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By Details > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Map of Saint Kitts and Nevis
IntroductionTop
Background:First settled by the British in 1623, the islands became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Nevis is once more trying to separate from the Saint Kitts.
GeographyTop
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: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
land: 261 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:territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:tropical 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:arable land
Land use:arable land: 19.44%
permanent crops: 2.78%
other: 77.78% (2001)

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, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:with coastlines in the shape of a baseball bat and ball, the two volcanic islands are separated by a three-km-wide channel called The Narrows; on the southern tip of long, baseball bat-shaped Saint Kitts lies the Great Salt Pond; Nevis Peak sits in the center of its almost circular namesake island and its ball shape complements that of its sister island
PeopleTop
Population:38,958 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 28% (male 5,586/female 5,330)
15-64 years: 63.7% (male 12,424/female 12,403)
65 years and over: 8.3% (male 1,328/female 1,887) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 27.6 years
male: 26.78 years
female: 28.38 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:0.38% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:18.12 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:8.47 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:-5.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 14.49 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16.25 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 72.15 years
male: 69.31 years
female: 75.16 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:2.33 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:NA
Nationality:noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian

Ethnic groups:predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
Religions:Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
Languages:English
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 98% (1980 est.)

GovernmentTop
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

Government type:constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament
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 Capesterre, Saint John Figtree, Saint Mary Cayon, Saint Paul Capesterre, 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
Executive branch:chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General 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 monarch is hereditary; the governor general is appointed by the 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 National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 25 October 2004 (next to be held by 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - SKNLP 7, CCM 2, NRP 1, PAM 1

Judicial branch:Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Kitts and Nevis)
Political parties and leaders:Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]; Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]; People's Action Movement or PAM [Lindsey GRANT]; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:NA
International organization participation:ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, MIGA, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
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
EconomyTop
Economy - overview:Sugar was the traditional mainstay of the Saint Kitts economy until the 1970s. Although the crop still dominates the agricultural sector, activities such as tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking have assumed larger roles in the economy. Tourism revenues are now the chief source of the islands' foreign exchange. The opening of a 470-room resort in February 2003 was expected to bring in much-needed revenue.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $339 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:-1.9% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $8,800 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 25.8%
services: 70.7% (2001)

Labor force:18,170 (June 1995)
Labor force - by occupation:NA
Unemployment rate:4.5% (1997)
Population below poverty line:NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA

Inflation rate (consumer prices):1.7% (2001 est.)
Budget:revenues: $89.7 million
expenditures: $128.2 million, including capital expenditures of $19.5 million (2003 est.)

Agriculture - products:sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish
Industries:sugar processing, tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages
Industrial production growth rate:NA%
Electricity - production:105.8 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:98.44 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:710 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:NA
Oil - imports:NA
Exports:$70 million (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners:US 58%, Canada 9%, Portugal 8.3%, UK 6.9% (2004)
Imports:$195 million (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
Imports - partners:US 33.1%, Italy 19.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 10.5%, UK 9.8%, Denmark 6% (2004)
Debt - external:$171 million (2001)
Currency (code):East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code:XCD
Exchange rates:East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003), 2.7 (2002), 2.7 (2001), 2.7 (2000)
Fiscal year:calendar year
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:23,500 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:5,000 (2002)
Telephone system:general assessment: good interisland and international connections
domestic: inter-island links via Eastern Caribbean Fiber Optic cable; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004
international: country code - 1-869; international calls are carried by submarine cable or Intelsat

Radio broadcast stations:AM 3, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2004)
Radios:28,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:1 (plus three repeaters) (2004)
Televisions:10,000 (1997)
Internet country code:.kn
Internet hosts:51 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):16 (2000)
Internet users:10,000 (2002)
TransportationTop
Railways:total: 50 km
narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts to serve sugarcane plantations during harvest season (2003)

Highways:total: 320 km
paved: 136 km
unpaved: 184 km (1999 est)

Ports and harbors:Basseterre, Charlestown
Airports:2 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2004 est.)

MilitaryTop
Military branches:Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force
Military manpower - military age and obligation:18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:NA
Transnational IssuesTop
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 Caribbean Sea
Illicit drugs:transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; some money-laundering activity



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