Saint Kitts & Nevis Comprehensive Country Report

The following is a comprehensive report on Saint Kitts & Nevis

 

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SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS – Country Report

 

Background:

 

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Click the image to download your personal report on St. Kitts and Nevis

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 referendum on Nevis to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority vote needed. Nevis continues in its efforts to separate from Saint Kitts.

 

Geography: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

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)

Land: 261 sq. km

Water: 0 sq. km

Country comparison to the world: 212

Area – comparative:

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

135 km

Climate:

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

Terrain:

Volcanic with mountainous interiors

Elevation:

Mean elevation: NA

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m

Natural resources:

Arable land

Land use:

Agricultural land: 23.1%

Arable land 19.2%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 3.5%

Forest: 42.3%

Other: 34.6% (2011 EST.)

Irrigated land:

8 sq. km (2012)

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:

smallest country in the Americas and Western Hemisphere; 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: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

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:

51,936 (July 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 210

Age structure:

0-14 years: 20.99% (male 5,457/female 5,445)

15-24 years: 15.1% (male 3,845/female 3,999)

25-54 years: 45.01% (male 11,951/female 11,427)

55-64 years: 10.79% (male 2,806/female 2,800)

65 years and over: 8.1% (male 1,912/female 2,294) (2015 EST.)

Median age:

Total: 34 years

Male: 34.2 years

Female: 33.9 years (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 82

Population growth rate:

0.76% (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 144

Birth rate:

13.5 births/1,000 population (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 147

Death rate:

7.09 deaths/1,000 population (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 130

Net migration rate:

1.21 migrant(s)/1,000 populations (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 61

Urbanization:

Urban population: 32% of total population (2015)

Rate of urbanization: 1.27% annual rate of change (2010-15 EST.)

Major urban areas – population:

BASSETERRE (capital) 14,000 (2014)

Sex ratio:

At birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female

Total population: 1 male(s)/female (2015 EST.)

Infant mortality rate:

Total: 8.77 deaths/1,000 live births

Male: 6.03 deaths/1,000 live births

Female: 11.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 147

Life expectancy at birth:

Total population: 75.52 years

Male: 73.09 years

Female: 77.99 years (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 97

Total fertility rate:

1.78 children born/woman (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 154

Health expenditures:

5.1% of GDP (2014)

Country comparison to the world: 117

Hospital bed density:

2.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source:

Improved:

Urban: 98.3% of population

Rural: 98.3% of population

Total: 98.3% of population

Unimproved:

Urban: 1.7% of population

Rural: 1.7% of population

Total: 1.7% of population (2015 EST.)

Sanitation facility access:

Improved:

Urban: 87.3% of population

Rural: 87.3% of population

Total: 87.3% of population

Unimproved:

Urban: 12.7% of population

Rural: 12.7% of population

Total: 12.7% of population (2007 EST.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS – deaths:

NA

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:

28.4% (2014)

Country comparison to the world: 11

Education expenditures:

4.2% of GDP (2007)

Country comparison to the world: 105

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

Total: 14 years

Male: 14 years

Female: 15 years (2014)

Government: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

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

etymology: Saint Kitts was, and still is, referred to as Saint Christopher and this name was well established by the 17th century (although who first applied the name is unclear); in the 17th century a common nickname for Christopher was Kit or Kitt, so the island began to be referred to as “Saint Kitt’s Island” or just “Saint Kitts”; Nevis is derived from the original Spanish name “Nuestra Senora de las Nieves” (Our Lady of the Snows) and refers to the white halo of clouds that generally wreathes Nevis Peak

Government type:

Federal parliamentary democracy (National Assembly) under a constitutional monarchy; 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:

Several previous (preindependence); latest presented 22 June 1983, effective 23 June 1983 (2016)

Legal system:

English common law

International law organization participation:

Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship:

Citizenship by birth: yes

Citizenship by descent: yes

Dual citizenship recognized: yes

Residency requirement for naturalization: 14 years

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Samuel W.T. SEATON (since 2 September 2015); note – SEATON was acting Governor General from 20 May to 2 September 2015

Head of government: Prime Minister Timothy HARRIS (since 18 February 2015); Deputy Prime Minister Shawn RICHARDS (since 22 February 2015)

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by governor general in consultation with prime minister

Elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by governor general

Legislative branch:

Description: unicameral National Assembly (14 seats; 11 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 3 appointed by the governor general; members serve 5-year terms)

Elections: last held on 16 February 2015 (next to be held by 2020)

election results: percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – PAM 4, SKNLP 3, CCM 2, PLP 1, 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]

People’s Labour Party or PLP [Timothy HARRIS]

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, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

Chief of mission: Ambassador Thelma Patricia PHILLIP-BROWNE (since 28 January 2016)

Chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

Telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636

FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740

Consulate 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

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

National symbol(s):

Brown pelican, Royal Poinciana (Flamboyant) tree; national colors: green, yellow, red, black, white

National anthem:

Name: “Oh Land of Beauty!”

Lyrics/music: Kenrick Anderson GEORGES

Note: adopted 1983

Economy: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

Economy – overview:

The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis depends on tourism; since the 1970s, tourism has replaced sugar as the economy’s traditional mainstay. Roughly 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2009, but reduced tourism arrivals and foreign investment led to an economic contraction in 2009-2013, and the economy returned to growth only in 2014. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand.

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. The government has made notable progress in reducing its public debt, from 154% of GDP in 2011 to 83% in 2013, although it still faces one of the highest levels in the world, largely attributable to public enterprise losses.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.379 billion (2015 EST.)

$1.294 billion (2014 EST.)

$1.22 billion (2013 EST.)

Note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Country comparison to the world: 200

GDP (official exchange rate):

$896 million (2015 EST.)

GDP – real growth rate:

6.6% (2015 EST.)

6.1% (2014 EST.)

6.2% (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 21

GDP – per capita (PPP):

$24,600 (2015 EST.)

$23,500 (2014 EST.)

$22,600 (2013 EST.)

Note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Country comparison to the world: 77

Gross national saving:

16.9% of GDP (2015 EST.)

21.4% of GDP (2014 EST.)

21.1% of GDP (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 98

GDP – composition, by end use:

Household consumption: 73.6%

Government consumption: 10.7%

Investment in fixed capital: 29.3%

Investment in inventories: 0%

Exports of goods and services: 25.3%

Imports of goods and services: -38.9% (2015 EST.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:

Agriculture: 1.7%

Industry: 24.1%

Services: 74.2% (2015 EST.)

Agriculture – products:

Sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish

Industries:

Tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages

Industrial production growth rate:

0.5% (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 162

Labor force:

18,170 (June 1995 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 213

Unemployment rate:

4.5% (1997)

Country comparison to the world: 43

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

Lowest 10%: NA%

Highest 10%: NA%

Budget:

Revenues: $296.3 million

Expenditures: $259.3 million (2015 EST.)

Taxes and other revenues:

33.3% of GDP (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 70

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

4.2% of GDP (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 10

Public debt:

83% of GDP (2013 EST.)

144% of GDP (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 30

Fiscal year:

Calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

-2.8% (2015 EST.)

0.7% (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 3

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2009)

6.5% (31 December 2008)

Country comparison to the world: 57

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

9.4% (31 December 2015 EST.)

9.28% (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 89

Stock of narrow money:

$220.1 million (31 December 2015 EST.)

$215.6 million (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 181

Stock of broad money:

$964.8 million (31 December 2015 EST.)

$1.094 billion (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 170

Stock of domestic credit:

$333.3 million (31 December 2015 EST.)

$396.7 million (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 179

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$598.4 million (31 December 2011)

$598.4 million (31 December 2011)

$623.9 million (31 December 2010)

Country comparison to the world: 112

Current account balance:

-$117 million (2015 EST.)

-$65 million (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 70

Exports:

$61.3 million (2015 EST.)

$62.9 million (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 199

Exports – commodities:

Machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco

Exports – partners:

US 44.4%, Poland 14.6%, Bangladesh 10.1%, Azerbaijan 4.3% (2015)

Imports:

$240.3 million (2015 EST.)

$241.8 million (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 204

Imports – commodities:

Machinery, manufactures, food, fuels

Imports – partners:

US 37.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 22.7%, Barbados 4.4% (2015)

Debt – external:

$156.1 million (31 December 2014 EST.)

$158.8 million (31 December 2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 190

Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar –

2.7 (2015 EST.)

2.7 (2014 EST.)

2.7 (2013 EST.)

2.7 (2012 EST.)

2.7 (2011 EST.)

Energy: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

Electricity – production:

140 million kWh (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 195

Electricity – consumption:

130.2 million KWh (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 195

Electricity – exports:

0 kWh (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 191

Electricity – imports:

0 kWh (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 197

Electricity – installed generating capacity:

46,200 kW (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 189

Electricity – from fossil fuels:

95.2% of total installed capacity (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 69

Electricity – from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 176

Electricity – from hydroelectric plants:

0% of total installed capacity (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 198

Electricity – from other renewable sources:

4.8% of total installed capacity (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 59

Crude oil – production:

0 bbl. /day (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 186

Crude oil – exports:

0 bbl. /day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 183

Crude oil – imports:

0 bbl. /day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 121

Crude oil – proved reserves:

0 bbl. (1 January 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 185

Refined petroleum products – production:

0 bbl. /day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 127

Refined petroleum products – consumption:

1,700 bbl. /day (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 190

Refined petroleum products – exports:

0 bbl. /day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 129

Refined petroleum products – imports:

1,690 bbl. /day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 186

Natural gas – production:

0 cu m (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 124

Natural gas – consumption:

0 cu m (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 190

Natural gas – exports:

0 cu m (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 174

Natural gas – imports:

0 cu m (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 129

Natural gas – proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 189

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

250,700 Mt (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 196

Communications: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

Telephones – fixed lines:

Total subscriptions: 19,748

Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 38 (July 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 185

Telephones – mobile cellular:

Total: 73,000

Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 141 (July 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 196

Telephone system:

General assessment: good interisland and international connections

Domestic: interisland links via ECFS; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004; fixed-line teledensity about 40 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 140 per 100 persons

International: country code – 1-869; connected internationally by the East ECFS and Southern Caribbean Fiber 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)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 3, FM 8, shortwave 0 (2008)

Television broadcast stations:

1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2003)

Internet country code:

.kn

Internet hosts:

54 (2012)

Country comparison to the world: 213

Internet users:

Total: 39,000

Percent of population: 75.7% (July 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 203

Transportation: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

Airports:

2 (2013)

Country comparison to the world: 209

Airports – with paved runways:

Total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Railways:

Total: 50 km

Narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)

Country comparison to the world: 132

Roadways:

Total: 383 km

Paved: 163 km

Unpaved: 220 km (2002)

Country comparison to the world: 201

Merchant marine:

Total: 152

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)

Country comparison to the world: 38

Ports and terminals:

Major seaport(s): Basseterre, Charlestown

Military and Security: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

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)

Transnational Issues: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

Disputes – international:

Joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela’s claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/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