St Kitts & Nevis Facts

 

 

 

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:

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:
one and a half 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:
0.2 sq km (2008)
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 & SOCIETY:

Nationality:
noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian
Ethnic groups:
predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
Languages:
English (official)
Religions:
Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
Population:
50,726 (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.8% (male 5,701/female 5,755)
15-64 years: 69.6% (male 17,740/female 17,297)
65 years and over: 7.6% (male 1,681/female 2,140) (2011 est.)
Median age:
total: 32 years
male: 32.1 years
female: 32 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.806% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
Birth rate:
13.9 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
Death rate:
7.08 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
Net migration rate:
1.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
Urbanization:
urban population: 32% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities – population:
BASSETERRE (capital) 13,000 (2009)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2012 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 9.43 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 150
male: 6.28 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.84 years
country comparison to the world: 95
male: 72.46 years
female: 77.26 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate:

1.79 children born/woman (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
Health expenditures:
6% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 108
Physicians density:
1.095 physicians/1,000 population (2000)
Hospital bed density:
6 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 1% of population (2008)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 96% of population
total: 96% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 4% of population
total: 4% of population (2008)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS – deaths:
NA
Education expenditures:
9.6% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 6
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: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2008)

GOVERNMENT:

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:
English common law
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt 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 Opens in New Window)
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, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, 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 Jacinth HENRY-MARTIN
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 symbol(s):
brown pelican
National anthem:
name: “Oh Land of Beauty!”

ECONOMY:

Economy – overview:
The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis depends on tourism; since the 1970s tourism has replaced sugar as the traditional mainstay of the economy. Following the 2005 harvest, the government closed the sugar industry, after several decades of losses.

To compensate for lost jobs, the government has embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and to stimulate other sectors of the economy, such as export-oriented manufacturing and offshore banking.

Roughly 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2009, but reduced tourism arrivals and foreign investment led to an economic contraction in 2009 and 2010. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. A mild recovery began in 2011.

The current government is constrained by one of the world’s highest public debt burdens -equivalent to roughly 200% of GDP in 2011 – largely attributable to public enterprise losses.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$918 million (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
$904.2 million (2010 est.)
$917.8 million (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$700 million (2011 est.)
GDP – real growth rate:
1.5% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
-1.5% (2010 est.)
-4.4% (2009 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP):
$16,400 (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
$16,500 (2010 est.)
$17,100 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 22.7%
services: 74.8% (2011 est.)
Labor force:
18,170 (June 1995)
country comparison to the world: 209
Unemployment rate:
4.5% (1997)
country comparison to the world: 44
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed):
39% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
Budget:
revenues: $222.2 million
expenditures: $222.2 million (2011 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
31.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
0% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
Public debt:
200% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
185% of GDP (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.6% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
0.5% (2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 53
6.5% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.1% (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
8.625% (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$128.4 million (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
$113.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$879.1 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
$823.8 million (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$777.8 million (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
$703.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$623.9 million (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 108
$648 million (31 December 2009)
$595.2 million (31 December 2008)
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 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
Electricity – consumption:
120.9 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
Electricity – exports:
0 kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity – imports:
0 kWh (2009 est.)
Oil – production:

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
Oil – consumption:
2,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
Oil – exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
Oil – imports:
1,699 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
Oil – proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
Natural gas – production:
0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
Natural gas – consumption:
0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
Natural gas – exports:
0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
Natural gas – imports:
0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
Natural gas – proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
Current account balance:
-$154.4 million (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
-$140.5 million (2010 est.)
Exports:
$63.1 million (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
$61.7 million (2010 est.)
Exports – commodities:
machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
Exports – partners:
US 56.5%, Canada 9.2%, Azerbaijan 5% (2010)
Imports:
$315.7 million (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
$292.7 million (2010 est.)
Imports – commodities:
machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
Imports – partners:
US 39.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 17%, Poland 4.7%, Barbados 4% (2010)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$100 million (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
$168.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Debt – external:
$211.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
$215.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar –
2.7 (2011 est.)
2.7 (2010 est.)
2.7 (2009)
Fiscal year:
calendar year

Information courtesy CIA Fact Book