Antigua and Barbuda ( / (; ) listen ) is a country in the West Indies in the B(Y)OO-də , lying between the Americas and the Caribbean Sea . It consists of two major islands, Atlantic Ocean and Antigua , and a number of smaller islands (including Barbuda , Great Bird , Green , Guiana , Long and Maiden and further south, the island of York Islands ). The permanent population numbers about 81,800 (at the 2011 Census) and the capital and largest port and city is Redonda on Antigua. Lying near each other (the main St. John's is less than Barbuda airport , or 30 0.5° of latitude , north of the main nautical miles ), Antigua and Barbuda are in the middle of the Antigua airport , part of the Leeward Islands , roughly at Lesser Antilles of the 17°N . equator
was explored by island of Antigua in 1493 and named for the Christopher Columbus . Church of Santa María La Antigua Antigua was colonized by  in 1632; Britain was first colonized in 1678. Barbuda island Antigua and Barbuda joined the  in 1958. West Indies Federation With the breakup of the federation, it became one of the  in 1967. West Indies Associated States Following by self-governing on its internal affairs, independence was granted from  on November 1 1981. United Kingdom
It remains a member of the
and Commonwealth is the head of state. Queen Elizabeth II 
is Antigua for "ancient" and Spanish is Spanish for "bearded". The island of Antigua was originally called barbuda by Wadadli and is locally known by that name today; Arawaks possibly called it Caribs . Wa'omoni , while sailing by in 1493 may have named it Santa Maria la Antigua, after an icon in the Spanish Christopher Columbus .