Country Information Database


Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Country Information

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Map of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Introduction Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on St. Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the United Kingdom for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.
Geography Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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
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
84 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
volcanic, mountainous
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: La Soufriere 1,234 m
Natural resources:
hydropower, cropland
Land use:
arable land: 17.95%
permanent crops: 17.95%
other: 64.1% (2005)
Irrigated land:
10 sq km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.01
per capita: 83 cu m/yr (1995)
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
118,432 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 25.1% (male 15,161/female 14,600)
15-64 years: 68.4% (male 41,855/female 39,105)
65 years and over: 6.5% (male 3,402/female 4,309) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 28 years
male: 27.8 years
female: 28.1 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.231% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
15.82 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
5.96 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
-7.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 13.62 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.83 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.34 years
male: 72.42 years
female: 76.31 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.79 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s)
adjective: Saint Vincentian or Vincentian
Ethnic groups:
black 66%, mixed 19%, East Indian 6%, European 4%, Carib Amerindian 2%, other 3%
Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, other (includes Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant) 12%
English, French patois
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 96%
male: 96%
female: 96% (1970 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
8.1% of GDP (2005)
Government Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
name: Kingstown
geographic coordinates: 13 09 N, 61 14 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick
27 October 1979 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 27 October (1979)
27 October 1979
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 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: 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 six appointed senators; representatives are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 7 December 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - ULP 55.3%, NDP 44.7%; 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:
New Democratic Party or NDP [Arnhim EUSTACE]; 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:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador La Celia A. PRINCE
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 slowed slightly in 2007 after reaching a 10 year high of nearly 7% in 2006, but is expected to remain robust, hinging upon seasonal variations in the agricultural and tourism sectors and a recent increase in construction activity. This lower-middle-income country is vulnerable to natural disasters - tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002. In 2007, the islands had more than 200,000 tourist arrivals, mostly to the Grenadines. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards. The government's ability to invest in social programs and respond to external shocks is constrained by its high debt burden - 25 percent of current revenues are directed towards debt servicing.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.042 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$559 million (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6.6% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$9,800 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 26%
services: 64% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
41,680 (1991 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 26%
industry: 17%
services: 57% (1980 est.)
Unemployment rate:
15% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.1% (2007 est.)
revenues: $94.6 million
expenditures: $85.8 million (2000 est.)
Agriculture - products:
bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish
food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch
Industrial production growth rate:
-0.9% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:
115 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 69.3%
hydro: 30.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
107 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
1,500 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
1,468 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:
-$149 million (2007 est.)
$193 million (2006)
Exports - commodities:
bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets
Exports - partners:
Greece 25.3%, Italy 13%, France 10.6%, Russia 9.7%, UK 6.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.2%, Spain 4.1% (2007)
$578 million (2006)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
Imports - partners:
Singapore 15.2%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.3%, Italy 12.7%, US 12.5%, China 4.8% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
$4.89 million (1995); note - EU $34.5 million (2005)
Debt - external:
$223 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 Vincent and the Grenadines
Telephones - main lines in use:
22,800 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
104,000 (2007)
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; mobile-cellular teledensity about 75 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-784; the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables carry international calls; connectivity also provided by VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 6, shortwave 0 (2004)
77,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2004)
18,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
97 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
15 (2000)
Internet users:
57,000 (2007)
Transportation Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
6 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
total: 829 km
paved: 580 km
unpaved: 249 km (2003)
Merchant marine:
total: 552 ships (1000 GRT or over) 5,491,616 GRT/8,055,699 DWT
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 85, cargo 329, carrier 19, chemical tanker 2, container 21, liquefied gas 6, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 16, petroleum tanker 19, refrigerated cargo 29, roll on/roll off 19, specialized tanker 2
foreign-owned: 503 (Austria 2, Barbados 1, Belgium 8, Bulgaria 14, Canada 2, China 99, Croatia 8, Cyprus 1, Czech Republic 1, Denmark 15, Egypt 3, Estonia 17, France 6, Germany 3, Gibraltar 1, Greece 76, Guyana 2, Hong Kong 7, Iceland 13, India 6, Iran 1, Israel 3, Italy 17, Kenya 2, Latvia 17, Lebanon 8, Lithuania 9, Malta 1, Monaco 5, Montenegro 1, Namibia 1, Netherlands 4, Norway 15, Poland 1, Puerto Rico 1, Romania 1, Russia 22, Singapore 5, Slovenia 5, South Africa 1, Sweden 2, Switzerland 6, Syria 11, Turkey 20, UAE 13, UK 14, Ukraine 13, US 19) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Military Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Military branches:
no regular military forces; Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, Coast Guard (2007)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 34,373 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 28,518 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 1,224
female: 1,169 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
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 eastern Caribbean Sea
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; small-scale cannabis cultivation

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Thu, 01 Jun 2023 05:22:43 +0000