Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Introduction - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:


Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


Resistance 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:


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


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

Area comparative

twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km


84 km

Maritime claims

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


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


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)

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:


118,149 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 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 age

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

Population growth rate

0.248% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

16.02 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

5.97 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

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

Sex ratio

at 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 rate

total: 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 birth

total population: 74.09 years
male: 72.21 years
female: 76.04 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.81 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate


Hiv aids people living with hiv aids


Hiv aids deaths



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

Ethnic groups

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


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


English, French patois


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

Government - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:

Country name

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Government type

parliamentary democracy


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


27 October 1979 (from UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 27 October (1979)


27 October 1979

Legal system

based on English common law


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
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 branch

unicameral 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 branch

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides 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


International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the us

chief 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 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

Economy - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:

Economy overview

Economic 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 rate

4.9% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$3,600 (2005 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 10%
industry: 26%
services: 64% (2001 est.)

Labor force

41,680 (1991 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 26%
industry: 17%
services: 57% (1980 est.)

Unemployment rate

15% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

1% (2005 est.)


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

Agriculture products

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


food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch

Industrial production growth rate

-0.9% (1997 est.)

Electricity production

114 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

106 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

1,400 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)


$37 million (2004 est.)

Exports commodities

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

Exports partners

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


$225 million (2004 est.)

Imports commodities

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

Imports partners

Singapore 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 rates

East 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 year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

22,600 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

87,600 (2006)

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
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 stations

AM 1, FM 6, shortwave 0 (2004)

Television broadcast stations

1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2004)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

94 (2006)

Internet users

10,000 (2005)

Transportation - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:


6 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)


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

Merchant marine

total: 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 terminals


Military - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:

Military branches

no regular military forces; Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, Coast Guard (2007)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 31,489 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 25,787 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 1,204 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp


Disputes international

joins 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 >>>

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