Open main menu

The World Factbook (1990)/St. Vincent and the Grenadines


St. Vincent and the Grenadines

World Factbook (1990) St. Vincent and the Grenadines.jpg

See regional map III


Total area: 340 km²; land area: 340 km²

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

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 84 km

Maritime claims:

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

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

Terrain: volcanic, mountainous; Soufrière volcano on the island of St. Vincent

Natural resources: negligible

Land use: 38% arable land; 12% permanent crops; 6% meadows and pastures; 41% forest and woodland; 3% other; includes 3% irrigated

Environment: subject to hurricanes; Soufrière volcano is a constant threat

Note: some islands of the Grenadines group are administered by Grenada


Population: 112,646 (July 1990), growth rate 1.4% (1990)

Birth rate: 27 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 6 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -8 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 32 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 68 years male, 72 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.9 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—St. Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s); adjectives—St. Vincentian or Vincentian

Ethnic divisions: mainly of black African descent; remainder mixed, with some white, East Indian, Carib Indian

Religion: Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist

Language: English, some French patois

Literacy: 82%

Labor force: 67,000 (1984 est.)

Organized labor: 10% of labor force


Long-form name: none

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Kingstown

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

Independence: 27 October 1979 (from UK)

Constitution: 27 October 1979

Legal system: based on English common law

National holiday: Independence Day, 27 October (1979)

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

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly (includes 15 elected representatives and six appointed senators)

Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General David JACK (since 29 September 1989);

Head of Government—Prime Minister James F. MITCHELL (since 30 July 1984)

Political parties and leaders: New Democratic Party (NDP), James (Son) Mitchell; St. Vincent Labor Party (SVLP), Vincent Beach; United People's Movement (UPM), Adrian Saunders; Movement for National Unity (MNU), Ralph Gonsalves; National Reform Party (NRP), Joel Miguel

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: House of Assembly—last held 16 May 1989 (next to be held July 1994); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(15 total) NDP 15


Diplomatic representation: none

Flag: three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold (double width), and green; the gold band bears three green diamonds arranged in a V pattern


Overview: Agriculture, dominated by banana production, is the most important sector of the economy, providing employment for over 60% of the labor force and contributing about 20% to GDP. The services sector is next in importance, based mostly on a growing tourist industry. The economy continues to have a high unemployment rate of 30% because of an overdependence on the weather-plagued banana crop as a major export earner. Government progress toward diversifying into new industries has been relatively unsuccessful.

GDP: $136 million, per capita $1,305; real growth rate 8.4% (1988)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.0% (1988)

Unemployment rate: 30% (1989 est.)

Budget: revenues $42.7 million; expenditures $67.5 million, including capital expenditures of $25.8 (FY88)

Exports: $63.8 million (f.o.b., 1986); commodities—bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch, copra; partners—CARICOM 60%, UK 27%, US 10%

Imports: $87.3 million (c.i.f., 1986); commodities—foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels; partners—US 37%, CARICOM 18%, UK 13%

External debt: $35 million (July 1987)

Industrial production: growth rate -1.2% (1986)

Electricity: 16,600 kW capacity; 64 million kWh produced, 610 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: food processing (sugar, flour), cement, furniture, rum, starch, sheet metal, beverage

Agriculture: accounts for 20% of GDP and 60% of labor force; provides bulk of exports; products—bananas, arrowroot (world's largest producer), coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, hogs, goats; small fish catch used locally

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-87), $11 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $71 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: 1 July-30 June


Highways: about 1,000 km total; 300 km paved; 400 km improved; 300 km unimproved

Ports: Kingstown

Merchant marine: 175 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,305,945 GRT/2,029,935 DWT; includes 2 passenger, 1 passenger cargo, 103 cargo, 10 container, 8 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 4 refrigerated cargo, 9 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 4 chemical tanker, 2 liquefied gas, 28 bulk, 4 combination bulk; note—a flag of convenience registry

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airports: 6 total, 6 usable; 4 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 2,439 m; 1 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: islandwide fully automatic telephone system; 6,500 telephones; VHF/UHF interisland links to Barbados and the Grenadines; new SHF links to Grenada and St. Lucia; stations—2 AM, no FM, 1 TV (cable)

Defense Forces

Branches: Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force

Military manpower: NA

Defense expenditures: NA