Saint Kitts and Nevis

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Carib Indians occupied the islands of the West Indies for hundreds of years before the British and French began settlement in 1623. At one time united with Anguilla, the islands achieved independence in 1983 as Saint Kitts and Nevis but remain a UK Commonwealth realm.

Geography

Area

total: 261 sq km

land: 261 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Climate

tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)

Natural resources

arable land

People and Society

Population

54,488 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

African descent 92.5%, mixed 3%, White 2.1%, East Indian 1.5%, other 0.6%, unspecified 0.3% (2001 est.)

Languages

English (official)

Religions

Protestant 75.6% (includes Anglican 16.6%, Methodist 15.8%, Pentecostal 10.8%, Church of God 7.4%, Baptist 5.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Wesleyan Holiness 5.3%, Moravian 4.8%, Evangelical 2.1%, Brethren 1.7%, Presbyterian 0.3%), Roman Catholic 5.9%, Hindu 1.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.4%, Rastafarian 1.3%, other 5%, none 8.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)

Population growth rate

0.61% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

Capital

name: Basseterre

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Samuel W.T. SEATON (since 2 September 2015); note - SEATON was Acting Governor General from 20 May to 2 September 2015

head of government: Prime Minister Timothy HARRIS (since 18 February 2015); Deputy Prime Minister Shawn RICHARDS (since 22 February 2015)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly (14 or 15 seats, depending on inclusion of attorney general; 11 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 3 appointed by the governor general - 2 on the advice of the prime minister and the third on the advice of the opposition leader; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

high-income, tourism-based Caribbean island economy; better debt balancing; CARICOM member; growing offshore financial hub; environmentally fragile; unique citizenship-driven growth model; increased telecommunications focus

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.24 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$23,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, tropical fruit, roots/tubers, vegetables, sweet potatoes, pulses, watermelons, carrots/turnips, eggs, tomatoes

Industries

tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages

Exports

$610 million (2018 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 69%, Germany 8%, Italy 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

low-voltage protection equipment, broadcasting equipment, measuring instruments, electric motor parts, electrical transformers (2019)

Imports

$590 million (2018 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 59%, Peru 6%, Germany 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, jewelry, ships, cars, poultry meats, cement (2019)


Page last updated: Monday, May 23, 2022