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Central America and Caribbean :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
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SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
  • Introduction :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on Saint Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the UK for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.
  • Geography :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
    13 15 N, 61 12 W
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
    land: 389 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 204
    twice the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    84 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm
    tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
    volcanic, mountainous
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: La Soufriere 1,234 m
    hydropower, arable land
    agricultural land: 25.6%
    arable land 12.8%; permanent crops 7.7%; permanent pasture 5.1%
    forest: 68.7%
    other: 5.7% (2011 est.)
    10 sq km (2012)
    most of the population is concentrated in and around Kingstown
    total: 0.01 cu km/yr
    per capita: 92.59 cu m/yr (1995)
    hurricanes; Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent is a constant threat
    pollution of coastal waters and shorelines from discharges by pleasure yachts and other effluents; in some areas, pollution is severe enough to make swimming prohibitive
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    the administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is comprised of 32 islands and cays
  • People and Society :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • 102,350 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    noun: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s)
    adjective: Saint Vincentian or Vincentian
    black 66%, mixed 19%, East Indian 6%, European 4%, Carib Amerindian 2%, other 3%
    English, French patois
    Protestant 75% (Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%), Roman Catholic 13%, other (includes Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant) 12%
    0-14 years: 21.78% (male 11,246/female 11,050)
    15-24 years: 16.28% (male 8,407/female 8,258)
    25-54 years: 42.64% (male 22,668/female 20,975)
    55-64 years: 10.2% (male 5,363/female 5,076)
    65 years and over: 9.09% (male 4,347/female 4,960) (2016 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 46.8%
    youth dependency ratio: 36%
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.8%
    potential support ratio: 9.3% (2015 est.)
    total: 33 years
    male: 33.2 years
    female: 32.9 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    -0.26% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    13.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    -8.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    most of the population is concentrated in and around Kingstown
    urban population: 50.6% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 0.72% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    KINGSTOWN (capital) 27,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    45 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    total: 12.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 13.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    total population: 75.3 years
    male: 73.3 years
    female: 77.4 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    1.81 children born/woman (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    8.6% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    5.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    improved:
    urban: 95.1% of population
    rural: 95.1% of population
    total: 95.1% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 4.9% of population
    rural: 4.9% of population
    total: 4.9% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 76.1% of population
    rural: 76.1% of population
    total: 76.1% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 23.9% of population
    rural: 23.9% of population
    total: 23.9% of population (2007 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
    24.1% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    5.1% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    total: 33.8%
    male: 27.8%
    female: 41.4% (2008 est.)
  • Government :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    etymology: Saint Vincent was named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS after Saint VINCENT of Saragossa because the 22 January 1498 day of discovery was the saint's feast day
    parliamentary democracy (House of Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
    name: Kingstown
    geographic coordinates: 13 08 N, 61 13 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick
    27 October 1979 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 27 October (1979)
    several previous; latest passed by the House of Assembly 3 September 2009 (The Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Constitution Act, 2009) (2016)
    English common law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent: at least one parent must be a citizen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Fredrick Nathaniel BALLANTYNE (since 2 September 2002)
    head of government: Prime Minister Ralph E. GONSALVES (since 29 March 2001)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    description: unicameral House of Assembly (21 seats; 15 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 6 appointed by the governor general; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 9 December 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
    election results: percent of vote by party - ULP 52.3%, NDP 47.4%, other 0.3%; seats by party - ULP 8, NDP 7
    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 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the ECSC - with its headquarters on Saint 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 member states; 2 High Court judges reside on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; note - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is 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
    Democratic Republican Party or DRP [Anesia BAPTISTE]
    New Democratic Party or NDP [Arnhim EUSTACE]
    Unity Labor Party or ULP [Ralph GONSALVES] (formed by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party or SVLP and the Movement for National Unity or MNU)
    SVG Green Party or SVGP [Ivan O'NEAL]
    NA
    ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ad interim Omari WILLIAMS
    chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
    telephone: [1] (202) 364-6730
    FAX: [1] (202) 364-6736
    consulate(s) general: New York
    the US does not have an embassy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold (double width), and green; the gold band bears three green diamonds arranged in a V pattern, which stands for Vincent; the diamonds recall the islands as the "Gems of the Antilles"; blue conveys the colors of a tropical sky and crystal waters, yellow signifies the golden Grenadine sands, and green represents lush vegetation
    Saint Vincent parrot; national colors: blue, gold, green
    name: "St. Vincent! Land So Beautiful!"
    lyrics/music: Phyllis Joyce MCCLEAN PUNNETT/Joel Bertram MIGUEL
    note: adopted 1967
  • Economy :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • Success of the economy hinges upon seasonal variations in agriculture, tourism, and construction activity as well as remittances. Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism, but persistent high unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards.
    This lower-middle-income country is vulnerable to natural disasters - tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002. Floods and mudslides caused by unseasonable rainfall in 2013, caused substantial damage to infrastructure, homes, and crops, which the World Bank estimated at US$112 million. The government's ability to invest in social programs and respond to external shocks is constrained by its high public debt burden, which was 67% of GDP - one of the lowest levels in the Eastern Caribbean - at the end of 2013.
    In 2013, the islands had more than 200,000 tourist arrivals, mostly to the Grenadines. Arrivals represented a marginal increase from 2012 but remain 26% below St. Vincent's 2009 peak. Weak recovery in the tourism and construction sectors limited growth in 2015.
    $1.205 billion (2015 est.)
    $1.186 billion (2014 est.)
    $1.189 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 202
    $757 million (2015 est.)
    1.6% (2015 est.)
    -0.2% (2014 est.)
    2.3% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    $11,000 (2015 est.)
    $10,800 (2014 est.)
    $10,800 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 133
    -4.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    -7.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -6.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    household consumption: 97.8%
    government consumption: 17.3%
    investment in fixed capital: 24.2%
    investment in inventories: -0.2%
    exports of goods and services: 15.2%
    imports of goods and services: -54.3% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 7.1%
    industry: 17.9%
    services: 75% (2015 est.)
    bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish
    tourism; food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch
    2.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    57,520 (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    agriculture: 26%
    industry: 17%
    services: 57% (1980 est.)
    18.8% (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $185.2 million
    expenditures: $222.2 million (2015 est.)
    24.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    -4.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    67% of GDP (2013 est.)
    68% of GDP (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    calendar year
    -1.7% (2015 est.)
    0.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    6.5% (31 December 2010)
    6.5% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    9.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
    9% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    $172.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $157.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    $547.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $521.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    $433.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $422 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    -$188 million (2015 est.)
    -$216 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    $49.8 million (2015 est.)
    $48.2 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets
    Trinidad and Tobago 18.9%, St. Lucia 14.8%, Barbados 12.3%, Dominica 9.7%, Grenada 9.3%, Antigua and Barbuda 8.4%, Poland 7.1%, St. Kitts and Nevis 4.1% (2015)
    $320.7 million (2015 est.)
    $313.6 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
    Trinidad and Tobago 29.3%, US 17.2%, Singapore 8.7%, China 8%, Barbados 6%, Poland 5.5%, Turkey 4.4% (2015)
    $135 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $157.4 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    $282.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $292.7 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    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 :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • population without electricity: 25,587
    electrification - total population: 76 %
    electrification - urban areas: 100 %
    electrification - rural areas: 32 % (2012)
    137 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    127.4 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    47,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    85.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    14.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    1,500 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    1,514 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    268,900 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
  • Communications :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • total subscriptions: 24,865
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    total: 113,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    general assessment: adequate islandwide, fully automatic telephone system
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity exceeds 20 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 110 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 1-784; the East Caribbean Fiber System and Southern Caribbean Fiber submarine cables carry international calls; connectivity also provided by VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia (2015)
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Corporation operates 1 TV station and 5 repeater stations that provide near total coverage to the multi-island state; multi-channel cable TV service available; a partially government-funded national radio service broadcasts on 1 station and has 2 repeater stations; about a dozen privately owned radio stations and repeater stations (2007)
    AM 1, FM 8, shortwave 0 (2008)
    1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2004)
    .vc
    305 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    total: 53,000
    percent of population: 51.8% (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
  • Transportation :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • 6 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    total: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 3
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 829 km
    paved: 580 km
    unpaved: 249 km (2003)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    total: 412
    by type: bulk carrier 64, cargo 263, carrier 14, chemical tanker 4, container 18, liquefied gas 3, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated cargo 12, roll on/roll off 15, specialized tanker 1
    foreign-owned: 325 (Austria 1, Azerbaijan 1, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 7, Bermuda 1, Bulgaria 9, China 65, Croatia 8, Cyprus 3, Czech Republic 1, Denmark 9, Dominica 1, Egypt 2, Estonia 8, France 2, Germany 3, Greece 42, Guyana 2, Hong Kong 5, Israel 3, Italy 4, Japan 3, Kenya 2, Latvia 15, Lebanon 2, Lithuania 9, Monaco 2, Netherlands 1, Norway 13, Poland 3, Romania 1, Russia 11, Singapore 5, Slovenia 1, Sweden 10, Switzerland 7, Syria 9, Turkey 13, UAE 3, UK 6, Ukraine 12, US 18, Venezuela 1) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    major seaport(s): Kingstown
  • Military and Security :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • no regular military forces; Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVPF) (2013)
  • Transnational Issues :: SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

  • joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea
    current situation: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; some children under 18 are pressured to engage in sex acts in exchange for money or gifts; foreign workers may experience forced labor and are particularly vulnerable when employed by small, foreign-owned companies; adults and children are vulnerable to forced labor domestically, especially in the agriculture sector
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government for the first time acknowledged a trafficking problem, launched an anti-trafficking public awareness campaign, and conducted anti-trafficking training for law enforcement, immigration, and labor officials; in 2014, authorities initiated three trafficking investigations, two of which were ultimately determined not to be trafficking cases, and did not prosecute or convict any trafficking offenders; the government did not identify or refer any potential trafficking victims to care (2015)
    transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; small-scale cannabis cultivation