Saint Vincent and the Grenadines [Country Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines]

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


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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

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

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


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Population: 119,818 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31% (male 18,630; female 17,994)
15-64 years: 64% (male 38,562; female 37,979)
65 years and over: 5% (male 2,740; female 3,913) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.6% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 18.74 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 5.28 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -7.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 15.69 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.51 years
male: 72 years
female: 75.07 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.97 children born/woman (1998 est.)

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

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


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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 Charles ANTROBUS (since NA)
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


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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: 1% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,200 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 10.6%
industry: 17.5%
services: 71.9% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.6% (1996)

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

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

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: 0.3% (1995 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 14,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 64 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 545 kWh (1995)

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

total value: $46 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: bananas 39%, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch, tennis racquets
partners: Caricom countries 49%, UK 16%, US 10% (1995)

total value: $127 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
partners: US 36%, Caricom countries 28%, UK 13% (1995)

Debt—external: NA

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: 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.)


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Railways: 0 km

total: 1,040 km
paved: 320 km
unpaved: 720 km (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Kingstown

Merchant marine:
total: 799 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 8,063,755 GRT/12,629,612 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 136, cargo 383, chemical tanker 27, combination bulk 11, combination ore/oil 9, container 44, liquefied gas tanker 4, livestock carrier 4, multi-function large load carrier 2, oil tanker 70, passenger 1, passenger-cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 37, roll-on/roll-off cargo 53, short-sea passenger 10, specialized tanker 5, vehicle carrier 1
note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 24 countries among which are Croatia 22, Slovenia 8, China 7, Greece 7, UAE 4, Norway 3, India 2, Japan 2, Russia 2, and Ukraine 2 (1997 est.)

Airports: 6 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 3 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 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 and Europe