[Country map of Saint Kitts and Nevis]

Saint Kitts and Nevis


Location: Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 269 sq km
land area: 269 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 135 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: subtropical tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)

Terrain: volcanic with mountainous interiors

Natural resources: negligible

Land use:
arable land: 22%
permanent crops: 17%
meadows and pastures: 3%
forest and woodland: 17%
other: 41%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: NA
natural hazards: hurricanes (July to October)
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling


Population: 40,992 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 35% (female 7,072; male 7,430)
15-64 years: 57% (female 11,784; male 11,756)
65 years and over: 8% (female 1,729; male 1,221) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.85% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 23.49 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 9.56 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -5.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 19.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.51 years
male: 63.51 years
female: 69.69 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.56 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Kittsian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittsian, Nevisian

Ethnic divisions: black African

Religions: Anglican, other Protestant sects, Roman Catholic

Languages: English

Literacy: age 15 and over has ever attended school (1980)
total population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 98%

Labor force: 20,000 (1981)


conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis
former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis

Digraph: SC

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Basseterre

Administrative divisions: 14 parishs; Christ Church Nichola Town, Saint Anne Sandy Point, Saint George Basseterre, Saint George Gingerland, Saint James Windward, Saint John Capisterre, Saint John Figtree, Saint Mary Cayon, Saint Paul Capisterre, Saint Paul Charlestown, Saint Peter Basseterre, Saint Thomas Lowland, Saint Thomas Middle Island, Trinity Palmetto Point

Independence: 19 September 1983 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 19 September (1983)

Constitution: 19 September 1983

Legal system: based on English common law

Suffrage: NA years of age; universal adult

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Clement Athelston ARRINDELL (since 19 September 1983, previously Governor General of theWest Indies Associated States since NA November 1981)
head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Kennedy Alphonse SIMMONDS (since 19 September 1983, previously Premier of the West Indies Associated States since NA February 1980); Deputy Prime Minister Hugh HEYLIGER (since November 1994)
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral
House of Assembly: elections last held 29 November 1993 (next to be held by 15 November 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (14 total, 11 elected) PAM 4, SKNLP 4, NRP 1, CCM 2

Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia)

Political parties and leaders: People's Action Movement (PAM), Dr. Kennedy SIMMONDS; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party (SKNLP), Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS; Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), Simeon DANIEL; Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Vance AMORY


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Erstein Mallet EDWARDS
chancery: Suite 608, 2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 833-3550
FAX: [1] (202) 833-3553

US diplomatic representation: no official presence; covered by embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados

Flag: 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


Overview: The economy has traditionally depended on the growing and processing of sugarcane; decreasing world prices have hurt the industry in recent years. Tourism and export-oriented manufacturing have begun to assume larger roles, although they still only account for 7% and 4% of GDP respectively. Growth in the construction and tourism sectors spurred the economic expansion in 1994. Most food is imported.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $210 million (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 4.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $5,300 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.6% (1993)

Unemployment rate: 12.2% (1990)

revenues: $103.2 million
expenditures: $102.6 million, including capital expenditures of $50.1 million (1995 est.)

Exports: $32.4 million (f.o.b., 1992)
commodities: machinery, food, electronics, beverages and tobacco
partners: US 50%, UK 30%, CARICOM nations 11% (1992)

Imports: $100 million (f.o.b., 1992)
commodities: machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
partners: US 43%, CARICOM nations 18%, UK 12%, Canada 4%, Japan 4%, OECS 4% (1992)

External debt: $43.3 million (1992)

Industrial production: growth rate 5.9% (1992 est.)

capacity: 15,800 kW
production: 45 million kWh
consumption per capita: 990 kWh (1993)

Industries: sugar processing, tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages

Agriculture: accounts for 17% of GDP; cash crop - sugarcane; subsistence crops - rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fishing potential not fully exploited

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY85-88), $10.7 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $67 million

Currency: 1 EC dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 - 2.70 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 58 km on Saint Kitts for sugarcane
narrow gauge: 58 km 0.760-m gauge

total: 300 km
paved: 125 km
unpaved: otherwise improved 125 km; unimproved earth 50 km

Ports: Basseterre, Charlestown

Merchant marine: none

total: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 1


Telephone system: 2,400 telephones; good interisland VHF/UHF/SHF radio connections and international link via Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Martin
local: NA
intercity: interisland links are handled by VHF/UHF/SHF radio; within the islands all calls are local
international: international calls are carried by radio to Antigua and Barbuda and there switched to submarine cable or to INTELSAT, or carried to Saint Martin by radio and switched to INTELSAT

broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 4
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force, Coast Guard

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP