Introduction St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Background: Disputed between France and the United Kingdom in the 18th century, Saint Vincent was ceded to the latter in 1783. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.

Geography Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates: 13 15 N, 61 12 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
land: 389 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area – comparative: twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 84 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
Terrain: volcanic, mountainous
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Soufriere 1,234 m
Natural resources: hydropower, cropland
Land use: arable land: 17.95%
permanent crops: 17.95%
other: 64.1% (2001)
Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: hurricanes; Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent is a constant threat
Environment – current issues: pollution of coastal waters and shorelines from discharges by pleasure yachts and other effluents; in some areas, pollution is severe enough to make swimming prohibitive
Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: the administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is comprised of 32 islands and cays
People Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Population: 117,534 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.1% (male 16,208/female 15,621)
15-64 years: 66.5% (male 40,287/female 37,883)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 3,280/female 4,255) (2005 est.)
Median age: total: 26.36 years
male: 26.21 years
female: 26.53 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.27% (2005 est.)
Birth rate: 16.34 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate: 6 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate: -7.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 14.78 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.62 years
male: 71.78 years
female: 75.51 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.85 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS – deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s)
adjective: Saint Vincentian or Vincentian
Ethnic groups: black 66%, mixed 19%, East Indian 6%, Carib Amerindian 2%, other 7%
Religions: Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant
Languages: English, French patois
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 96%
male: 96%
female: 96% (1970 est.)
Government Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Government type: parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth
Capital: Kingstown
Administrative divisions: 6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick
Independence: 27 October 1979 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 October (1979)
Constitution: 27 October 1979
Legal system: based on English common law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Fredrick Nathaniel BALLANTYNE (since 2 September 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Ralph E. GONSALVES (since 29 March 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly (21 seats, 15 elected representatives and 6 appointed senators; representatives are elected by popular vote from single-member constituencies to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 28 March 2001 (next to be held by July 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party – NA%; seats by party – ULP 12, NDP 3
Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
Political parties and leaders: National Reform Party or NRP [Joel MIGUEL]; New Democratic Party or NDP [Arnhim EUSTACE]; People’s Progressive Movement or PPM [Ken BOYEA]; Progressive Labor Party or PLP [leader NA]; United People’s Movement or UPM [Adrian SAUNDERS]; Unity Labor Party or ULP [Ralph GONSALVES] (formed by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party or SVLP and the Movement for National Unity or MNU)
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ellsworth I. A. JOHN
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 364-6730
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6736
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag description: three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold (double width), and green; the gold band bears three green diamonds arranged in a V pattern
Economy Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Economy – overview: Economic growth in this lower-middle-income country hinges upon seasonal variations in the agricultural and tourism sectors. Tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002, and tourism in the Eastern Caribbean has suffered low arrivals following 11 September 2001. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards. Saint Vincent is also a large producer of marijuana and is being used as a transshipment point for illegal narcotics from South America.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $342 million (2002 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 0.7% (2002 est.)
GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $2,900 (2002 est.)
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 10%
industry: 26%
services: 64% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 67,000 (1984 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture 26%, industry 17%, services 57% (1980 est.)
Unemployment rate: 15% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.4% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $94.6 million
expenditures: $85.8 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2000 est.)
Agriculture – products: bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices, small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, fish
Industries: food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch
Industrial production growth rate: -0.9% (1997 est.)
Electricity – production: 91.2 million kWh (2002)
Electricity – production by source: fossil fuel: 69.3%
hydro: 30.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity – consumption: 84.82 million kWh (2002)
Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity – imports: 0 kWh (2002)
Oil – production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil – consumption: 1,250 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil – exports: NA
Oil – imports: NA
Exports: $38 million (2002 est.)
Exports – commodities: bananas 39%, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets
Exports – partners: UK 33.5%, Barbados 13.1%, Saint Lucia 11.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 9.9%, Antigua and Barbuda 8.3%, US 5.3%, Grenada 5.3%, Dominica 4.1% (2004)
Imports: $174 million (2002 est.)
Imports – commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
Imports – partners: US 37.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 21.3%, UK 10.5% (2004)
Debt – external: $167.2 million (2000)
Economic aid – recipient: $47.5 million (1995); note – EU $34.5 million (1998)
Currency (code): East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code: XCD
Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars per US dollar – 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003), 2.7 (2002), 2.7 (2001), 2.7 (2000)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Telephones – main lines in use: 27,300 (2002)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 10,000 (2002)
Telephone system: general assessment: adequate system
domestic: islandwide, fully automatic telephone system; VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to the other islands of the Grenadines
international: country code – 1-784; VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; new SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and to Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 6, shortwave 0 (2004)
Radios: 77,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 1 (plus three repeaters) (2004)
Televisions: 18,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .vc
Internet hosts: 4 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 15 (2000)
Internet users: 7,000 (2002)
Transportation Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Highways: total: 829 km
paved: 580 km
unpaved: 249 km (2002)
Ports and harbors: Kingstown
Merchant marine: total: 657 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 5,967,418 GRT/9,041,023 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 112, cargo 366, chemical tanker 18, combination ore/oil 1, container 24, liquefied gas 4, livestock carrier 6, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 19, petroleum tanker 29, refrigerated cargo 48, roll on/roll off 22, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 554 (Australia 2, Bangladesh 5, Barbados 1, Belgium 1, British 5, Bulgaria 17, China 115, Congo 1, Croatia 7, Cuba 1, Czech Republic 1, Denmark 12, Egypt 2, Estonia 19, France 12, Germany 8, Greece 99, Guyana 3, Hong Kong 10, Iceland 11, India 6, Iran 1, Ireland 1, Israel 3, Italy 18, Kenya 4, Latvia 9, Lebanon 6, Lithuania 3, Monaco 4, Netherlands 7, Nigeria 3, Norway 19, Pakistan 4, Poland 1, Puerto Rico 1, Romania 1, Russia 20, Saudi Arabia 3, Serbia & Montenegro 1, Singapore 2, Slovenia 6, South Korea 3, Spain 2, Sweden 1, Switzerland 7, Syria 6, Trinidad & Tobago 1, Tunisia 2, Turkey 16, Ukraine 6, UAE 21, United Kingdom 10, United States 24) (2005)
Airports: 6 (2004 est.)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports – with unpaved runways: total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Military Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Military branches: no regular military forces; Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (includes Special Service Unit), Coast Guard
Military expenditures – dollar figure: NA
Military expenditures – percent of GDP: NA
Transnational Issues Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Disputes – international: joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela’s claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UNCLOS, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the Caribbean Sea
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; small-scale cannabis cultivation

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CIA World Factsbook;