Country Information Database


Saint Kitts and Nevis Country Information

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Map of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Introduction Saint Kitts and Nevis
First settled by the British in 1623, the islands became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Nevis continues in its efforts to try and separate from Saint Kitts.
Geography Saint Kitts and Nevis
Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates:
17 20 N, 62 45 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
land: 261 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
135 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
volcanic with mountainous interiors
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m
Natural resources:
arable land
Land use:
arable land: 19.44%
permanent crops: 2.78%
other: 77.78% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Total renewable water resources:
0.02 cu km (2000)
Natural hazards:
hurricanes (July to October)
Environment - current issues:
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, 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:
with coastlines in the shape of a baseball bat and ball, the two volcanic islands are separated by a 3-km-wide channel called The Narrows; on the southern tip of long, baseball bat-shaped Saint Kitts lies the Great Salt Pond; Nevis Peak sits in the center of its almost circular namesake island and its ball shape complements that of its sister island
People Saint Kitts and Nevis
39,817 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 26.7% (male 5,439/female 5,186)
15-64 years: 65.3% (male 13,018/female 12,968)
65 years and over: 8.1% (male 1,334/female 1,872) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 28.4 years
male: 27.7 years
female: 29.1 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.723% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
17.73 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
8.19 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
-2.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 14.34 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.94 years
male: 70.08 years
female: 75.98 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.28 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian
Ethnic groups:
predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97.8%
male: NA%
female: NA% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
9.3% of GDP (2005)
Government Saint Kitts and Nevis
Country name:
conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis
former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
name: Basseterre
geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
14 parishes; Christ Church Nichola Town, Saint Anne Sandy Point, Saint George Basseterre, Saint George Gingerland, Saint James Windward, Saint John Capesterre, Saint John Figtree, Saint Mary Cayon, Saint Paul Capesterre, Saint Paul Charlestown, Saint Peter Basseterre, Saint Thomas Lowland, Saint Thomas Middle Island, Trinity Palmetto Point
19 September 1983 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 19 September (1983)
19 September 1983
Legal system:
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Cuthbert Montraville SEBASTIAN (since 1 January 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995); Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 25 October 2004 (next to be held by 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SKNLP 7, CCM 2, NRP 1, PAM 1
Judicial branch:
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Kitts and Nevis)
Political parties and leaders:
Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]; Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]; People's Action Movement or PAM [Lindsay GRANT]; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Izben Cordinal WILLIAMS
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636
FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag description:
divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a broad black band bearing two white, five-pointed stars; the black band is edged in yellow; the upper triangle is green, the lower triangle is red
Economy Saint Kitts and Nevis
Economy - overview:
Sugar was the traditional mainstay of the Saint Kitts economy until the 1970s. Following the 2005 harvest, the government closed the sugar industry after decades of losses of 3-4% of GDP annually. To compensate for employment losses, the government has embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and to stimulate other sectors of the economy. Activities such as tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking have assumed larger roles in the economy and have contributed to the recent robust growth. Tourism revenues are now the chief source of the islands' foreign exchange; about 341,800 tourists visited Nevis in 2005. The current government is constrained by a high debt burden, public debt reached 190% of GDP by the end of 2005, largely attributable to public enterprise losses.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$721 million (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$527 million (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.3% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$13,900 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 25.8%
services: 70.7% (2001)
Labor force:
18,170 (June 1995)
Unemployment rate:
4.5% (1997)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.5% (2007 est.)
revenues: $89.7 million
expenditures: $128.2 million (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish
tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
125 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
116.3 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
900 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
871.6 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
-$163 million (2007 est.)
$84 million (2006)
Exports - commodities:
machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners:
US 65.8%, Azerbaijan 6.1%, Canada 4.9% (2007)
$383 million (2006)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
Imports - partners:
US 47.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.4%, UK 5.6% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
$3.52 million (2005)
Debt - external:
$314 million (2004)
Currency (code):
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Saint Kitts and Nevis
Telephones - main lines in use:
25,000 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
10,000 (2004)
Telephone system:
general assessment: good interisland and international connections
domestic: interisland links via Eastern Caribbean Fiber Optic cable; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004
international: country code - 1-869; connected internationally by the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 3, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2003)
28,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2003)
10,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
45 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)
Internet users:
10,000 (2002)
Transportation Saint Kitts and Nevis
2 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
total: 50 km
narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2006)
total: 320 km
Merchant marine:
total: 148 ships (1000 GRT or over) 631,931 GRT/907,733 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 7, cargo 101, chemical tanker 10, container 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 18, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 2
foreign-owned: 112 (Belgium 1, Cyprus 1, Egypt 2, Estonia 3, Finland 1, Greece 2, India 1, Kuwait 1, Latvia 5, Monaco 1, Pakistan 3, Romania 1, Russia 21, Singapore 1, Spain 1, Syria 6, Turkey 32, UAE 19, UK 1, Ukraine 8, Yemen 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Military Saint Kitts and Nevis
Military branches:
Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 10,095
females age 16-49: 10,081 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 8,064
females age 16-49: 8,464 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 367
female: 352 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Transnational Issues Saint Kitts and Nevis
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 eastern Caribbean Sea
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; some money-laundering activity

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Sun, 24 Sep 2023 07:39:31 +0000