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  • [Country flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis]

    Saint Kitts and Nevis

    [Country map of Saint Kitts and Nevis]

    Geography

    Location: 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

    Area:
    total: 269 sq km
    land: 269 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area - comparative: 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 135 km

    Maritime claims:
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    territorial sea : 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

    Climate: subtropical tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)

    Terrain: volcanic with mountainous interiors

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m

    Natural resources: NEGL

    Land use:
    arable land: 22%
    permanent crops : 17%
    permanent pastures: 3%
    forests and woodland: 17%
    other: 41% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: hurricanes (July to October)

    Environment - current issues: NA

    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    People

    Population: 41,803 (July 1997 est.)

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 34% (male 7,285; female 6,945)
    15-64 years: 60% (male 12,471; female 12,395)
    65 years and over : 6% (male 1,107; female 1,600) (July 1997 est.)

    Population growth rate: 1.1% (1997 est.)

    Birth rate: 23.08 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Death rate: 8.85 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Net migration rate: -3.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

    Infant mortality rate: 18.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 67.22 years
    male: 64.18 years
    female: 70.44 years (1997 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 2.49 children born/woman (1997 est.)

    Nationality:
    noun: Kittsian(s), Nevisian(s)
    adjective: Kittsian, Nevisian

    Ethnic groups: black

    Religions: Anglican, other Protestant sects, Roman Catholic

    Languages: English

    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
    total population: 97%
    male : 97%
    female: 98% (1980 est.)

    Government

    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

    Data code: SC

    Government type: constitutional monarchy

    National capital: Basseterre

    Administrative divisions: 14 parishes; Christ Church Nichola Town, Saint Anne Sandy Point, Saint George Basseterre, Saint George Gingerland, Saint James Windward, Saint John Capisterre, Saint John Figtree, Saint Mary Cayon, Saint Paul Capisterre, Saint Paul Charlestown, Saint Peter Basseterre, Saint Thomas Lowland, Saint Thomas Middle Island, Trinity Palmetto Point

    Independence: 19 September 1983 (from UK)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 19 September (1983)

    Constitution: 19 September 1983

    Legal system: based on English common law

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal adult

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Dr. 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 queen is a hereditary 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 House of Assembly (14 seats, 11 popularly elected from single member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 3 July 1995 (next to be held by July 2000)
    election results: percent of vote by party - SKLNP 58%, PAM 41%; seats by party - SKNLP 7, PAM 1, NRP 1, CCM 2

    Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia); one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Kitts

    Political parties and leaders: People's Action Movement (PAM), Dr. Kennedy SIMMONDS; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party (SKNLP), Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS; Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), Joseph PARRY; Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Vance AMORY

    International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, OAS, OECS, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission : Ambassador Osbert LIBURD
    chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
    telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636
    FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740

    Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; US interests are monitored by the embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados

    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

    Economy - overview: The economy has traditionally depended on the growing and processing of sugarcane; decreasing world prices have hurt the industry in recent years. Tourism and export-oriented manufacturing have assumed larger roles. Most food is imported. The newly elected government has undertaken a program designed to revitalize the faltering sugar sector. It is also working to improve revenue collection in order to better fund social programs.

    GDP: purchasing power parity - $235 million (1996 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: 4% (1996 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,700 (1996 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
    agriculture: 6%
    industry: 22%
    services: 72% (1996 est.)

    Inflation rate - consumer price index: -0.9% (1995)

    Labor force:
    total : 18,172 (June 1995)
    by occupation: services 69%, manufacturing 31%

    Unemployment rate: 4.3% (May 1995)

    Budget:
    revenues: $100.2 million
    expenditures: $100.1 million, including capital expenditures of $41.4 million (1996 est.)

    Industries: sugar processing, tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages

    Industrial production growth rate: NA %

    Electricity - capacity: 15,000 kW (1995)

    Electricity - production: 42 million kWh (1995)

    Electricity - consumption per capita: NA kWh

    Agriculture - products: sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fishing potential not fully exploited

    Exports:
    total value: $35.4 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
    commodities: machinery, food, electronics, beverages and tobacco
    partners: US 46.6%, UK 26.4%, Caricom nations 9.8% (1994)

    Imports:
    total value : $112.4 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
    commodities: machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
    partners: US 45%, Caricom nations 18.8%, UK 12.5%, Canada 4.2%, Japan 4.2%, (1994)

    Debt - external: $45.3 million (1994 est.)

    Economic aid:
    recipient: ODA, $NA

    Currency: 1 EC dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

    Communications

    Telephones: 3,800 (1986 est.)

    Telephone system: good interisland VHF/UHF/SHF radiotelephone connections and international link via Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Martin (Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles)
    domestic : interisland links are handled by VHF/UHF/SHF radiotelephone
    international: international calls are carried by radiotelephone to Antigua and Barbuda and from there switched to submarine cable or to Intelsat, or carried to Saint Martin (Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles) by radiotelephone and switched to Intelsat

    Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 0, shortwave 0

    Radios: 25,000 (1993 est.)

    Television broadcast stations: 4

    Televisions: 9,500 (1993 est.)

    Transportation

    Railways:
    total: 58 km
    narrow gauge: 58 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts to serve sugarcane plantations (1995)

    Highways:
    total : 310 km
    paved: 132 km
    unpaved: 178 km (1995 est.)

    Ports and harbors: Basseterre, Charlestown

    Merchant marine: none

    Airports: 2 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (1996 est.)

    Military

    Military branches: Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force, Coast Guard

    Military manpower - availability:
    males age 15-49 : NA

    Military manpower - fit for military service:
    males: NA

    Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

    Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

    Transnational Issues

    Disputes - international: none

    Illicit drugs: transshipment points for South American drugs destined for the US