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Central America and Caribbean :: MONTSERRAT
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MONTSERRAT
  • Introduction :: MONTSERRAT

  • English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island's sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid-19th century. Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995. Montserrat has endured volcanic activity since, with the last eruption occurring in July 2003.
  • Geography :: MONTSERRAT

  • Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
    16 45 N, 62 12 W
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 102 sq km
    land: 102 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 226
    about 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    40 km
    territorial sea: 3 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
    volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Soufriere Hills volcano pre-eruption height was 915 m; current lava dome is subject to periodic build up and collapse; estimated dome height was 1050 m in 2015
    NEGL
    agricultural land: 30%
    arable land 20%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 10%
    forest: 25%
    other: 45% (2011 est.)
    0 sq km (2012)
    volcanic eruptions; severe hurricanes (June to November)
    volcanism: Soufriere Hills volcano (elev. 915 m), has erupted continuously since 1995; a massive eruption in 1997 destroyed most of the capital, Plymouth, and resulted in approximately half of the island becoming uninhabitable
    land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation
    the island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centers of differing ages
  • People and Society :: MONTSERRAT

  • noun: Montserratian(s)
    adjective: Montserratian
    African/black 88.4%, mixed 3.7%, hispanic/Spanish 3%, caucasian/white 2.7%, East Indian/Indian 1.5%, other 0.7% (2011 est.)
    English
    Protestant 67.1% (includes Anglican 21.8%, Methodist 17%, Pentecostal 14.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 10.5%, and Church of God 3.7%), Roman Catholic 11.6%, Rastafarian 1.4%, other 6.5%, none 2.6%, unspecified 10.8% (2001 est.)
    5,241
    note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left the island following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some have returned (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 229
    0-14 years: 17.99% (male 485/female 458)
    15-24 years: 20.89% (male 567/female 528)
    25-54 years: 47.89% (male 1,202/female 1,308)
    55-64 years: 6.98% (male 163/female 203)
    65 years and over: 6.24% (male 201/female 126) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total: 31.9 years
    male: 31.5 years
    female: 32.5 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    0.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    11.26 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    6.3 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    urban population: 9% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 0.65% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 1.6 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 13.17 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 10.22 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 16.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    total population: 74.14 years
    male: 75.64 years
    female: 72.57 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    1.3 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 217
    improved:
    urban: 99% of population
    rural: 99% of population
    total: 99% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 1% of population
    rural: 1% of population
    total: 1% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 82.9% of population
    rural: 82.9% of population
    total: 82.9% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 17.1% of population
    rural: 17.1% of population
    total: 17.1% of population (2007 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    5.1% of GDP (2009)
    total: 15 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 17 years (2007)
  • Government :: MONTSERRAT

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Montserrat
    etymology: island named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 after the Benedictine abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat, near Barcelona, Spain
    overseas territory of the UK
    parliamentary democracy (Legislative Council); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
    name: Plymouth; note - Plymouth was abandoned in 1997 because of volcanic activity; interim government buildings have been built at Brades Estate in the Carr's Bay/Little Bay vicinity at the northwest end of Montserrat
    geographic coordinates: 16 42 N, 62 13 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
    previous 1960; latest effective 1 September 2010; amended 2011 (2016)
    English common law
    see United Kingdom
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Elizabeth CARRIERE (since 5 August 2015)
    head of government: Premier Donaldson ROMERO (since 12 September 2014); note - effective with the new Constitution Order of October 2010, the office of premier replaced the office of chief minister
    cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, the premier, 3 other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes premier
    description: unicameral Legislative Council (11 seats; 9 members directly elected in a single constituency by absolute majority vote in two rounds to serve 5-year terms and 2 ex-officio members - the attorney general and financial secretary)
    elections: last held on 11 September 2014 (next to be held by 2019)
    election results: percent of vote by party - PDM 50%, MCAP 35.4%, other 14.6%; seats by party - PDM 7, MCAP 2
    highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to include Montserrat; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the 9 member states; 1 judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of Montserrat and presides over the High Court; note - Montserrat is also a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
    judge selection and term of office: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62
    subordinate courts: magistrate's court
    Movement for Change and Prosperity or MCAP [Reuben MEADE]
    People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Shirley OSBORNE]
    NA
    Caricom, CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Montserratian coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the arms feature a woman in green dress, Erin, the female personification of Ireland, standing beside a yellow harp and embracing a large dark cross with her right arm; Erin and the harp are symbols of Ireland reflecting the territory's Irish ancestry; blue represents awareness, trustworthiness, determination, and righteousness
    note: as a territory of the UK, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)
  • Economy :: MONTSERRAT

  • Severe volcanic activity, which began in July 1995, has put a damper on this small, open economy. A catastrophic eruption in June 1997 closed the airport and seaports, causing further economic and social dislocation. Two-thirds of the 12,000 inhabitants fled the island. Some began to return in 1998 but lack of housing limited the number. The agriculture sector continued to be affected by the lack of suitable land for farming and the destruction of crops.
    Prospects for the economy depend largely on developments in relation to the volcanic activity and on public sector construction activity. Half of the island remains uninhabitable. In January 2013, the EU announced the disbursement of a $55.2 million aid package to Montserrat in order to boost the country's economic recovery, with a specific focus on public finance management, public sector reform, and prudent economic management.
    $43.78 million (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 226
    $NA
    3.5% (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    $8,500 (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    household consumption: 87.3%
    government consumption: 48.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 22.7%
    investment in inventories: 0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 18.1%
    imports of goods and services: -76.3% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 1.6%
    industry: 22.5%
    services: 75.9% (2015 est.)
    cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
    tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
    2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    4,521 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 222
    6% (1998 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $0
    expenditures: $37.04 million (2015 est.)
    1 April - 31 March
    2.2% (2015 est.)
    1.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    10.99% (31 December 2010)
    6.5% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    8.1% (31 December 2015 est.)
    8.02% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    $18.51 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $16.69 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    $97.44 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $88.59 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    $5.185 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $5.185 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    $3.6 million (2015 est.)
    $3.6 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 219
    electronic components, plastic bags, apparel; hot peppers, limes, live plants; cattle
    $30 million (2015 est.)
    $30 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants
    $32.08 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    $40.51 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    $8.9 million (1997)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
    2.7 (2015 est.)
    2.7 (2014 est.)
    2.7 (2013 est.)
    2.7 (2012 est.)
    2.7 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: MONTSERRAT

  • 25 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    23.25 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    10,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    570 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    568.5 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    88,010 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
  • Communications :: MONTSERRAT

  • total subscriptions: 3,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 57 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    total: 5,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 95 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    general assessment: modern and fully digitalized
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 150 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 1-664; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) optic submarine cable with links to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad (2011)
    Radio Montserrat, a public radio broadcaster, transmits on 1 station and has a repeater transmission to a second station; repeater transmissions from the GEM Radio Network of Trinidad and Tobago provide another 2 radio stations; cable and satellite TV available (2007)
    AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2008)
    1 (1997)
    .ms
    2,431 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    total: 2,860
    percent of population: 54.6% (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
  • Transportation :: MONTSERRAT

  • 1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 226
    total: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    note: volcanic eruptions that began in 1995 destroyed most of the 227 km road system; a new road infrastructure has been built on the north end of the island (2008)
    major seaport(s): Little Bay, Plymouth
  • Military and Security :: MONTSERRAT

  • no regular military forces; Royal Montserrat Police Force (2011)
    defense is the responsibility of the UK
  • Transnational Issues :: MONTSERRAT

  • none
    transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe