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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Map of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Introduction 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.
Geography 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
117,848 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 26.7% (male 16,007/female 15,426)
15-64 years: 66.9% (male 40,676/female 38,155)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 3,315/female 4,269) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 26.9 years
male: 26.7 years
female: 27.1 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.26% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
16.18 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
5.98 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
-7.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 14.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.67 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.85 years
male: 71.99 years
female: 75.77 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.83 children born/woman (2006 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%, Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant
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 6 appointed senators; representatives are elected by popular vote from single-member constituencies to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 7 December 2005 (next to be held 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - ULP 55.26%, NDP 44.68%; 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):
$342 million (2002 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 - production by source:
fossil fuel: 69.3%
hydro: 30.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
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 (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
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:
UK 26.7%, Barbados 12.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 12.3%, Saint Lucia 10.9%, US 9.2%, Dominica 7.2%, Grenada 6.8%, Antigua and Barbuda 6.2% (2005)
$225 million (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
Imports - partners:
US 33.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 23.6%, UK 9.4%, Japan 4.2% (2005)
Debt - external:
$223 million (2004)
Economic aid - recipient:
$10.5 million (1995); note - EU $34.5 million (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 Vincent and the Grenadines
Telephones - main lines in use:
22,500 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
70,600 (2005)
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)
77,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus three repeaters) (2004)
18,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
94 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
15 (2000)
Internet users:
8,000 (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
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 (includes Special Service Unit), Coast Guard (2005)
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 - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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; small-scale cannabis cultivation

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007