OFFICIAL NAME: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
CAPITAL: Kingstown
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
AREA: 389 Sq Km (150 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 121,400


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: St. Vincent is an island located at the lower end of the windward group of islands in the Caribbean Sea while the Grenadines are a chain of islets between St. Vincent and Grenada. The island of St. Vincent is dominated by a chain of volcanic ranges and small peaks such as Soufriere, Richmond, Grand Bonhomme and St. Andrew. The east side of the island has a gently sloping terrain while the west is rugged. The Grenadines are characterized by bays and coral reefs. Major Cities (pop. est.); Kingstown 15,800 (1993). Land Use; forested 36%, pastures 5%, agricultural-cultivated 28%, other 31% (1994).


CLIMATE: St. Vincent has a tropical climate that is influenced by the NE trade winds between January and June. The rainy season is from May to November with an average annual precipitation varying from 1,500 mm (60 inches) to 3,750 mm (150 inches) in the mountainous interior. Average temperature ranges are from 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) to 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) all year.


PEOPLE: The original inhabitants of the island, the Caribs, have disappeared. The principal ethnic majority are the Black Africans who account for 66% of the population. Mixed racial descendants account for 19% while Whites account for 3.5%, East Indians for 5.5%, AmerIndians for 2% and others for 4.5% of the population.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 303 persons per sq km (787 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 24.6% urban, 75.4% rural (1991). Sex Distribution; 49.9% male, 50.1% female (1991). Life Expectancy at Birth; 68.0 years male, 72.0 years female (1991). Age Breakdown; 37% under 15, 33% 15 to 29, 15% 30 to 44, 7% 45 to 59, 6% 60 to 74, 2% 75 and over (1985). Birth Rate; 24.3 per 1,000 (1991). Death Rate; 6.1 per 1,000 (1991). Increase Rate; 18.2 per 1,000 (1991). Infant Mortality Rate; 20.3 per 1,000 live births (1991).


RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 77% of the population Protestant while 19% are Roman Catholic.


LANGUAGES: The official language is English which is spoken by the majority of the population, although a French Patois is also spoken.


EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling 2.4%, primary 88.0%, secondary 8.2%, higher 1.4% (1980). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 54,000 or 85.0% (1983).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1951 universal adult suffrage was introduced and internal self-government was granted by Britain in 1969. In 1972 James Mitchell an independent formed a coalition government with the People's Political Party (PPP), although it collapsed in 1974. After the 1974 elections Cilton Cato formed another coalition government with the PPP and the St. Vincent Labor Party (SVLP). On Oct. 27, 1979 St. Vincent gained full independence within the Commonwealth from Britain. In 1984 the New Democratic Party (NDP) founded by James Fitz-Allen Mitchell formed a majority government with Mitchell as Prime Minister. In May 1989 Mitchell and his government were re-elected. In April 1991 St. Vincent implemented the Caribbean Community's external tariff. In Aug. 1991 a man convicted of murder was hanged, the first since 1987. Also in 1991 attempts to unite three opposition parties, the SVLP, Movement for National Unity (MNU) and the United People's Movement (UPM) failed. In May 1992 the country's new ECD $55 million airport was opened in Bequia and was named after Prime Minister Mitchell. Also in 1992 a a joint venture between the government and an Italian firm to construct a ECD $75 million marina near Kingston was approved by the Parliament. In March 1993 a US $100 million luxury hotel, marina and private villas on Union Island in the Grenadines was announced. In June 1993 the government received a US $3.3 million loan from the Kuwaiti Investment Fund to purchase a new electricity generator. In Aug. 1993 the age for application of the death penalty was raised from 16 to 18 despite calls from human rights organizations for the government to abolish it altogether.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (ECD) divided into 100 Cents.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $233,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $62,400,000 (1993). Imports; ECD $360,600,000 (1992). Exports; ECD $213,000,000 (1992). Tourism Receipts; USD $55,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; ECD -$214,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 41,682 or 31.9% of total population (1991). Unemployed; 35.0% (1994).


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the UK and Trinidad & Tobago.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Bananas, Coconuts, Spices, Taro, Timber.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Cement Manufacture, Flour Milling, Food Processing, Forestry, Rum Distilling, Tourism.

MAIN EXPORTS: Bananas, Copra, Starch, Taro.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; nil. Roads; length 859 km (534 mi) (1989). Vehicles; cars 4,700 (1989), trucks and buses 2,800 (1989). Merchant Marine; vessels 521 (1990), deadweight tonnage 2,994,919 (1990). Air Transport; N/A.


COMMUNICATIONS: Weekly Newspapers; total of 2 with a total circulation of N/A (1992). Radio; receivers 73,000 (1994). Television; receivers 17,700 (1994). Telephones; units 16,500 (1993).


MILITARY: 634 (1992) police and paramilitary personnel.


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