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Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Kitts and Nevis
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  • Introduction :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • Carib Indians occupied the islands of the West Indies for hundreds of years before the British began settlement in 1623. In 1967, the island territory of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla became an associated state of the UK with full internal autonomy. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. The remaining islands achieved independence in 1983 as Saint Kitts and Nevis. 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

  • Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago
    17 20 N, 62 45 W
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
    land: 261 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 212
    one and a half times the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    135 km
    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
    tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
    volcanic with mountainous interiors
    lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m
    arable land
    arable land: 19.23%
    permanent crops: 0.38%
    other: 80.38% (2012 est.)
    0.18 sq km (2003)
    0.02 cu km (2011)
    hurricanes (July to October)
    NA
    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
    smallest country in the Americas and Western Hemisphere; 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 and Society :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
    adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian
    predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
    English (official)
    Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
    51,538 (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    0-14 years: 21.4% (male 5,520/female 5,518)
    15-24 years: 15.4% (male 3,904/female 4,028)
    25-54 years: 45.1% (male 11,869/female 11,384)
    55-64 years: 10.2% (male 2,637/female 2,610)
    65 years and over: 7.9% (male 1,834/female 2,234) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total: 33.5 years
    male: 33.6 years
    female: 33.4 years (2014 est.)
    0.78% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    13.64 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    7.08 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    urban population: 32% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 1.27% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    BASSETERRE (capital) 14,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    total: 8.98 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 6.11 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 11.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    total population: 75.29 years
    male: 72.88 years
    female: 77.75 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    1.78 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    6.4% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    2.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    improved:
    urban: 98.3% of population
    rural: 98.3% of population
    total: 98.3% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 1.7% of population
    rural: 1.7% of population
    total: 1.7% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 87.3% of population
    rural: 87.3% of population
    total: 87.3% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 12.7% of population
    rural: 12.7% of population
    total: 12.7% of population (2007 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    28.4% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    4.2% of GDP (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    total: 13 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 13 years (2008)
  • Government :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
    conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis
    former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
    parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
    name: Basseterre
    geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    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
    19 September 1983 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 19 September (1983)
    several previous; latest presented 22 June 1983, effective 23 June 1983 (2011)
    English common law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Edmund LAWRENCE (since 2 January 2013)
    head of government: Prime Minister Timothy HARRIS (since 18 February 2015); Deputy Prime Minister Shawn RICHARDS (since 22 February 2015)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister
    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
    description: unicameral National Assembly (14 seats; 11 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 3 appointed by the governor general; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 16 February 2015 (next to be held by 2020)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAM 4, SKNLP 3, CCM 2, PLP 1, NRP 1
    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 which includes Saint Kitts and Nevis; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and 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 member states; 2 High Court judges reside on Saint Kitts and Nevis; note - the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in 2003 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final court of appeal on Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Kitts and Nevis 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: magistrates' courts
    Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]
    Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]
    People's Action Movement or PAM [Shawn RICHARDS]
    People's Labour Party or PLP [Timothy HARRIS]
    Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]
    NA
    ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jacinth Lorna HENRY-MARTIN (since 14 February 2011)
    chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
    telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636
    FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740
    the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis
    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
    brown pelican, Poinciana (Flamboyant) tree; national colors: green, yellow, red, black, white
    name: "Oh Land of Beauty!"
    lyrics/music: Kenrick Anderson GEORGES
    note: adopted 1983
  • Economy :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis depends on tourism; since the 1970s, tourism has replaced sugar as the economy’s traditional mainstay. 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 2009-2013, and the economy returned to growth only in 2014. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. The government has made notable progress on reducing its public debt—from 154% of GDP in 2011 to 83% in 2013—although it still faces one of the highest levels in the world, largely attributable to public enterprise losses.
    $1.22 billion (2014 est.)
    $1.178 billion (2013 est.)
    $1.135 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 200
    $812 million (2014 est.)
    3.5% (2014 est.)
    3.8% (2013 est.)
    -0.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    $20,300 (2014 est.)
    $20,300 (2013 est.)
    $19,900 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 83
    13.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    17.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    14.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    household consumption: 71.8%
    government consumption: 11%
    investment in fixed capital: 29.8%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 30.2%
    imports of goods and services: -42.7%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 1.5%
    industry: 23%
    services: 75.4% (2014 est.)
    sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish
    tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages
    0.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    18,170 (June 1995 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    4.5% (1997)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $259.3 million
    expenditures: $222.2 million (2014 est.)
    31.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    4.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    83% of GDP (2013 est.)
    144% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    calendar year
    3% (2014 est.)
    0.7% (2013 est.)
    6.5% (31 December 2009)
    6.5% (31 December 2008)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    9% (31 December 2014 est.)
    8.78% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    $212.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $193.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    $914.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $958.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    $481.5 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $514.1 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    $598.4 million (31 December 2011)
    $598.4 million (31 December 2011)
    $623.9 million (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    -$144.5 million (2014 est.)
    -$62.7 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    $101.5 million (2014 est.)
    $58.1 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
    US 49.8%, Belgium 9.2%, Canada 8.3% (2013)
    $189.2 million (2014 est.)
    $251.3 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
    US 28.3%, Germany 16.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.4%, Italy 9.7%, Russia 4.3% (2013)
    $162.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $158.7 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
    2.7 (2014 est.)
    2.7 (2013 est.)
    2.7 (2012 est.)
    2.7 (2011 est.)
    2.7 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • 138 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    128.3 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    46,200 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    95.2% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    4.8% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    1,740 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    1,784 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    250,700 Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • 20,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    84,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    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 (2010)
    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)
    AM 3, FM 8, shortwave 0 (2008)
    1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2003)
    .kn
    54 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    17,000 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 192
  • Transportation :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • 2 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    total: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 50 km
    narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    total: 383 km
    paved: 163 km
    unpaved: 220 km (2002)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    total: 152
    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)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    major seaport(s): Basseterre, Charlestown
  • Military :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Security, Labour, Immigration, and Social Security: Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force (2013)
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
    males age 16-49: 13,506
    females age 16-49: 13,089 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 10,742
    females age 16-49: 10,923 (2010 est.)
    male: 380
    female: 422 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

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