World Factbook

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Introduction

Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Background:
Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on Saint Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the United Kingdom for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.

Geography

Location:
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago

Geographic coordinates:
13 15 N, 61 12 W

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
Total: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
Country comparison to the world: 204
Land: 389 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
84 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm

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

Terrain:
volcanic, mountainous

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Highest point: La Soufriere 1,234 m

Natural resources:
hydropower, cropland

Land use:
Arable land: 12.82%
Permanent crops: 7.69%
Other: 79.49% (2011)

Irrigated land:
10 sq km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.01 cu km/yr (NA)
Per capita: 92.59 cu m/yr (1995)

Natural hazards:
hurricanes; Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent is a constant threat

Environment - 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

Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, 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:
the administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is comprised of 32 islands and cays

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s)
Adjective: Saint Vincentian or Vincentian

Ethnic groups:
black 66%, mixed 19%, East Indian 6%, European 4%, Carib Amerindian 2%, other 3%

Languages:
English, French patois

Religions:
Protestant 75% (Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%), Roman Catholic 13%, other (includes Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant) 12%

Population:
103,220 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 195

Age structure:
0-14 years: 23.4% (male 12,179/female 11,979)
15-24 years: 17% (male 8,848/female 8,680)
25-54 years: 42.5% (male 22,777/female 21,067)
55-64 years: 8.8% (male 4,627/female 4,412)
65 years and over: 8.4% (male 3,982/female 4,669) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 47.6 %
Youth dependency ratio: 37.3 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 10.3 %
Potential support ratio: 9.7 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 31.3 years
Male: 31.4 years
Female: 31.2 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.3% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 218

Birth rate:
14.12 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 142

Death rate:
7.06 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 131

Net migration rate:
-10.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 211

Urbanization:
Urban population: 49% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
KINGSTOWN (capital) 28,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
48 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 110

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 13.46 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 124
Male: 14.66 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 12.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 74.62 years
Country comparison to the world: 108
Male: 72.69 years
Female: 76.62 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.87 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 144

Health expenditures:
4.5% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 154

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

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

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
rural: 96% of population
Unimproved:
rural: 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:
23.4% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 75

Education expenditures:
5.1% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 69

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Total population: 96%
Male: 96%
Female: 96% (1970 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 13 years (2004)

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Government type:
parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:
Name: Kingstown
Geographic coordinates: 13 08 N, 61 13 W
Time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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

Independence:
27 October 1979 (from the UK)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 27 October (1979)

Constitution:
27 October 1979

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 Fredrick Nathaniel BALLANTYNE (since 2 September 2002)
Head of government: Prime Minister Ralph E. GONSALVES (since 29 March 2001)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister

Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Assembly (21 seats, 15 elected representatives and 6 appointed senators; representatives elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held on 13 December 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
Election results: percent of vote by party - ULP 51.6%, NDP 47.8%, other 0.6%; seats by party - ULP 8, NDP 7

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 to include Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the ECSC - with its headquarters on Saint Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is 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 Vincent and the Grenadines
note - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is 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:
New Democratic Party or NDP [Arnhim EUSTACE]
Unity Labor Party or ULP [Ralph GONSALVES] (formed by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party or SVLP and the Movement for National Unity or MNU)

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

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

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador La Celia A. PRINCE
Chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
Telephone: [1] (202) 364-6730
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6736
Consulate(s) general: New York

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

National anthem:
Name: "St. Vincent! Land So Beautiful!"
Lyrics/music: Phyllis Joyce MCCLEAN PUNNETT/Joel Bertram MIGUEL
note: adopted 1967

Economy

Economy - overview:
Success of the economy hinges upon seasonal variations in agriculture, tourism, and construction activity as well as remittance inflows. Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism, but persistent high unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands. This lower-middle-income country is vulnerable to natural disasters - tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002. In 2008, the islands had more than 200,000 tourist arrivals, mostly to the Grenadines, a drop of nearly 20% from 2007. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards. The government's ability to invest in social programs and respond to external shocks is constrained by its high public debt burden, which was 68% of GDP at the end of 2011. GDP grew on average 6% annually from 2002-07, but contracted between 2008-10 as a result of the global economic downturn; growth remains slow.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.312 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 200
$1.306 billion (2011 est.)
$1.301 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$712 million (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
0.5% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 171
0.4% (2011 est.)
-2.3% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$12,000 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 108
$11,900 (2011 est.)
$11,900 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 90.4%
Government consumption: 16.7%
Investment in fixed capital: 25.8%
Investment in inventories: 0%
Exports of goods and services: 23.2%
Imports of goods and services: -56.1%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 5.4%
Industry: 19.9%
Services: 74.8% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish

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

Industrial production growth rate:
3% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 89

Labor force:
57,520 (2007 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 187

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 26%
Industry: 17%
Services: 57% (1980 est.)

Unemployment rate:
15% (2001 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 146

Population below poverty line:
NA%

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

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

Taxes and other revenues:
26% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 117

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
0% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 48

Public debt:
68% of GDP (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 41

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.1% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 98
4% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 46
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.4% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 97
9.13% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$129.5 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 181
$122.8 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$431.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 179
$411.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$408.8 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 177
$389.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Current account balance:
-$226.2 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 80
-$221.6 million (2011 est.)

Exports:
$47.1 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 196
$43.02 million (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets

Exports - partners:
Trinidad and Tobago 15.2%, St. Lucia 13.5%, Turkey 12.1%, Barbados 11.2%, Dominica 8.9%, Grenada 8.5%, Antigua and Barbuda 7.6% (2012)

Imports:
$295.3 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 202
$294.5 million (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels

Imports - partners:
Singapore 27%, Trinidad and Tobago 24.1%, US 18.3%, China 5.4%, Barbados 5.3% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$95 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 164
$89.63 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$265.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 184
$282.8 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:
132 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 187

Electricity - consumption:
122.8 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 192

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 143

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 145

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
49,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 184

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
81.6% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 92

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 196

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
18.4% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 95

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 198

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 200

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 200

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 135

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 199

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 140

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
1,948 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 189

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 140

Refined petroleum products - imports:
1,474 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 185

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 199

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 143

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 201

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
332,600 Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 184

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
22,700 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 186

Telephones - mobile cellular:
131,800 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 186

Telephone system:
General assessment: adequate islandwide, fully automatic telephone system
Domestic: fixed-line teledensity exceeds 20 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 125 per 100 persons
International: country code - 1-784; the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables carry international calls; connectivity also provided by VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia (2011)

Broadcast media:
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Corporation operates 1 TV station and 5 repeater stations that provide near total coverage to the multi-island state; multi-channel cable TV service available; a partially government-funded national radio service broadcasts on 1 station and has 2 repeater stations; about a dozen privately owned radio stations and repeater stations (2007)

Internet country code:
.vc

Internet hosts:
305 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 190

Internet users:
76,000 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 169

Transportation

Airports:
6 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 177

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
Under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 1
Under 914 m:
1 (2013)

Roadways:
Total: 829 km
Country comparison to the world: 187
Paved: 580 km
Unpaved: 249 km (2003)

Merchant marine:
Total: 412
Country comparison to the world: 25
By type: bulk carrier 64, cargo 263, carrier 14, chemical tanker 4, container 18, liquefied gas 3, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated cargo 12, roll on/roll off 15, specialized tanker 1
Foreign-owned: 325 (Austria 1, Azerbaijan 1, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 7, Bermuda 1, Bulgaria 9, China 65, Croatia 8, Cyprus 3, Czech Republic 1, Denmark 9, Dominica 1, Egypt 2, Estonia 8, France 2, Germany 3, Greece 42, Guyana 2, Hong Kong 5, Israel 3, Italy 4, Japan 3, Kenya 2, Latvia 15, Lebanon 2, Lithuania 9, Monaco 2, Netherlands 1, Norway 13, Poland 3, Romania 1, Russia 11, Singapore 5, Slovenia 1, Sweden 10, Switzerland 7, Syria 9, Turkey 13, UAE 3, UK 6, Ukraine 12, US 18, Venezuela 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Kingstown

Military

Military branches:
no regular military forces; Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVPF) (2013)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 27,809 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 22,875
Females age 16-49: 22,015 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 964
Female: 953 (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; small-scale cannabis cultivation

Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines



Flag description:
three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold (double width), and green; the gold band bears three green diamonds arranged in a V pattern, which stands for Vincent; the diamonds recall the islands as the "Gems of the Antilles"; blue conveys the colors of a tropical sky and crystal waters, yellow signifies the golden Grenadine sands, and green represents lush vegetation