World Factbook

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Introduction

Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Kitts and Nevis

Background:
Carib Indians occupied the islands of the West Indies for hundreds of years before the British began settlement in 1623. In 1967, the island territory of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla became an associated state of the UK with full internal autonomy. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. The remaining islands achieved independence in 1983 as Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Nevis continues in its efforts to separate from Saint Kitts.

Geography

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

Geographic coordinates:
17 20 N, 62 45 W

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
Total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
Country comparison to the world: 212
Land: 261 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
one and a half times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
135 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

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

Terrain:
volcanic with mountainous interiors

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m

Natural resources:
arable land

Land use:
Arable land: 19.23%
Permanent crops: 0.38%
Other: 80.38% (2011)

Irrigated land:
0.18 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
0.02 cu km (2011)

Natural hazards:
hurricanes (July to October)

Environment - current issues:
NA

Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:
with coastlines in the shape of a baseball bat and ball, the two volcanic islands are separated by a 3-km-wide channel called The Narrows; on the southern tip of long, baseball bat-shaped Saint Kitts lies the Great Salt Pond; Nevis Peak sits in the center of its almost circular namesake island and its ball shape complements that of its sister island

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
Adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian

Ethnic groups:
predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese

Languages:
English (official)

Religions:
Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic

Population:
51,134 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 209

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.9% (male 5,596/female 5,589)
15-24 years: 15.6% (male 3,940/female 4,042)
25-54 years: 45.2% (male 11,782/female 11,353)
55-64 years: 9.5% (male 2,464/female 2,401)
65 years and over: 7.8% (male 1,771/female 2,196) (2013 est.)

Median age:
Total: 33 years
Male: 33.1 years
Female: 32.9 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.8% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 136

Birth rate:
13.79 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 145

Death rate:
7.06 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 132

Net migration rate:
1.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 53

Urbanization:
Urban population: 32% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
BASSETERRE (capital) 13,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
Total population: 1 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 9.2 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 148
Male: 6.2 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 12.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 75.07 years
Country comparison to the world: 98
Male: 72.67 years
Female: 77.5 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.78 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 155

Health expenditures:
6.7% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 94

Physicians density:
1.1 physicians/1,000 population (2000)

Hospital bed density:
4.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 1% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 96% of population
total: 96% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 4% of population
total: 4% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
40.7% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 11

Education expenditures:
4.2% of GDP (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 103

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Total population: 97.8%
Male: NA
Female: NA (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 13 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 13 years (2008)

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis
Former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis

Government type:
parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:
Name: Basseterre
Geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W
Time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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

Independence:
19 September 1983 (from the UK)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 19 September (1983)

Constitution:
19 September 1983

Legal system:
English common law

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Edmund LAWRENCE (since 2 January 2013)
Head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995); Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister
Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held on 25 January 2010 (next to be held by 2015)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SKNLP 6, CCM 2, PAM 2, NRP 1

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States which includes Saint Kitts and Nevis; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the member states; 2 High Court judges reside on Saint Kitts and Nevis
note - the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in 2003 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final court of appeal on Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Kitts and Nevis is also a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
Judge selection and term of office: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62
Subordinate courts: magistrates' courts

Political parties and leaders:
Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]
Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]
People's Action Movement or PAM [Shawn RICHARDS]
Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

International organization participation:
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Jacinth HENRY-MARTIN
Chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
Telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636
FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740
Consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis

National symbol(s):
brown pelican

National anthem:
Name: "Oh Land of Beauty!"

Lyrics/music: Kenrick Anderson GEORGES
note: adopted 1983

Economy

Economy - overview:
The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis depends on tourism; since the 1970s tourism has replaced sugar as the traditional mainstay of the economy. Following the 2005 harvest, the government closed the sugar industry, after several decades of losses. To compensate for lost jobs, the government has embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and to stimulate other sectors of the economy, such as export-oriented manufacturing and offshore banking. Roughly 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2009, but reduced tourism arrivals and foreign investment led to an economic contraction in 2009-2012, and the economy has not yet returned to growth. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. Furthermore, the government is constrained by one of the world's highest public debt burdens - equivalent to roughly 140% of GDP in 2012 - largely attributable to public enterprise losses.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$946.3 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 205
$955 million (2011 est.)
$972.1 million (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$734 million (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-0.9% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 197
-1.9% (2011 est.)
0% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$16,500 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 81
$17,000 (2011 est.)
$17,700 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 59.6%
Government consumption: 12.1%
Investment in fixed capital: 35.3%
Investment in inventories: 0%
Exports of goods and services: 38.7%
Imports of goods and services: -45.7%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 1.7%
Industry: 23.3%
Services: 75% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish

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

Industrial production growth rate:
NA%

Labor force:
18,170 (June 1995)
Country comparison to the world: 210

Unemployment rate:
4.5% (1997)
Country comparison to the world: 40

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Budget:
Revenues: $185.2 million
Expenditures: $222.2 million (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
25.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 127

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-5% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 165

Public debt:
144% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 4
154% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 40
5.9% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2009)
Country comparison to the world: 55
6.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.3% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 94
9.45% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$177.4 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 177
$177.8 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$964.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 170
$879.1 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$963 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 159
$860 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$598.4 million (31 December 2011)
Country comparison to the world: 110
$623.9 million (31 December 2010)
$648 million (31 December 2009)

Current account balance:
-$133.8 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 71

Exports:
$57 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 193
$54.58 million (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco

Exports - partners:
US 55.3%, Canada 9.6%, Bangladesh 6.2% (2012)

Imports:
$339.6 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 195
$218.3 million (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery, manufactures, food, fuels

Imports - partners:
Algeria 59.9%, US 12%, Trinidad and Tobago 8.3% (2012)

Debt - external:
$189.4 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 187
$199.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2012 est.)
2.7 (2011 est.)
2.7 (2010 est.)
2.7 (2009)

Energy

Electricity - production:
135 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 186

Electricity - consumption:
125.6 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 191

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 124

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 127

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
22,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 194

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 35

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 171

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 194

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 182

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 182

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 176

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 117

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 181

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 127

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
1,496 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 195

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 128

Refined petroleum products - imports:
1,699 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 183

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 185

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 189

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 172

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 124

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 187

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
303,500 Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 186

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
20,600 (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 188

Telephones - mobile cellular:
84,600 (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 195

Telephone system:
General assessment: good interisland and international connections
Domestic: interisland links via Eastern Caribbean Fiber Optic cable; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004; fixed-line teledensity about 40 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 170 per 100 persons
International: country code - 1-869; connected internationally by the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables (2010)

Broadcast media:
the government operates a national TV network that broadcasts on 2 channels; cable subscription services provide access to local and international channels; the government operates a national radio network; a mix of government-owned and privately owned broadcasters operate roughly 15 radio stations (2007)

Internet country code:
.kn

Internet hosts:
54 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 213

Internet users:
17,000 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 197

Transportation

Airports:
2 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 204

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Railways:
Total: 50 km
Country comparison to the world: 130
Narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)

Roadways:
Total: 383 km
Country comparison to the world: 200
Paved: 163 km
Unpaved: 220 km (2002)

Merchant marine:
Total: 152
Country comparison to the world: 38
By type: bulk carrier 16, cargo 81, chemical tanker 4, combination ore/oil 1, container 2, liquefied gas 3, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 27, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1
Foreign-owned: 73 (Belgium 1, China 1, Egypt 1, Greece 2, India 2, Japan 2, Malaysia 1, Norway 3, Pakistan 1, Russia 13, Singapore 10, Turkey 18, UAE 8, UK 1, Ukraine 8, US 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Basseterre, Charlestown

Military

Military branches:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Security, Labour, Immigration, and Social Security: Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force (2013)

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 13,506
Females age 16-49: 13,089 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 10,742
Females age 16-49: 10,923 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 380
Female: 422 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
NA

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; some money-laundering activity

Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis



Flag description:
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; green signifies the island's fertility, red symbolizes the struggles of the people from slavery, yellow denotes year-round sunshine, and black represents the African heritage of the people; the white stars stand for the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, but can also express hope and liberty, or independence and optimism