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Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Background:

Carib Indians occupied the islands for hundreds of years before the British began settlement in 1623. The islands became an associated state of the UK 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 separate from Saint Kitts.

Geography ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Location:

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

Area:

total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km) country comparison to the world: 211 land: 261 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

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

Climate:

tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)

Terrain:

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:
NA

Total renewable water resources:

0.02 cu km (2000)

Natural hazards:

hurricanes (July to October)

Environment - current issues:
NA

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

Population:

49,898 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 207

Age structure:

0-14 years: 26.3% (male 5,397/female 5,138)

15-64 years: 65.9% (male 13,231/female 13,196)

65 years and over: 7.9% (male 1,326/female 1,843) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 31.5 years

male: 31.5 years

female: 31.5 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.838% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

Birth rate:

14.23 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 146

Death rate:

7.11 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

Net migration rate:

1.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51

Urbanization:

urban population: 32% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 9.9 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 153 male: 6.45 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.37 years country comparison to the world: 96 male: 72.03 years

female: 76.75 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.79 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 157

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Nationality:

noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)

adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian

Ethnic groups:

predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese

Religions:

Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic

Languages:

English (official)

Literacy:

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:

9.9% of GDP (2005) country comparison to the world: 6

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 and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

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

Independence:

19 September 1983 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 19 September (1983)

Constitution:

19 September 1983

Legal system:

based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

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 (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition 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 on 25 January 2010 (next to be held by 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SKNLP 6, CCM 2, PAM 2, NRP 1

Judicial branch:

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consisting of a Court of Appeal and a High Court; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court reside in Saint Kitts and Nevis); member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)

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:
NA

International organization participation:

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS,
OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, PetroCaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU,
WHO, WIPO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador 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; green signifies the island's fertility, red symbolizes the struggles of the people from slavery, yellow denotes year-round sunshine, and black represents the African heritage of the people; the white stars stand for the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, but can also express hope and liberty, or independence and optimism

National anthem:

name: "Oh Land of Beauty!"

lyrics/music: Kenrick Anderson GEORGES

note: adopted 1983

Economy ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Economy - overview:

The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis is heavily dependent upon tourism revenues, which has replaced sugar, the traditional mainstay of the 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, such as tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking. More than 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2009. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. The current government is constrained by one of the world's highest public debt burdens equivalent to roughly 185% of GDP, largely attributable to public enterprise losses.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$719.5 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 210 $730.5 million (2009 est.)

$772.7 million (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$562 million (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-1.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 202 -5.5% (2009 est.)

4.6% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$14,400 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 81 $14,800 (2009 est.)

$15,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 3.5%

industry: 25.8%

services: 70.7% (2001)

Labor force:

18,170 (June 1995) country comparison to the world: 209

Unemployment rate:

4.5% (1997) country comparison to the world: 42

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Public debt:

185% of GDP (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 3

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.5% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 132

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 65 6.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

8.75% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 107 8.75% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$94.45 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 181 $93.23 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$823.8 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 167 $787.8 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$790.8 million (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 155 $782.4 million (31 December 2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$648 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 102 $595.2 million (31 December 2008)

$439.7 million (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish

Industries:

tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages

Industrial production growth rate:
NA%

Electricity - production:

130 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 184

Electricity - consumption:

120.9 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 187

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 138

Oil - consumption:

1,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 196

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 181

Oil - imports:

1,225 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 184

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 131

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 138

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 157

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 136

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 141

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 142

Current account balance:

-$163 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 85

Exports:

$84 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 198

Exports - commodities:

machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco

Exports - partners:

US 62.3%, Canada 7.93%, Azerbaijan 6.72% (2009)

Imports:

$383 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 189

Imports - commodities:

machinery, manufactures, food, fuels

Imports - partners:

US 43.37%, Trinidad and Tobago 15.26%, Italy 11.83% (2009)

Debt - external:

$314 million (2004) country comparison to the world: 171

Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

Communications ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Telephones - main lines in use:

20,500 (2009) country comparison to the world: 193

Telephones - mobile cellular:

83,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 189

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

Broadcast media:

the government operates a national television network that broadcasts on 2 channels; cable subscription services provide access to local and international channels; the government operates a national radio network; a mix of government-owned and privately-owned broadcasters operate roughly 15 radio stations (2007)

Internet country code:

.kn

Internet hosts:

51 (2010) country comparison to the world: 210

Internet users:

17,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 197

Transportation ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Airports:

2 (2010) country comparison to the world: 204

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Railways:

total: 50 km country comparison to the world: 131 narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)

Roadways:

total: 383 km country comparison to the world: 199 paved: 163 km

unpaved: 220 km (2002)

Merchant marine:

total: 160 country comparison to the world: 40 by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 92, chemical tanker 4, combination ore/oil 1, container 3, liquefied gas 4, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 24, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 3

foreign-owned: 94 (Bahrain 1, Belgium 1, China 1, Estonia 3, Italy 1, Japan 3, Kuwait 3, Latvia 2, Malaysia 1, Norway 1, Pakistan 3, Russia 11, Singapore 5, Syria 5, Turkey 22, UAE 17, UK 2, Ukraine 10, US 1, Yemen 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Basseterre, Charlestown

Military ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Military branches:

Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard),
Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force; for national security,
Saint Kitts and Nevis relies on the Regional Security System,
headquartered in Barbados (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 13,510

females age 16-49: 13,075 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 10,736

females age 16-49: 10,913 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 402

female: 430 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
NA

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

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