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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Map of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Introduction Saint Kitts and Nevis
First settled by the British in 1623, the islands became an associated state 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 Saint Kitts and Nevis
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
total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
land: 261 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
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
tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
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:
Natural hazards:
hurricanes (July to October)
Environment - current issues:
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, 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 three-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 Saint Kitts and Nevis
39,129 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 27.5% (male 5,515/female 5,263)
15-64 years: 64.3% (male 12,605/female 12,572)
65 years and over: 8.1% (male 1,313/female 1,861) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 27.8 years
male: 27.1 years
female: 28.6 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.5% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
18.02 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
8.33 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
-4.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 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 (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 14.12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.85 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.4 years
male: 69.56 years
female: 75.42 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.31 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian
Ethnic groups:
predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97.8%
male: NA%
female: NA% (2003 est.)
Government Saint Kitts and Nevis
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
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
19 September 1983 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 19 September (1983)
19 September 1983
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 Cuthbert Montraville SEBASTIAN (since 1 January 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995) and Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with 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 or leader of a majority coalition is 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 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
Judicial branch:
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Kitts 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]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
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
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
Economy Saint Kitts and Nevis
Economy - overview:
Sugar was the traditional mainstay of the Saint Kitts economy until the 1970s. The government closed the sugar industry following the 2005 harvest after decades of losses at the state-run sugar company. To compensate, the government has embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and to stimulate other sectors of the economy. Activities such as tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking have assumed larger roles in the economy. Tourism revenues are now the chief source of the islands' foreign exchange; about 341,800 tourists visited Nevis in 2005. Additional tourist facilities, including a second cruise ship pier, hotels, and golf courses are under construction.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$339 million (2002 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$453 million (2005)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.9% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$8,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 25.8%
services: 70.7% (2001)
Labor force:
18,170 (June 1995)
Unemployment rate:
4.5% (1997)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.7% (2005 est.)
revenues: $89.7 million
expenditures: $128.2 million; including capital expenditures of $19.5 million (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish
sugar processing, tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
125 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
116.3 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
800 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
$70 million (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners:
US 61.3%, Canada 8.1%, UK 5.6% (2005)
$405 million (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
Imports - partners:
US 46.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.7%, UK 5.4%, France 4.5%, Japan 4.2% (2005)
Debt - external:
$314 million (2004)
Economic aid - recipient:
$-110,000 (2004)
Currency (code):
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003), 2.7 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Saint Kitts and Nevis
Telephones - main lines in use:
25,000 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
10,000 (2004)
Telephone system:
general assessment: good inter-island and international connections
domestic: inter-island links via Eastern Caribbean Fiber Optic cable; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004
international: country code - 1-869; international calls are carried by submarine cable or Intelsat
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 3, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2004)
28,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus three repeaters) (2004)
10,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
50 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)
Internet users:
10,000 (2002)
Transportation Saint Kitts and Nevis
2 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
total: 50 km
narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts to serve sugarcane plantations during harvest season and for tourists (2005)
total: 320 km
paved: 138 km
unpaved: 182 km (1999 est)
Merchant marine:
total: 50 ships (1000 GRT or over) 261,556 GRT/381,593 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 36, chemical tanker 5, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 1
foreign-owned: 41 (Greece 1, Monaco 1, Russia 5, Spain 2, Syria 3, Tanzania 1, Turkey 6, UAE 19, Ukraine 3) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Basseterre, Charlestown
Military Saint Kitts and Nevis
Military branches:
Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 9,196
females age 18-49: 9,236 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 7,119
females age 18-49: 7,645 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 357
females age 18-49: 347 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues Saint Kitts and Nevis
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 Caribbean Sea
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; some money-laundering activity

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007