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Central America :: Montserrat Print
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MONTSERRAT
  • Introduction :: Montserrat
  • Background field listing
    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 2013.
  • Geography :: Montserrat
  • Location field listing
    Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    16 45 N, 62 12 W
    Map references field listing
    Central America and the Caribbean
    Area field listing
    total: 102 sq km
    land: 102 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 226
    Area - comparative field listing
    about 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC
    Land boundaries field listing
    0 km
    Coastline field listing
    40 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
    Terrain field listing
    volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland
    Elevation field listing
    0 m lowest point: Caribbean Sea
    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
    Natural resources field listing
    NEGL
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 30% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 20% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 10% (2011 est.)
    forest: 25% (2011 est.)
    other: 45% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    0 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    only the northern half of the island is populated, the southern portion is uninhabitable due to volcanic activity
    Natural hazards field listing

    volcanic eruptions; severe hurricanes (June to November)

    volcanism: Soufriere Hills volcano (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; the island of Montserrat is part of the volcanic island arc of the Lesser Antilles that extends from Saba in the north to Grenada in the south

    Environment - current issues field listing
    land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation
    Geography - note field listing
    the island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centers of differing ages
  • People and Society :: Montserrat
  • Population field listing
    5,315 (July 2018 est.)

    note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left the island following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some have returned

    country comparison to the world: 228
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Montserratian(s)
    adjective: Montserratian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    African/black 88.4%, mixed 3.7%, hispanic/Spanish 3%, caucasian/white 2.7%, East Indian/Indian 1.5%, other 0.7% (2011 est.)
    Languages field listing
    English
    Religions field listing
    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.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 15.99% (male 436 /female 414)
    15-24 years: 21.39% (male 588 /female 549)
    25-54 years: 47.58% (male 1,224 /female 1,305)
    55-64 years: 8.81% (male 214 /female 254)
    65 years and over: 6.23% (male 191 /female 140) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Median age field listing
    total: 33.8 years
    male: 33.1 years
    female: 34.4 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.43% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Birth rate field listing
    10.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Death rate field listing
    6.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Net migration rate field listing
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Population distribution field listing
    only the northern half of the island is populated, the southern portion is uninhabitable due to volcanic activity
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 9.1% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.64% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 1.6 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 9.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 14.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 74.8 years (2018 est.)
    male: 76.1 years (2018 est.)
    female: 73.5 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.34 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 216
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 99% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 99% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 99% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 1% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 1% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 1% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 82.9% of population (2007 est.)
    rural: 82.9% of population (2007 est.)
    total: 82.9% of population (2007 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 17.1% of population (2007 est.)
    rural: 17.1% of population (2007 est.)
    total: 17.1% of population (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    NA
    Education expenditures field listing
    5.1% of GDP (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 69
  • Government :: Montserrat
  • Country name field listing
    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
    Dependency status field listing
    overseas territory of the UK
    Government type field listing
    parliamentary democracy (Legislative Council); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
    Capital field listing
    name: Plymouth; note - Plymouth was abandoned in 1997 because of volcanic activity; interim government buildings have been built at Brades Estate, the de facto capital, 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)
    Administrative divisions field listing
    3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter
    Independence field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    National holiday field listing
    birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 1960; latest effective 1 September 2010 (The Montserrat Constitution Order 2010) (2018)
    amendments: amended 2011 (2018)
    Citizenship field listing
    see United Kingdom
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Andrew PEARCE (since 1 February 2018)
    head of government: Premier Donaldson ROMERO (since 12 September 2014); note - effective with The Constitution Order 2010, effective 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
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral Legislative Assembly (11 seats; 9 members directly elected in a single constituency by absolute majority vote in 2 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 50.0%, MCAP 35.4%, other 14.6%; seats by party - PDM 7, MCAP 2
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the superior court of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - headquartered on St. Lucia - consists of the Court of Appeal - headed by the chief justice and 4 judges - and the High Court with 18 judges; the Court of Appeal is itinerant, travelling to member states on a schedule to hear appeals from the High Court and subordinate courts; High Court judges reside at the member states with 1 assigned to Montserrat; Montserrat is also a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
    judge selection and term of office: chief justice of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court appointed by the Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, and independent body of judicial officials; 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
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Movement for Change and Prosperity or MCAP [Easton Taylor FARRELL]
    People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Donaldson ROMERO]
    International organization participation field listing
    Caricom, CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    Flag description field listing
    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
    National anthem field listing

    note: as a territory of the UK, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

  • Economy :: Montserrat
  • Economy - overview field listing

    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. Montserrat is tied to the EU through the UK. Although the UK is leaving the EU, Montserrat’s aid will not be affected as Montserrat maintains a direct agreement with the EU regarding aid.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $167.4 million (2011 est.)
    $155.9 million (2010 est.)
    $162.7 million (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $167.4 million (2011 est.) (2011 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    7.4% (2011 est.)
    -4.2% (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $34,000 (2011 est.)
    $31,100 (2010 est.)
    $32,300 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 90.8% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 50.4% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 17.9% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 29.5% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -88.6% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 1.9% (2017 est.)
    industry: 7.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 90.3% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
    Industries field listing
    tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    -21% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Labor force field listing
    4,521 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 222
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 1.4%
    industry: 12.7%
    services: 85.9% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    5.6% (2017 est.)
    6% (1998 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Population below poverty line field listing
    NA
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 66.67 million (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 47.04 million (2017 est.)
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 April - 31 March
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    1.2% (2017 est.)
    -0.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Central bank discount rate field listing
    10.99% (31 December 2010)
    6.5% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Commercial bank prime lending rate field listing
    6.95% (31 December 2017 est.)
    7.21% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Stock of narrow money field listing
    $28.33 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $23.04 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Stock of broad money field listing
    $28.33 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $23.04 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Stock of domestic credit field listing
    $5.185 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.481 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Current account balance field listing
    -$15.4 million (2017 est.)
    -$12.2 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Exports field listing
    $4.4 million (2017 est.)
    $5.2 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    Exports - partners field listing
    US 29%, France 23%, Saint Kitts and Nevis 22.2% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    electronic components, plastic bags, apparel; hot peppers, limes, live plants; cattle
    Imports field listing
    $39.44 million (2017 est.)
    $36.1 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants
    Imports - partners field listing
    US 72.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 6%, UK 4.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $47.58 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $51.47 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Debt - external field listing
    $8.9 million (1997)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Exchange rates field listing
    East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
    2.7 (2017 est.)
    2.7 (2016 est.)
    2.7 (2015 est.)
    2.7 (2014 est.)
    2.7 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Montserrat
  • Electricity - production field listing
    24 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    22.32 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    5,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    406 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    57,180 Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
  • Communications :: Montserrat
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 3,000 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 57 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 5,000 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 95 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Telephone system field listing
    general assessment: modern and fully digitalized (2016)
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 150 per 100 persons (2016)
    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 (2016)
    Broadcast media field listing
    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)
    Internet country code field listing
    .ms
    Internet users field listing
    total: 2,860 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 54.6% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
  • Transportation :: Montserrat
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3 (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    VP-M (2016)
    Airports field listing
    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 229
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 1 (2017)
    under 914 m: 1 (2017)
    Roadways field listing

    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

    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Little Bay, Plymouth
  • Military and Security :: Montserrat
  • Military branches field listing
    no regular military forces; Royal Montserrat Police Force (2011)
    Military - note field listing
    defense is the responsibility of the UK
  • Transnational Issues :: Montserrat
  • Disputes - international field listing
    none
    Illicit drugs field listing
    transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe