Montserrat

Country Summary

2023 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. The Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted in 1995, devastating much of the island; two thirds of the population fled abroad.

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

total: 5,468
male: 2,728
female: 2,740 (2024 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

0.59% (2024 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: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor Sarah TUCKER (since 6 April 2023)
head of government: Premier Easton TAYLOR-FARRELL (since 19 November 2019); note - effective with Constitution Order 2010, October 2010, the office of premier replaced the office of chief minister

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly (12 seats; 9 members directly elected in a single constituency by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds to serve 5-year terms; the speaker, normally elected from the outside by the Assembly for a 5-year term, 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 per capita

$34,000 (2011 est.)
$31,100 (2010 est.)
$32,300 (2009 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances

Exports

$11.9 million (2021 est.)
$4.4 million (2017 est.)
$5.2 million (2016 est.)

Exports - partners

US 23%, France 21%, Antigua and Barbuda 19%, Ireland 15%, UK 7% (2022)

Exports - commodities

sand, gravel and crushed stone, packaged medicine, lead products, liquid pumps (2022)

Imports

$15.3 million (2021 est.)
$39.44 million (2017 est.)
$36.1 million (2016 est.)

Imports - partners

US 54%, UK 8%, Singapore 4%, Antigua and Barbuda 4%, Trinidad and Tobago 4% (2022)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, machine parts, plastic products, machinery, natural gas (2022)

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
2.7 (2017 est.)
2.7 (2016 est.)
2.7 (2015 est.)
2.7 (2014 est.)
2.7 (2013 est.)


Page last updated: Thursday, June 06, 2024