Saint Kitts and Nevis [Country Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Saint Kitts and Nevis]

Saint Kitts and Nevis


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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

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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


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Population: 42,291 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 33% (male 7,217; female 6,860)
15-64 years: 61% (male 12,860; female 12,748)
65 years and over: 6% (male 1,058; female 1,548) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.23% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 22.87 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 8.51 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -2.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 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: 0.68 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 17.89 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 67.58 years
male: 64.52 years
female: 70.82 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.45 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian

Ethnic groups: black

Religions: Anglican, other Protestant sects, Roman Catholic

Languages: English

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


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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 W. 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


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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, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking activity have assumed larger roles. Most food is imported. The 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. In 1997 some leaders in Nevis were urging separation from Saint Kitts on the basis that Nevis was paying far more in taxes than it was receiving in government services.

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

GDP—real growth rate: 5.8% (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: 3.1% (1996)

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

Unemployment rate: 4.3% (May 1995)

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: 16,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 81 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1,976 kWh (1995)

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

total value: $39.1 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: machinery, food, electronics, beverages and tobacco
partners: US 46.6%, UK 26.4%, Caricom nations 9.8% (1994)

total value: $131.5 million (f.o.b., 1996 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: $56 million (1995 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


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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.)


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

total: 320 km
paved: 136 km
unpaved: 184 km (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Basseterre, Charlestown

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)


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

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: none

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