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The LESSER ANTILLES (also known as the CARIBBEES) are a group of islands in the Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea . Most form a long, partly volcanic island arc between the Greater Antilles
Greater Antilles
to the north-west and the continent of South America
South America
. The islands form the eastern boundary of the Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea with the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
. Together, the Lesser Antilles
Antilles
and the Greater Antilles
Greater Antilles
compose the Antilles
Antilles
(or the Caribbean
Caribbean
in its narrowest definition). When combined with the Lucayan Archipelago , all three are known as the West Indies
West Indies
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 Geological formation

* 3 Political divisions

* 3.1 Sovereign states * 3.2 Non-sovereign states/countries and territories

* 4 Islands

* 4.1 Leeward Islands
Leeward Islands
* 4.2 Windward Islands * 4.3 Leeward Antilles
Antilles

* 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 External links

GEOGRAPHY

The islands of the Lesser Antilles
Antilles
are divided into three groups: the Windward Islands in the south, the Leeward Islands
Leeward Islands
in the north, and the Leeward Antilles
Antilles
in the west.

The Windward Islands are so called because they were more windward to sailing ships arriving in the New World than the Leeward Islands, given that the prevailing trade winds blow east to west. The trans-Atlantic currents and winds that provided the fastest route across the ocean brought these ships to the rough dividing line between the Windward and Leeward Islands.

The Leeward Antilles
Antilles
consist of the Dutch ABC islands just off the coast of Venezuela
Venezuela
, plus a group of Venezuelan islands.

GEOLOGICAL FORMATION

The Lesser Antilles
Antilles
more or less coincide with the outer edge of the Caribbean
Caribbean
Plate . Many of the islands were formed as a result of the subduction of oceanic crust of the South American Plate
South American Plate
under the Caribbean
Caribbean
Plate in the Lesser Antilles
Antilles
subduction zone . This process is ongoing and is responsible not only for many of the islands, but also for volcanic and earthquake activity in the region. The islands along the South American coast are largely the result of the interaction of the South American Plate
South American Plate
and the Caribbean
Caribbean
Plate which is mainly strike-slip , but includes a component of compression.

POLITICAL DIVISIONS

The Lesser Antilles
Antilles
are divided into eight independent nations and numerous dependent and non-sovereign states (which are politically associated with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, France
France
, the Netherlands
Netherlands
, and the United States
United States
). Over one third of the total area and population of the Lesser Antilles
Antilles
lies within Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
, a sovereign nation comprising the two southernmost islands of the Windward Island chain.

SOVEREIGN STATES

NAME SUBDIVISIONS Area (km²) Population (1 July 2005 est.) Population density (per km²) CAPITAL

Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
Parishes 7002440000000000000♠440 7004856320000000000♠85,632 195 St. John\'s

Barbuda
Barbuda
7002161000000000000♠161 7003137000000000000♠1,370 9.65 Codrington

Redonda
Redonda
7000200000000000000♠2 5000000000000000000♠0 0 n/a

Barbados
Barbados
Parishes 7002431000000000000♠431 7005284589000000000♠284,589 660 Bridgetown
Bridgetown

Dominica
Dominica
Parishes 7002754000000000000♠754 7004726600000000000♠72,660 96.3 Roseau

Grenada
Grenada
Parishes 7002344000000000000♠344 7005110000000000000♠110,000 319.8 St. George’s

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Parishes 7002261000000000000♠261 7004426960000000000♠42,696 163.5 Basseterre
Basseterre

Nevis 7001930000000000000♠93 7004121060000000000♠12,106 130.1 Charlestown

Saint Lucia Quarters 7002616000000000000♠616 7005173765000000000♠173,765 282 Castries

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Parishes 7002389000000000000♠389 7005110000000000000♠110,000 283 Kingstown

Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Regional corporations 7003513100000000000♠5,131 7006129995300000000♠1,299,953 253.3 Port of Spain

Tobago
Tobago
7002300000000000000♠300 7004540000000000000♠54,000 180 Scarborough

TOTAL

7003836700000000000♠8,367 7006217929500000000♠2,179,295 260.5

NON-SOVEREIGN STATES/COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES

NAME SOVEREIGN STATE SUBDIVISIONS Area (km²) Population (1 July 2005 est.) Population density (per km²) CAPITAL

Aruba
Aruba
Netherlands
Netherlands

7002193000000000000♠193 7005103065000000000♠103,065 7002534000000000000♠534 Oranjestad

Anguilla
Anguilla
UK

7001910000000000000♠91 7004136000000000000♠13,600 7002132000000000000♠132 The Valley

Bonaire
Bonaire
Netherlands
Netherlands

7002288000000000000♠288 7004140060000000000♠14,006 7002246300000000000♠246.3 Kralendijk

British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
UK Districts 7002153000000000000♠153 7004270000000000000♠27,000 7002260000000000000♠260 Road Town

Curaçao Netherlands
Netherlands

7002444000000000000♠444 7005180592000000000♠180,592 7002406700000000000♠406.7 Willemstad
Willemstad

Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
France
France
Arrondissements 7003178000000000000♠1,780 7005440000000000000♠440,000 7002249100000000000♠249.1 Basse-Terre

Martinique
Martinique
France
France
Arrondissements 7003112800000000000♠1,128 7005400000000000000♠400,000 7002340000000000000♠340 Fort-de- France
France

Montserrat
Montserrat
UK

7002120000000000000♠120 7003465500000000000♠4,655 7001388009999900000♠38.8 Brades

Saba
Saba
Netherlands
Netherlands

7001130000000000000♠13 7003142400000000000♠1,424 7002109500000000000♠109.5 The Bottom
The Bottom

Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy
France
France

7001210000000000000♠21 7003744800000000000♠7,448 7002354600000000000♠354.6 Gustavia

Saint-Martin France
France

7001530000000000000♠53 7004350000000000000♠35,000 7002675000000000000♠675 Marigot

Sint Eustatius Netherlands
Netherlands

7001340000000000000♠34 7003310000000000000♠3,100 7002147600000000000♠147.6 Oranjestad

Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten
Netherlands
Netherlands

7001340000000000000♠34 7004409170000000000♠40,917 7003170400000000000♠1,704 Philipsburg

United States Virgin Islands
United States Virgin Islands
United States
United States
Districts 7002346000000000000♠346 7005108448000000000♠108,448 7002313100000000000♠313.1 Charlotte Amalie

Nueva Esparta Venezuela
Venezuela

7003115000000000000♠1,150 7005491610000000000♠491,610 7002402150000000000♠402.15 La Asunción

Federal Dependencies of Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela

7002342000000000000♠342 7003215500000000000♠2,155 7000600000000000000♠6 Gran Roque

TOTAL

7003599700000000000♠5,997 7006176995500000000♠1,769,955 303

Several islands along the north coast of Venezuela
Venezuela
and politically part of that country are also occasionally considered part of the Lesser Antilles. These are listed in the section below.

ISLANDS

The main Lesser Antilles
Antilles
are (from north to south to west):

LEEWARD ISLANDS

* Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands

* St. Thomas (US) * St. John (US) * St. Croix (US) * Water Island (US) * Tortola (UK) * Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
(UK) * Anegada (UK) * Jost Van Dyke (UK)

* Anguilla
Anguilla
(UK) * Saint Martin (Fr.) / Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten
(Neth.) * Saint-Barthélemy (Fr.) * Saba
Saba
(Neth.) * Sint Eustatius (Neth.) * Saint Kitts (St. Kitts and Nevis) * Nevis (St. Kitts and Nevis) * Barbuda
Barbuda
( Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda) * Antigua
Antigua
( Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda) * Redonda
Redonda
( Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda) uninhabited * Montserrat
Montserrat
(UK) * Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
(Fr.) * La Désirade (Fr.) * Marie-Galante (Fr.) * les Saintes archipelago (Fr.)

WINDWARD ISLANDS

* Dominica
Dominica
(Dominica) * Martinique
Martinique
(Fr.) * Saint Lucia (St. Lucia) * Barbados
Barbados
( Barbados
Barbados
is a Continental island found 100 miles (160 km) east of the Windward chain) * Saint Vincent (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) * Grenadines (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) * Carriacou and Petite Martinique
Martinique
(Grenada) * Grenada
Grenada
(Grenada) * Tobago
Tobago
* Trinidad
Trinidad
(Sometimes considered part of the Windward Islands. They are the most southern islands of the Caribbean
Caribbean
region. Islands of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago

LEEWARD ANTILLES

Map of the Leeward Antilles
Antilles

Islands north of the Venezuelan coast (from west to east):

* Aruba
Aruba
(Neth.) * Curaçao (Neth.) * Bonaire
Bonaire
(Neth.)

* Federal Dependencies of Venezuela
Venezuela
(Ven)

* Los Roques Archipelago * La Orchila * La Tortuga * La Blanquilla * Margarita Island
Margarita Island
* Coche * Cubagua

SEE ALSO

* Geography portal * Caribbean
Caribbean
portal * British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
portal * France
France
portal * Grenada
Grenada
portal * Netherlands
Netherlands
portal * United States
United States
portal * United Kingdom
United Kingdom
portal * Venezuela
Venezuela
portal

* Greater Antilles
Greater Antilles
* Lucayan Archipelago
Lucayan Archipelago
* Organisation of Eastern Caribbean
Caribbean
States

NOTES

* ^ A B "West Indies." Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary, 3rd ed. 2001. (ISBN 0-87779-546-0 ) Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc., p. 1298. * ^ Encyclopædia Britannica: The Windward Islands * ^ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) The Scotland District of Barbados * ^ CountryStudies.us The Windward Islands and Barbados * ^ Cohen, Saul B., ed. "West Indies" The Columbia Gazetteer of North America. New York: Columbia University Press – Bartleby. Accessed: 19 September 2006 * ^ ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL CONSTITUTED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 287, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH ANNEX VII, OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION BETWEEN: BARBADOS - AND - THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO - The Hague, 11 April 2006 (Pages 15-16)

REFERENCES

* Rogonzinski, Jan. A Brief History of the Caribbean. New York: Facts on File, 1992.

EXTERNAL LINKS

* JOIDES Resolution 340 Expedition * Geology of the Lesser Antilles
Antilles
Island Arc

The dictionary definition of Lesser