OFFICIAL NAME: Grenada
CAPITAL: St. George's
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
AREA: 344 Sq Km (133 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 105,000
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Grenada is the most southerly island
of the windward group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. The
country's territory consists of the island of Grenada, Carriacou,
Petit Martinique and a number of small islets. The island
of Grenada is of volcanic origin with a mountainous mass
and a number of ridges located in its center, which also
extend its entire length. The island falls rapidly to the
sea in the west but more gradually to the east and southeast.
Grand Etang, Lake Antoine and Levera Pond are all lakes
that have formed in the craters of extinct volcanoes. Major
Cities (pop. est.); St. George's 4,400, Gouyave 3,200, Grenville
2,100 (1991). Land Use; forested 9%, pastures 3%, agricultural-cultivated
32%, other 56% (1993).
CLIMATE: Grenada has a subtropical climate with a mild dry season
from January to May and a wet season from June to December with high temperatures
and humidity. Average annual precipitation varies from 1,524 mm (60 inches)
in the coastal districts to 5,080 mm (200 inches) in the mountains. The
prevailing NE trade winds and the hurricane season are from June to December
while average temperature ranges in St. Georges are from 26 degrees Celsius
(79 degrees Fahrenheit) to 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) all
PEOPLE: The majority of the population is of Black African descent,
of which 84% of the population are pure blooded Black Africans while 12%
are Mulattoes who are of mixed European and African descent. Around 3%
of the population are AmerIndian.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 279 persons per sq km
(723 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; N/A. Sex Distribution; 47.8%
male, 52.2% female (1988). Life Expectancy at Birth; 69.0 years male, 74.0
years female (1989). Age Breakdown; 36% under 15, 29% 15 to 29, 15% 30
to 44, 9% 45 to 59, 11% 60 and over (1988). Birth Rate; 32.1 per 1,000
(1987). Death Rate; 8.1 per 1,000 (1987). Increase Rate; 24.0 per 1,000
(1987). Infant Mortality Rate; 15.9 per 1,000 live births (1987).
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 59% of the population Roman
Catholic while 35% are Protestant, of which 17% are Anglican.
LANGUAGES: The official language is English, which is also the
national language. A French Patois is spoken by a small number of the population.
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling
2.2%, primary 87.8%, secondary 8.5%, higher 1.5% (1981). Literacy; literate
population aged 15 or over 46,000 or 85.0% (1981).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1960 Britain granted Grenada
internal self-government when it became an associate state. In the early
1970's the then Prime Minister, Eric Gairy, led a movement for independence
causing political unrest to develop as some groups opposing independence
accused Gairy of becoming a dictator. On Feb. 7, 1974 Grenada gained full
independence as a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth. Gairy
served as the Prime Minister of Grenada until Mar. 1979 when rebels led
by Maurice Bishop overthrew his government in an almost bloodless coup.
Bishop a Marxist, established close ties with Cuba and adopted a number
of leftist policies. A number of other Caribbean nations feared Grenada
would be used as a base by Cuba and the Soviet Union to support terrorist
activities and revolutions throughout Latin America. In Oct. 1983 a coup
led by Bernard Coard and Gen. Hudson Austin attempted to seize power. On
Oct. 25, 1983 US troops as well as troops from six other Caribbean nations,
which were Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Lucia
and St. Vincent, invaded Grenada. After several days the multinational
force took complete control of Grenada and by Dec. 15 all the US troops
had been pulled out of the country. The 1974 constitution was reinstated
and elections in Dec. 1984 were won by Herbert Blaize who became Prime
Minister. In Dec. 1989 Blaize died and was succeeded by his deputy. Elections
in Mar. 1990 resulted in the formation of a new government under Nicholas
Brathwaite. In Aug. 1991 the government commuted the death sentences imposed
on 14 people for the 1983 murder of former Prime Minister Bishop to life
sentences. In Oct. 1991 an economic structural adjustment program was presented
to the government by a cooperative team from the University of the West
Indies, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Organization of East Caribbean
States and the East Caribbean Central Bank. During 1992 the National Democratic
Congress defended its structural adjustment program that included the reduction
of the public sector and privatization of state enterprises. In Feb. 1992
the Parliament passed a controversial Traders and Professional Licenses
Act that required professional businessmen to pay fees from EC $100 to
EC $100,000. In Mar. 1992 the sole remaining parliamentary member of the
Grenada United Labor Party was expelled from the party amid claims of "blatant
disloyalty" and "substandard performance". In Aug. 1992
Reginald Palmer was appointed Governor-General to succeed Sir Paul Scoon.
Also during 1992 diplomatic ties were resumed with Cuba. In Jan. 1993 in
an attempt to avoid an austerity program to be imposed by the IMF Prime
Minister Brathwaite laid off 700 civil servants to assist in reducing government
spending. In April 1993 announcements were made for a planned US $30 million,
300 bedroom resort was to be built to bolster the ailing tourist industry
while in May 1993 the government amended the Trade Disputes, Arbitration
and Inquiry Act in an attempt to attract further economic investment and
reduce labor disputes. In June 1993 Grenada in conjunction with Indonesia
artificially forced the world price of nutmegs up by destroying some 700
CURRENCY: The official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar
(ECD) divided into 100 Cents.
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $219,000,000 (1993). Public
Debt; USD $96,200,000 (1993). Imports; USD $114,600,000 (1993). Exports;
USD $20,200,000 (1993). Tourism Receipts; USD $58,700,000 (1994). Balance
of Trade; USD -$94,400,000 (1993). Economically Active Population; 38,920
or 39.9% of total population (1988). Unemployed; 16.7% (1994).
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are other CARICOM
(Caribbean Community and Common Market) countries, the UK, the USA, the
Netherlands and Germany.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Bananas, Cocoa, Fruit and Vegetables, Mace,
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Food Processing, Tourism.
MAIN EXPORTS: Bananas, Cocoa, Mace, Nutmeg.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; nil. Roads; length 929 km (577 mi) (1988).
Vehicles; cars 4,784 (1981), trucks and buses 981 (1981). Merchant Marine;
vessels 3 (1990), deadweight tonnage 484 (1990). Air Transport; N/A.
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; nil. Weekly Newspapers; 5 (1993),
Radio; receivers 53,000 (1994). Television; receivers 30,000 (1994). Telephones;
units 20,100 (1993).
MILITARY: 650 (1993) paramilitary and police personnel while
military expenditure accounts for N/A. of the Gross National Product (GNP).