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  Saint Kitts and Nevis   
  Introduction Back To Top

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 try and separate from Saint Kitts.

  Geography Back To Top

Total renewable water resources:
0.02 cu km (2000)

Land boundaries:
0 km

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

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

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Geographic coordinates:
17 20 N, 62 45 W

Natural resources:
arable land

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m

volcanic with mountainous interiors

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

total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
land: 261 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago

135 km

Area - comparative:
1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:

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

Natural hazards:
hurricanes (July to October)

Land use:
arable land: 19.44%
permanent crops: 2.78%
other: 77.78% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.28 children born/woman (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.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.94 years
male: 70.08 years
female: 75.98 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97.8%
male: NA%
female: NA% (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:
-2.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese

Median age:
total: 28.4 years
male: 27.7 years
female: 29.1 years (2008 est.)

39,817 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
9.3% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
0.723% (2008 est.)


Death rate:
8.19 deaths/1,000 population (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.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2005)

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.)

Birth rate:
17.73 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic

noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian

  Government Back To Top

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

National holiday:
Independence Day, 19 September (1983)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:
parliamentary democracy

Political pressure groups and leaders:

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

International organization participation:

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

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

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

19 September 1983 (from UK)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis
former: Federation of Saint Christopher 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]

name: Basseterre
geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

19 September 1983

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

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

Judicial branch:
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Kitts and Nevis)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
US 66.3%, Canada 4.9%, Turkey 3.3% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
120.9 million kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$163 million (2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$314 million (2004)

Unemployment rate:
4.5% (1997)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$20,000 (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$782.4 million (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$797.5 million (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$559 million (2008 est.)

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

GDP - real growth rate:
3.5% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$97.31 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
18,170 (June 1995)

Imports - partners:
US 47.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.3%, UK 5.6% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.5% (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 25.8%
services: 70.7% (2001)

Oil - imports:
917.8 bbl/day (2005)

$84 million (2006)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

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. Economic growth was above average for Latin America from 2004 to 2006, but has since slowed. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, the St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. The current government is constrained by a high public debt burden equivalent to nearly 185% of GDP by the end of 2006, largely attributable to public enterprise losses.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery, manufactures, food, fuels

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

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.28% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$688.6 million (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
130 million kWh (2006 est.)

$383 million (2006)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
950 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$439.7 million (31 December 2007)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco

Economic aid - recipient:
$3.52 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $89.7 million
expenditures: $128.2 million (2003 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
10,000 (2002)

Telephones - main lines in use:
25,000 (2004)

10,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 3, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2003)

28,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
10,000 (2004)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2003)

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

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)

Internet hosts:
45 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

total: 50 km
narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2006)

Ports and terminals:

Merchant marine:
total: 159
by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 109, chemical tanker 7, container 1, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 19, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 121 (Belgium 1, Cyprus 1, Egypt 2, Estonia 3, Finland 1, Greece 3, India 1, Italy 1, Japan 3, Kuwait 1, Latvia 5, Malaysia 1, Pakistan 3, Romania 1, Russia 19, Singapore 1, Spain 1, Syria 7, Turkey 35, Ukraine 9, UAE 18, UK 3, Yemen 1) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)

total: 320 km
paved: 163 km
unpaved: 220 km (2002)

2 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

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.)

Military branches:
Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 367
female: 352 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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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