Vere Cornwall Bird Sr became the first Prime Minister.

Most of Barbuda was devastated in early September 2017 by Hurricane Irma, which brought winds with speeds reaching 295 km/h (185 mph).

The storm damaged or destroyed 95% of the island's buildings and infrastructure, leaving Barbuda "barely habitable" according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Nearly everyone on the island was evacuated to Antigua.

It remains a member of the Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state.

Carbon dating has established the earliest settlements started around 3100 BC.

The shorelines of both islands are greatly indented with beaches, lagoons, and natural harbours. Rainfall averages 990 mm (39 in) per year, with the amount varying widely from season to season.

In general the wettest period is between September and November.The islands generally experience low humidity and recurrent droughts.Temperatures average 27 °C (80.6 °F), with a range from 23 °C (73.4 °F) to 29 °C (84.2 °F) in the winter to from 25 °C (77.0 °F) to 30 °C (86.0 °F) in the summer and autumn.An estimate published by Time indicated that over 0 million would be required to rebuild homes and infrastructure.Philmore Mullin, Director of Barbuda's National Office of Disaster Services, said that "all critical infrastructure and utilities are non-existent – food supply, medicine, shelter, electricity, water, communications, waste management".Antigua and Barbuda both are generally low-lying islands whose terrain has been influenced more by limestone formations than volcanic activity.