St. Kitts & Nevis

islands

FACTS ABOUT ST.KITTS AND NEVIS

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Central Intelligence Agency

Navigation

Mission

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independent US Government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior US policymakers.

To learn more, visit CIA Vision, Mission & Values.

Central Intelligence Agency

The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence

Search FieldSearch Button

<!-- .style1 { color: #FFFFFF } -->

Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Kitts and Nevis

PRINT

page last updated on October 22, 2012

(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)

Click flag or map to enlarge

Click map to enlarge

no photos available of Saint Kitts and Nevis

Expand All | collapse All

Introduction ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Background:

Carib Indians occupied the islands for hundreds of years before the British began settlement in 1623. The islands became an associated state of the UK 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 continues in its efforts to separate from Saint Kitts.

Geography ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

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)

country comparison to the world: 212

land: 261 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

one and a half 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% (2005)

Irrigated land:

0.2 sq km

Total renewable water resources:

0.02 cu km (2000)

Natural hazards:

hurricanes (July to October)

Environment - current issues:

NA

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, 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 3-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

People ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Nationality:

noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)

adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian

Ethnic groups:

predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese

Languages:

English (official)

Religions:

Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic

Population:

50,726 (July 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 209

Age structure:

0-14 years: 22.3% (male 5,657/ female 5,673)

15-64 years: 70% (male 17,961/ female 17,549)

65 years and over: 7.7% (male 1,721/ female 2,165) (2012 est.)

Median age:

total: 32.6 years

male: 32.6 years

female: 32.5 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.806% (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 135

Birth rate:

13.9 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 145

Death rate:

7.08 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 130

Net migration rate:

1.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 49

Urbanization:

urban population: 32% of total population (2010)

rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population:

BASSETERRE (capital) 13,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 9.43 deaths/1,000 live births

country comparison to the world: 150

male: 6.28 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.84 years

country comparison to the world: 96

male: 72.46 years

female: 77.26 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.79 children born/woman (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155

Health expenditures:

6% of GDP (2009)

country comparison to the world: 107

Physicians density:

1.095 physicians/1,000 population (2000)

Hospital bed density:

6 beds/1,000 population (2009)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA

Education expenditures:

9.6% of GDP (2005)

country comparison to the world: 6

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school

total population: 97.8%

male: NA

female: NA (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 12 years

female: 13 years (2008)

Government ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

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:

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

name: Basseterre

geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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 the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 19 September (1983)

Constitution:

19 September 1983

Legal system:

English common law

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

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); Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister

(For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition 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 on 25 January 2010 (next to be held by 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SKNLP 6, CCM 2, PAM 2, NRP 1

Judicial branch:

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consisting of a Court of Appeal and a High Court; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court reside in Saint Kitts and Nevis); member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)

Political parties and leaders:

Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]; Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]; People's Action Movement or PAM [Lindsay GRANT]; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA

International organization participation:

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Jacinth HENRY-MARTIN

chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636

FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis

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; green signifies the island's fertility, red symbolizes the struggles of the people from slavery, yellow denotes year-round sunshine, and black represents the African heritage of the people; the white stars stand for the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, but can also express hope and liberty, or independence and optimism

National symbol(s):

brown pelican

National anthem:

name: "Oh Land of Beauty!"

lyrics/music: Kenrick Anderson GEORGES

note:adopted 1983

Economy ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Economy - overview:

The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis depends on tourism; since the 1970s tourism has replaced sugar as the traditional mainstay of the economy. Following the 2005 harvest, the government closed the sugar industry, after several decades of losses. To compensate for lost jobs, the government has embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and to stimulate other sectors of the economy, such as export-oriented manufacturing and offshore banking. Roughly 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2009, but reduced tourism arrivals and foreign investment led to an economic contraction in 2009 and 2010. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. A mild recovery began in 2011. The current government is constrained by one of the world's highest public debt burdens -equivalent to roughly 200% of GDP in 2011 - largely attributable to public enterprise losses.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$886.2 million (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 206

$905.1 million (2010 est.)

$930.2 million (2009 est.)

note:data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$715 million (2011 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-2% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 210

-2.7% (2010 est.)

-5.6% (2009 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$15,800 (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 76

$16,400 (2010 est.)

$17,200 (2009 est.)

note:data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 2.4%

industry: 22.8%

services: 74.7% (2011 est.)

Labor force:

18,170 (June 1995)

country comparison to the world: 210

Unemployment rate:

4.5% (1997)

country comparison to the world: 46

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget:

revenues: $185.2 million

expenditures: $222.2 million (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

25.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 120

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-5.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 165

Public debt:

200% of GDP (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 3

185% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.8% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 92

0.5% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2009)

country comparison to the world: 54

6.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

8.84% (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 113

8.625% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$317.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 172

$145 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money:

$964.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169

$823.8 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$860 million (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 162

$885.2 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$598.4 million (31 December 2011)

country comparison to the world: 110

$623.9 million (31 December 2010)

$648 million (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products:

sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish

Industries:

tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages

Industrial production growth rate:

NA%

Current account balance:

-$133.8 million (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 76

-$114.6 million (2010 est.)

Exports:

$58.6 million (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 196

$78.76 million (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities:

machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco

Exports - partners:

US 57.8%, Canada 9.8%, Russia 5.2%, Germany 4.2% (2011)

Imports:

$315.7 million (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 197

$235.9 million (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery, manufactures, food, fuels

Imports - partners:

US 37.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 20.4%, Barbados 4.8% (2011)

Debt - external:

$199.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 183

$202.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -

2.7 (2011 est.)

2.7 (2010 est.)

2.7 (2009)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Energy ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Electricity - production:

135 million kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 188

Electricity - consumption:

125.6 million kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 192

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 125

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 128

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

22,000 kW (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 195

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 172

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 195

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 183

Crude oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 183

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 178

Crude oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 117

Crude oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 182

Refined petroleum products - production:

0 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 192

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

1,496 bbl/day (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 196

Refined petroleum products - exports:

0 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 130

Refined petroleum products - imports:

1,699 bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 184

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 186

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 190

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 144

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 126

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 188

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

303,500 Mt (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 187

Communications ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Telephones - main lines in use:

20,600 (2010)

country comparison to the world: 190

Telephones - mobile cellular:

84,600 (2010)

country comparison to the world: 195

Telephone system:

general assessment: good interisland and international connections

domestic: interisland links via Eastern Caribbean Fiber Optic cable; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004; fixed-line teledensity about 40 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 170 per 100 persons

international: country code - 1-869; connected internationally by the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables

Broadcast media:

the government operates a national TV network that broadcasts on 2 channels; cable subscription services provide access to local and international channels; the government operates a national radio network; a mix of government-owned and privately-owned broadcasters operate roughly 15 radio stations (2007)

Internet country code:

.kn

Internet hosts:

52 (2010)

country comparison to the world: 213

Internet users:

17,000 (2009)

country comparison to the world: 196

Transportation ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Airports:

2 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 209

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)

Railways:

total: 50 km

country comparison to the world: 131

narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)

Roadways:

total: 383 km

country comparison to the world: 200

paved: 163 km

unpaved: 220 km (2002)

Merchant marine:

total: 152

country comparison to the world: 38

by type: bulk carrier 16, cargo 81, chemical tanker 4, combination ore/oil 1, container 2, liquefied gas 3, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 27, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1

foreign-owned: 73 (Belgium 1, China 1, Egypt 1, Greece 2, India 2, Japan 2, Malaysia 1, Norway 3, Pakistan 1, Russia 13, Singapore 10, Turkey 18, UAE 8, UK 1, Ukraine 8, US 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Basseterre, Charlestown

Military ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Military branches:

Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force; for national security, Saint Kitts and Nevis relies on the Regional Security System, headquartered in Barbados (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 13,506

females age 16-49: 13,089 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 10,742

females age 16-49: 10,923 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 380

female: 422 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

NA

Transnational Issues ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Disputes - international:

joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; some money-laundering activity

Expand All | collapse All

The online Factbook is updated weekly. ISSN 1553-8133
For additional information on government leaders in selected foreign countries, go to World Leaders.