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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Background:

Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on Saint 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

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) country comparison to the world: 202 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: 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

Population:

104,217 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 193

Age structure:

0-14 years: 25.9% (male 13,637/female 13,425)

15-64 years: 66.4% (male 35,693/female 33,701)

65 years and over: 7.8% (male 3,659/female 4,459) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 29.5 years

male: 29.6 years

female: 29.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

-0.341% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 220

Birth rate:

14.89 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 138

Death rate:

6.94 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 134

Net migration rate:

-11.36 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 215

Urbanization:

urban population: 47% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 14.7 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 127 male: 16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.9 years country comparison to the world: 107 male: 72.04 years

female: 75.82 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.94 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 137

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%, European 4%, Carib Amerindian 2%, other 3%

Religions:

Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, other (includes
Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant) 12%

Languages:

English, French patois

Literacy:

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: 14 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2005)

Education expenditures:

7% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 22

Government ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Government type:

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

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

Independence:

27 October 1979 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 27 October (1979)

Constitution:

27 October 1979

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 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 (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 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 elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 13 December 2010 (next to be held in 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - ULP 51.6%, NDP 47.8%; seats by party - ULP 8, NDP 7

Judicial branch:

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consisting of a High Court and
Court of Appeals; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme
Court reside 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:
NA

International organization participation:

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

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, which stands for Vincent; the diamonds recall the islands as the "Gems of the Antilles"; blue conveys the colors of a tropical sky and crystal waters, yellow signifies the golden Grenadine sands, and green represents lush vegetation

National anthem:

name: "St. Vincent! Land So Beautiful!"

lyrics/music: Phyllis Joyce MCCLEAN PUNNETT/Joel Bertram MIGUEL

note: adopted 1967

Economy ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Economy - overview:

Success of the economy hinges upon seasonal variations in agriculture, tourism, and construction activity as well as remittance inflows. Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism, but persistent high unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands. This lower-middle-income country is vulnerable to natural disasters - tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002. In 2008, the islands had more than 200,000 tourist arrivals, mostly to the Grenadines, a drop of nearly 20% from 2007. 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 public debt burden, which was over 90% of GDP at the end of 2010. Following the global downturn, St. Vincent and the Grenadines saw an economic decline in 2009, after slowing since 2006, when GDP growth reached a 10-year high of nearly 7%. The GONSALVES administration is directing government resources to infrastructure projects, including a new international airport that is expected to be completed in 2011.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.107 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 198 $1.102 billion (2009 est.)

$1.112 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$583 million (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

0.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 187 -1% (2009 est.)

-0.6% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$10,600 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 106 $10,500 (2009 est.)

$10,600 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 10%

industry: 26%

services: 64% (2001 est.)

Labor force:

57,520 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 186

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 26%

industry: 17%

services: 57% (1980 est.)

Unemployment rate:

15% (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 149

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.8% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 17 5.3% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 64 6.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

9.19% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 98 9.52% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$133 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 177 $138.7 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$444.4 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 173 $453.5 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$417.4 million (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 165 $387.8 million (31 December 2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:

bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish

Industries:

food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch

Electricity - production:

133.8 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 183

Electricity - consumption:

124.4 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 186

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

Oil - consumption:

2,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 178

Oil - imports:

1,451 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 181

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 154

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 133

Natural gas - imports:

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

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 139

Current account balance:

-$149 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

Exports:

$193 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 181

Exports - commodities:

bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets

Exports - partners:

Greece 40.04%, Poland 11.78%, France 9.05%, China 8.53%, India 4.71% (2009)

Imports:

$578 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 185

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels

Imports - partners:

Singapore 16.16%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.71%, US 13.41%, China 10.9%, Italy 8.89%, Turkey 6.6%, France 5.64%, Romania 4.44% (2009)

Debt - external:

$479 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 163 $223 million (2004)

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 Vincent and the Grenadines

Telephones - main lines in use:

23,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 187

Telephones - mobile cellular:

121,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 182

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 exceeds 100 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

Broadcast media:

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Corporation operates 1 television station and 5 repeater stations that give near total coverage to the multi-island state; multi-channel cable TV service is obtainable; a partially government-funded national radio service broadcasts on 1 station and has 2 repeater stations; about a dozen privately-owned radio stations and repeater stations operate (2007)

Internet country code:

.vc

Internet hosts:

211 (2010) country comparison to the world: 192

Internet users:

76,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 168

Transportation ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Airports:

6 (2010) country comparison to the world: 171

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 829 km country comparison to the world: 185 paved: 580 km

unpaved: 249 km (2003)

Merchant marine:

total: 444 country comparison to the world: 23 by type: bulk carrier 76, cargo 274, carrier 16, chemical tanker 4, container 21, liquefied gas 3, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 10, refrigerated cargo 12, roll on/roll off 15, specialized tanker 2

foreign-owned: 382 (Austria 2, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 6, Bermuda 1,
Bulgaria 10, China 82, Croatia 8, Cyprus 2, Czech Republic 1,
Denmark 19, Dominica 1, Egypt 4, Estonia 10, France 2, Germany 2,
Greece 63, Guyana 2, Hong Kong 4, Israel 3, Italy 5, Japan 3, Kenya
2, Latvia 15, Lebanon 4, Lithuania 10, Monaco 3, Netherlands 2,
Nigeria 1, Norway 12, Oman 1, Pakistan 1, Poland 1, Romania 1,
Russia 15, Slovenia 2, Sweden 2, Switzerland 5, Syria 13, Turkey 18,
UAE 4, UK 7, Ukraine 12, US 19, Venezuela 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Kingstown

Military ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Military branches:

no regular military forces; Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, Coast Guard; for national defense, Saint Vincent relies on the Regional Security System, headquartered in Barbados (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 27,940 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 22,932

females age 16-49: 22,134 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 990

female: 979 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
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 eastern Caribbean Sea

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; small-scale cannabis cultivation

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