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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Background:
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:
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

Area:
total: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
country comparison to the world: 202
land: 389 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
84 km

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

Climate:
Current Weather
tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)

Terrain:
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)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.01
per capita: 83 cu m/yr (1995)

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



Population:
104,217 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193

Age structure:
0-14 years: 25.2% (male 13,222/female 13,015)
15-64 years: 66.9% (male 35,889/female 33,859)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 3,728/female 4,504) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 29.5 years
male: 29.6 years
female: 29.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.341% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 221

Birth rate:
14.89 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Death rate:
6.94 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Net migration rate:
-11.36 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175

Urbanization:
urban population: 47% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 14.7 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 127
male: 16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.9 years
country comparison to the world: 107
male: 72.04 years
female: 75.82 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.94 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

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

Ethnic groups:
black 66%, mixed 19%, East Indian 6%, European 4%, Carib Amerindian 2%, other 3%

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

Languages:
English, French patois

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

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

Education expenditures:
8.1% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 14



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

Government type:
parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:
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

Independence:
27 October 1979 (from the UK)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 27 October (1979)

Constitution:
27 October 1979

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

Suffrage:
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
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party 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 elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 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 (consisting of a High Court and Court of Appeals; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court reside 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:
NA

International organization participation:
ACP, AOSIS, 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, PetroCaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador La Celia A. PRINCE
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, which stands for Vincent; the diamonds recall the islands as the "Gems of the Antilles"; blue conveys the colors of a tropical sky and crystal waters, yellow signifies the golden Grenadine sands, and green represents lush vegetation



Economy - overview:
Success of the economy hinges upon seasonal variations in agriculture, tourism, and construction activity as well as remittance inflows. Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism, but persistent high unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands. This lower-middle-income country is vulnerable to natural disasters - tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002. In 2008, the islands had more than 200,000 tourist arrivals, mostly to the Grenadines, a drop of nearly 20% from 2007. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards. The government's ability to invest in social programs and respond to external shocks is constrained by its high debt burden - 25% of current revenues are directed towards debt servicing. An agreement with Italy to write-off debt reduced the public debt-to-GDP ratio to about 70%. Following the global downturn, St. Vincent and the Grenadines saw an economic decline in 2009, after slowing since 2006, when GDP growth reached a 10-year high of nearly 7%. The GONSALVES administration is directing government resources to infrastructure projects, including a new international airport that is expected to be completed in 2011.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.55 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
$1.659 billion (2008 est.)
$1.613 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$632.3 million (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-6.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
2.8% (2008 est.)
6.9% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$18,100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
$19,600 (2008 est.)
$19,300 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 26%
services: 64% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
57,520 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 26%
industry: 17%
services: 57% (1980 est.)

Unemployment rate:
15% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149

Population below poverty line:
NA%

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

Budget:
revenues: $94.6 million
expenditures: $85.8 million (2000 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156

Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 62
6.5% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.52% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 104
8.8% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$150.8 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 150
$155.5 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$302.7 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 142
$280.2 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$417.4 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 123
$387.8 million (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:
bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish

Industries:
food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch

Electricity - production:
133.8 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183

Electricity - consumption:
124.4 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Oil - consumption:
2,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177

Oil - imports:
1,451 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Current account balance:
-$149 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82

Exports:
$193 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 180

Exports - commodities:
bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets

Exports - partners:
Greece 40.04%, Poland 11.78%, France 9.05%, China 8.53%, India 4.71% (2009)

Imports:
$578 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 185

Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels

Imports - partners:
Singapore 16.16%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.71%, US 13.41%, China 10.9%, Italy 8.89%, Turkey 6.6%, France 5.64%, Romania 4.44% (2009)

Debt - external:
$223 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 172

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



Telephones - main lines in use:
22,800 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 190

Telephones - mobile cellular:
130,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 178

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; mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 100 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-784; the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables carry international calls; connectivity also provided by VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 8, shortwave 0 (2008)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2004)

Internet country code:
.vc

Internet hosts:
181 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 190

Internet users:
66,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 165



Airports:
6 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 174

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2009)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)

Roadways:
total: 829 km
country comparison to the world: 186
paved: 580 km
unpaved: 249 km (2003)

Merchant marine:
total: 525
country comparison to the world: 21
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 83, cargo 315, carrier 20, chemical tanker 2, liquefied gas 6, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 17, petroleum tanker 17, refrigerated cargo 20, roll on/roll off 18, specialized tanker 2, container 21
foreign-owned: 476 (Austria 2, Barbados 1, Belgium 8, Bulgaria 15, Canada 1, China 94, Croatia 7, Cyprus 1, Czech Republic 1, Denmark 16, Egypt 3, Estonia 16, France 6, Germany 3, Gibraltar 1, Greece 71, Guyana 2, Hong Kong 6, Iceland 7, India 7, Iran 1, Israel 2, Italy 17, Japan 3, Kenya 2, Latvia 17, Lebanon 6, Lithuania 9, Monaco 5, Montenegro 1, Namibia 1, Netherlands 3, Norway 13, Poland 1, Puerto Rico 1, Romania 1, Russia 21, Singapore 4, Slovenia 5, South Africa 1, Sweden 2, Switzerland 6, Syria 13, Turkey 20, Ukraine 11, UAE 9, UK 14, US 18, Venezuela 1) (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Kingstown



Military branches:
no regular military forces; Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, Coast Guard; for national defense, Saint Vincent relies on the Regional Security System, headquartered in Barbados (2010)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 27,940 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 22,932
females age 16-49: 22,134 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 990
female: 979 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
NA



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; small-scale cannabis cultivation

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

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