Montserrat

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632. 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.

Geography

Area

total: 102 sq km

land: 102 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Climate

tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation

Natural resources

NEGL

People and Society

Population

5,414 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

African/Black 86.2%, mixed 4.8%, Hispanic/Spanish 3%, Caucasian/White 2.7%, East Indian/Indian 1.6%, other 1.8% (2018 est.)

Languages

English

Religions

Protestant 71.4% (includes Anglican 17.7%, Pentecostal/Full Gospel 16.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 15%, Methodist 13.9%, Church of God 6.7%, other Protestant 2%), Roman Catholic 11.4%, Rastafarian 1.4%, Hindu 1.2%, Jehovah's Witness 1%, Muslim 0.4%, other/not stated 5.1%, none 7.9% (2018 est.)

Population growth rate

0.5% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy; self-governing overseas territory of the UK

Capital

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

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Andrew PEARCE (since 1 February 2018)

head of government: Premier Easton TAYLOR-FARRELL (since 19 November 2019); note - effective with The Constitution Order 2010, effective October 2010, the office of premier replaced the office of chief minister

Legislative branch

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)

Economy

Economic overview

formerly high-income economy; volcanic activity destroyed much of original infrastructure and economy; new capital and port is being developed; key geothermal and solar power generation; key music recording operations

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$167.4 million (2011 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$34,000 (2011 est.)

Agricultural products

cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products

Industries

tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances

Exports

$4.4 million (2017 est.)

Exports - partners

Antigua and Barbuda 19%, United States 18%, France 17%, Singapore 14%, Belgium 9%, Netherlands 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

sand, iron products, seats, medical instruments, fish (2019)

Imports

$39.44 million (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 70%, United Kingdom 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, oranges, electric motors, broadcasting equipment (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022