internally self-governing state in association with the United Kingdom. On November 1, 1981, it became the independent state of Antigua and Barbuda.
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