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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Introduction - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:
CountrySaint Vincent and the Grenadines

BackgroundResistance 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.

Location - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:
LocationCaribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago

Geographic coordinates13 15 N, 61 12 W

Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean

Areatotal: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
land: 389 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area comparativetwice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries0 km

Coastline84 km

Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm

Climatetropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)

Terrainvolcanic, mountainous

Elevation extremeslowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: La Soufriere 1,234 m

Natural resourceshydropower, cropland

Land usearable land: 17.95%
permanent crops: 17.95%
other: 64.1% (2005)

Irrigated land10 sq km (2003)

Natural hazardshurricanes; Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent is a constant threat

Environment current issuespollution 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 agreementsparty 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 notethe 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:
Population118,149 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure0-14 years: 25.9% (male 15,596/female 15,027)
15-64 years: 67.6% (male 41,259/female 38,620)
65 years and over: 6.5% (male 3,358/female 4,289) (2007 est.)

Median agetotal: 27.4 years
male: 27.3 years
female: 27.6 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate0.248% (2007 est.)

Birth rate16.02 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate5.97 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate-7.58 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.038 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.068 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.783 male(s)/female
total population: 1.039 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality ratetotal: 14.01 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.25 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.09 years
male: 72.21 years
female: 76.04 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate1.81 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rateNA

Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsNA

Hiv aids deathsNA

Nationalitynoun: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s)
adjective: Saint Vincentian or Vincentian

Ethnic groupsblack 66%, mixed 19%, East Indian 6%, Carib Amerindian 2%, other 7%

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

LanguagesEnglish, French patois

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 96%
male: 96%
female: 96% (1970 est.)

Government - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:
Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Government typeparliamentary democracy

Capitalname: Kingstown
geographic coordinates: 13 09 N, 61 14 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick

Independence27 October 1979 (from UK)

National holidayIndependence Day, 27 October (1979)

Constitution27 October 1979

Legal systembased on English common law

Suffrage18 years of age; universal

Executive branchchief 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: none; 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 branchunicameral 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 branchEastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)

Political parties and leadersNew 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 leadersNA

International organization participationACP, 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, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Ellsworth I. A. JOHN
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 usthe 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 descriptionthree 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 overviewEconomic growth in this lower-middle-income country hinges upon seasonal variations in the agricultural and tourism sectors. Tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002, and tourism in the Eastern Caribbean suffered low arrivals in the immediate aftermath of 11 September 2001. The islands had more than 160,000 tourist arrivals in 2005, mostly to the Grenadines. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards. Saint Vincent is also a producer of marijuana and is being used as a transshipment point for illegal narcotics from South America.

Gdp purchasing power parity $864 million (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate $428 million (2005)

Gdp real growth rate4.9% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp $3,600 (2005 est.)

Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 10%
industry: 26%
services: 64% (2001 est.)

Labor force41,680 (1991 est.)

Labor force by occupationagriculture: 26%
industry: 17%
services: 57% (1980 est.)

Unemployment rate15% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty lineNA%

Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices 1% (2005 est.)

Budgetrevenues: $94.6 million
expenditures: $85.8 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

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

Industriesfood processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch

Industrial production growth rate-0.9% (1997 est.)

Electricity production114 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption106 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)

Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption1,400 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exportsNA bbl/day

Oil importsNA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves0 bbl

Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)

Exports$37 million (2004 est.)

Exports commoditiesbananas 39%, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets

Exports partnersFrance 26.3%, Greece 21.3%, Italy 18.9%, Russia 7.2%, UK 6.9% (2006)

Imports$225 million (2004 est.)

Imports commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels

Imports partnersSingapore 17.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 12.3%, US 11.2%, Italy 11.1%, Spain 9.6%, Turkey 4.6%, Germany 4.4% (2006)

Debt external$223 million (2004)

Economic aid recipient$10.5 million (1995); note - EU $34.5 million (2004)

Currency code East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Exchange ratesEast Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003), 2.7 (2002)

Communications - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Telephones main lines in use22,600 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular87,600 (2006)

Telephone systemgeneral assessment: adequate system
domestic: islandwide, fully automatic telephone system; VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to the other islands of the Grenadines
international: country code - 1-784; VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; new SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and to Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia

Radio broadcast stationsAM 1, FM 6, shortwave 0 (2004)

Television broadcast stations1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2004)

Internet country code.vc

Internet hosts94 (2006)

Internet users10,000 (2005)

Transportation - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:
Airports6 (2006)

Airports with paved runwaystotal: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)

Roadwaystotal: 829 km
paved: 580 km
unpaved: 249 km (2003)

Merchant marinetotal: 589 ships (1000 GRT or over) 5,449,699 GRT/8,051,250 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 106, cargo 351, chemical tanker 5, container 20, liquefied gas 7, livestock carrier 1, passenger 5, passenger/cargo 15, petroleum tanker 18, refrigerated cargo 38, roll on/roll off 20, specialized tanker 3
foreign-owned: 529 (Bangladesh 1, Barbados 1, Belgium 3, Bulgaria 17, Canada 6, China 103, Croatia 9, Cyprus 1, Czech Republic 1, Denmark 14, Egypt 3, Estonia 25, France 8, Germany 8, Greece 82, Guyana 3, Hong Kong 6, Iceland 10, India 6, Iran 1, Ireland 1, Israel 2, Italy 18, Kenya 2, Latvia 18, Lebanon 4, Lithuania 3, Monaco 4, Montenegro 2, Netherlands 5, Norway 16, Pakistan 1, Poland 1, Puerto Rico 1, Romania 1, Russia 29, Singapore 5, Slovenia 5, Sweden 1, Switzerland 13, Syria 6, Turkey 25, UAE 11, UK 13, Ukraine 12, US 21, Vietnam 1)
registered in other countries: 1 (Comoros 1) (2006)

Ports and terminalsKingstown

Military - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:
Military branchesno regular military forces; Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, Coast Guard (2007)

Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 31,489 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 25,787 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 1,204 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdpNA

Disputes internationaljoins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuelas 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

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>