[Country map of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines]

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


Location: Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 340 sq km
land area: 340 sq km
comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 84 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)

Terrain: volcanic, mountainous; Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent

Natural resources: negligible

Land use:
arable land: 38%
permanent crops: 12%
meadows and pastures: 6%
forest and woodland: 41%
other: 3%

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: 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
natural hazards: hurricanes; Soufriere volcano is a constant threat
international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ship Pollution, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Desertification

Note: the administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada


Population: 117,344 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 34% (female 19,551; male 20,185)
15-64 years: 61% (female 35,565; male 35,573)
65 years and over: 5% (female 3,793; male 2,677) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.65% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 19.62 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.46 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -7.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 17.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.66 years
male: 71.15 years
female: 74.21 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.08 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s)
adjective: Saint Vincentian or Vincentian

Ethnic divisions: African descent, Caucasian, East Indian, Carib Indian

Religions: Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist

Languages: English, French patois

Literacy: age 15 and over has ever attended school (1970)
total population: 96%
male: 96%
female: 96%

Labor force: 67,000 (1984 est.)
by occupation: NA


conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Digraph: VC

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Kingstown

Administrative divisions: 6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick

Independence: 27 October 1979 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 27 October (1979)

Constitution: 27 October 1979

Legal system: based on English common law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General David JACK (since 29 September 1989)
head of government: Prime Minister James F. MITCHELL (since 30 July 1984); Deputy Prime Minister Parnel CAMPBELL (since NA February 1994); note - governor general appoints leader of the majority party to position of prime minister
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral
House of Assembly: elections last held 21 February 1994 (next to be held NA July 1999); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (21 total, 15 elected representatives and 6 appointed senators) NDP 12, ULP 3

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

Political parties and leaders: New Democratic Party (NDP), James MITCHELL (son of Prime Minister James F. MITCHELL); United People's Movement (UPM), Adrian SAUNDERS; National Reform Party (NRP), Joel MIGUEL; Unity Labor Party (ULP),Vincent BEACHE - formed by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party (SVLP) and the Movement for National Unity (MNU)


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Kingsley C.A. LAYNE
chancery: 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 102, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 462-7806, 7846
FAX: [1] (202) 462-7807

US diplomatic representation: no official presence since the Ambassador resides in Bridgetown (Barbados)

Flag: three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold (double width), and green; the gold band bears three green diamonds arranged in a V pattern


Overview: Agriculture, dominated by banana production, is the most important sector of the economy. The services sector, based mostly on a growing tourist industry, is also important. In 1993, economic growth slowed to 1.4%, reflecting a sharp decline in agricultural production caused by drought. The government has been relatively unsuccessful at introducing new industries, and high unemployment rates of 35%-40% continue.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $235 million (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 2% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $2,000 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: 35%-40% (1994 est.)

revenues: $66.2
expenditures: $77.3 million, including capital expenditures of $23 million (1993 est.)

Exports: $57.1 million (f.o.b., 1993)
commodities: bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch, tennis racquets
partners: UK 54%, CARICOM 34%, US 10%

Imports: $134.6 million (f.o.b., 1993)
commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
partners: US 36%, CARICOM 21%, UK 18%, Trinidad and Tobago 13%

External debt: $74.9 million (1993)

Industrial production: NA

capacity: 16,600 kW
production: 50 million kWh
consumption per capita: 436 kWh (1993)

Industries: food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch

Agriculture: accounts for 14% of GDP and 60% of labor force; provides bulk of exports; products - bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, hogs, goats; small fish catch used locally

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

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-87), $11 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $81 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


Railroads: 0 km

total: 1,000 km
paved: 300 km
unpaved: improved earth 400 km; unimproved earth 300 km

Ports: Kingstown

Merchant marine:
total: 580 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,212,812 GRT/8,530,725 DWT
ships by type: bulk 106, cargo 289, chemical tanker 15, combination bulk 10, combination ore/oil 3, container 36, liquefied gas tanker 5, livestock carrier 2, oil tanker 53, passenger 2, passenger-cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 30, roll-on/roll-off cargo 25, short-sea passenger 1, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1
note: a flag of convenience registry; includes 16 countries among which are Croatia 49 ships, Russia 23, Slovenia 11, China 8, Germany 3, Serbia 2, Latvia 1, Montenegro 1, Georgia 1, UAR 1

total: 6
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2
with paved runways under 914 m: 4


Telephone system: 6,500 telephones; islandwide fully automatic telephone system
local: NA
intercity: VHF/UHF interisland links from Saint Vincent to the other islands of the Grenadines
international: VHF/UHF interisland links from Saint Vincent to Barbados; new SHF links to Grenada and to Saint Lucia

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

broadcast stations: 1 cable
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, Coast Guard

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP