The World Factbook (1990)/St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis

World Factbook (1990) St. Kitts and Nevis.jpg

See regional map III


Total area: 360 km²; land area: 360 km²

Comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 135 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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

Terrain: volcanic with mountainous interiors

Natural resources: negligible

Land use: 22% arable land; 17% permanent crops; 3% meadows and pastures; 17% forest and woodland; 41% other

Environment: subject to hurricanes (July to October)

Note: located 320 km southeast of Puerto Rico


Population: 40,157 (July 1990), growth rate 0.3% (1990)

Birth rate: 24 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 10 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -11 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 40 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 64 years male, 71 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.7 children born/woman (1990)

Ethnic divisions: mainly of black African descent

Nationality: noun—Kittsian(s), Nevisian(s); adjective—Kittsian, Nevisian

Religion: Anglican, other Protestant sects, Roman Catholic

Language: English

Literacy: 80%

Labor force: 20,000 (1981)

Organized labor: 6,700


Long-form name: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Basseterre

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

Independence: 19 September 1983 (from UK)

Constitution: 19 September 1983

Legal system: based on English common law

National holiday: Independence Day, 19 September (1983)

Executive branch: British monarch, governor general, prime minister, deputy prime minister, Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly (sometimes referred to as the National Assembly)

Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Clement Athelston ARRINDELL (since 19 September 1983, previously Governor General of the Associated State since November 1981);

Head of Government—Prime Minister Dr. Kennedy Alphonse SIMMONDS (since 19 September 1983, previously Premier of the Associated State since February 1980); Deputy Prime Minister Michael Oliver POWELL (since NA)

Political parties and leaders: People's Action Movement (PAM), Kennedy Simmonds; St. Kitts and Nevis Labor Party (SKNLP), Lee Moore; Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), Simeon Daniel; Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Vance Amory

Suffrage: universal adult at age NA

Elections: House of Assembly—last held 21 March 1989 (next to be held by 21 March 1994); seats—(14 total, 11 elected) PAM 6, SKNLP 2, NRP 2, CCM 1

Communists: none known

Member of: ACP, CARICOM, Commonwealth, FAO, IBRD, IMF, ISO, OAS, OECS, UN

Diplomatic representation: Minister-Counselor (Deputy Chief of Mission), Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Erstein M. EDWARDS; Chancery at Suite 540, 2501 M Street NW, Washington DC 20037; telephone (202) 833-3550; US—none

Flag: 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


Overview: The economy has historically depended on the growing and processing of sugarcane and on remittances from overseas workers. In recent years, tourism and export-oriented manufacturing have assumed larger roles.

GDP: $119 million, per capita $3,240; real growth rate 6% (1988 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.9% (1987)

Unemployment rate: 20-25% (1987)

Budget: revenues $38.5 million; expenditures $45.0 million, including capital expenditures of $15.8 million (1988)

Exports: $30.3 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—sugar, manufactures, postage stamps; partners—US 44%, UK 30%, Trinidad and Tobago 12% (1987)

Imports: $94.7 million (c.i.f., 1988); commodities—foodstuffs, intermediate manufactures, machinery, fuels; partners—US 35%, UK 18%, Trinidad and Tobago 10%, Canada 6%, Japan 4% (1987)

External debt: $27.6 million (1988)

Industrial production: growth rate 5.8% (1986)

Electricity: 15,800 kW capacity; 45 million kWh produced, 1,120 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 10% of GDP; cash crop—sugarcane; subsistence crops—rice, yams, bananas; fishing potential not fully exploited; most food imported

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-87), $13.6 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $46 million

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (plural—dollars); 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: 58 km 0.760-meter narrow gauge on St. Kitts for sugarcane

Highways: 300 km total; 125 km paved, 125 km otherwise improved, 50 km unimproved earth

Ports: Basseterre (St. Kitts), Charlestown (Nevis)

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airports: 2 total, 2 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; none with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: good interisland VHF/UHF/SHF radio connections and international link via Antigua and Barbuda and St. Martin; 2,400 telephones; stations—2 AM, no FM, 4 TV

Defense Forces

Branches: Royal St. Kitts and Nevis Police Force

Military manpower: NA

Defense expenditures: NA