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  • [Country flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines]

    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    [Country map of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines]

    Geography

    Location: Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago

    Geographic coordinates: 13 15 N, 61 12 W

    Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

    Area:
    total : 340 sq km
    land: 340 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area - comparative: twice the size of Washington, DC

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 84 km

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

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

    Terrain: volcanic, mountainous

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Soufriere 1,234 m

    Natural resources: NEGL

    Land use:
    arable land: 10%
    permanent crops: 18%
    permanent pastures: 5%
    forests and woodland: 36%
    other: 31% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1993 est.)

    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, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Desertification

    Geography - note: the administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada

    People

    Population: 119,092 (July 1997 est.)

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 32% (male 19,208; female 18,571)
    15-64 years: 63% (male 37,555; female 37,166)
    65 years and over: 5% (male 2,719; female 3,873) (July 1997 est.)

    Population growth rate: 0.62% (1997 est.)

    Birth rate: 19.07 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Death rate: 5.35 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Net migration rate: -7.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    15-64 years : 1.01 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

    Infant mortality rate: 16.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 73.22 years
    male: 71.71 years
    female: 74.78 years (1997 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 2.01 children born/woman (1997 est.)

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

    Ethnic groups: black, white, East Indian, Carib Amerindian

    Religions: Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist

    Languages: English, French patois

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

    Government

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

    Data code: VC

    Government type: constitutional monarchy

    National capital: Kingstown

    Administrative divisions: 6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick

    Independence: 27 October 1979 (from UK)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 27 October (1979)

    Constitution: 27 October 1979

    Legal system: based on English common law

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General David JACK (since 29 September 1989)
    head of government: Prime Minister James Fitz-Allen MITCHELL (since 30 July 1984)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    elections: none; the queen is a hereditary 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; members are elected by popular vote from single member constituencies to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 21 February 1994 (next to be held by NA May 1999)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NDP 12, ULP 3

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

    Political parties and leaders: New Democratic Party (NDP), James F. MITCHELL; United People's Movement (UPM), Adrian SAUNDERS; National Reform Party (NRP), Joel MIGUEL; Unity Labor Party (ULP),Vincent BEACHE - formed by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party (SVLP) and the Movement for National Unity (MNU)

    International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Kingsley C.A. LAYNE
    chancery : 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
    telephone: [1] (202) 364-6730
    FAX: [1] (202) 364-6736

    Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the Ambassador to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines resides in Bridgetown (Barbados)

    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

    Economy - overview: Agriculture, dominated by banana production, is the most important sector of this lower middle income economy. The services sector, based mostly on a growing tourist industry, is also important. The government has been relatively unsuccessful at introducing new industries, and high unemployment rates of 35%-40% continue. The continuing dependence on a single crop represents the biggest obstacle to the islands' development; tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in both 1994 and 1995. The tourism sector has considerable potential for development over the next decade.

    GDP: purchasing power parity - $259 million (1996 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,190 (1996 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
    agriculture: 12%
    industry: 18%
    services: 70% (1995 est.)

    Inflation rate - consumer price index: 3% (1996 est.)

    Labor force:
    total: 67,000 (1984 est.)
    by occupation: agriculture 26%, industry 17%, services 57% (1980 est.)

    Unemployment rate: 35%-40% (1994 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $80 million
    expenditures: $118 million, including capital expenditures of $39 million (1996 est.)

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

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity - capacity: 20,000 kW (1993)

    Electricity - production: 61.6 million kWh (1993)

    Electricity - consumption per capita: 480 kWh (1993)

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

    Exports:
    total value: $55 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
    commodities : bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch, tennis racquets
    partners: Caricom countries 57%, UK 29%, US 9% (1994)

    Imports:
    total value : $122 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
    commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
    partners: US 35%, Caricom countries 27%, UK 12% (1994)

    Debt - external: $93 million (1996 est.)

    Economic aid:
    recipient: ODA, $NA

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

    Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 - 2.7000 (February 1997; fixed rate since 1976)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

    Communications

    Telephones: 6,189 (1983 est.)

    Telephone system:
    domestic: islandwide, fully automatic telephone system; VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to the other islands of the Grenadines
    international: 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 2, FM 0, shortwave 0

    Radios: 76,000 (1992 est.)

    Television broadcast stations: 1 cable

    Televisions: 20,600 (1992 est.)

    Transportation

    Railways: 0 km

    Highways:
    total: 800 km
    paved : 450 km
    unpaved: 350 km (1995 est.)

    Ports and harbors: Kingstown

    Merchant marine:
    total: 692 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,545,742 GRT/10,306,453 DWT
    ships by type: bulk 114, cargo 349, chemical tanker 25, combination bulk 9, combination ore/oil 6, container 36, liquefied gas tanker 4, livestock carrier 5, multi-function large load carrier 1, oil tanker 65, passenger 3, passenger-cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 35, roll-on/roll-off cargo 34, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1
    note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 24 countries among which are Croatia 29, Slovenia 9, China 9, Greece 5, Norway 3, Ukraine 3, UAE 3, Germany 2, Russia 2, Syria 1 (1996 est.)

    Airports: 6 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 6
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m: 4 (1996 est.)

    Military

    Military branches: Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 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 and Europe