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Quick Facts
Governmentparliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth
CurrencyEast Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Areatotal: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
water: 0 sq km
land: 389 sq km
Population116,394 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageEnglish, French patois
ReligionAnglican 47%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, Hindu Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant

Disputed between France and the United Kingdom in the 18th century, Saint Vincent was ceded to the latter in 1783. Autonomy was granted in 1969, and independence in 1979.


Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates 
13 15 N, 61 12 W
Map references 
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
water: 0 sq km
land: 389 sq km
Area - comparative 
twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries 
0 km
84 km
Maritime claims 
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM
tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
volcanic, mountainous
Elevation extremes 
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Soufriere 1,234 m
Natural resources 
hydropower, cropland
Land use 
arable land: 10.26%
permanent crops: 17.95%
other: 71.79% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
10 sq km (1998 est.)
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, agricultural fertilizer run-off and other effluents; in some areas, pollution is severe enough to make swimming prohibitive
Environment - international agreements 
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
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


116,394 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 28.9% (male 17,093; female 16,497)
15-64 years: 64.8% (male 38,718; female 36,689)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 3,188; female 4,209) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
0.37% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
17.54 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
6.12 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
-7.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio 
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
16.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 72.82 years
female: 74.63 years (2002 est.)
male: 71.07 years
Total fertility rate 
2.01 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
noun: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s)
adjective: Saint Vincentian or Vincentian
Ethnic groups 
black 66%, mixed 19%, East Indian 6%, Carib Amerindian 2%, other 7%
Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, Hindu Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant
English, French patois
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 96%
male: 96%
female: 96% (1970 est.)


Country name 
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Government type 
parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth
Administrative divisions 
6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick
27 October 1979 (from UK)
National holiday 
Independence Day, 27 October (1979)
27 October 1979
Legal system 
based on English common law
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)
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister Ralph E. GONSALVES (since 29 March 2001)
Legislative branch 
unicameral House of Assembly (21 seats, 15 elected representatives and 6 appointed senators; representatives are elected by popular vote from single-member constituencies to serve five-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - ULP 12, NDP 3
elections: last held 28 March 2001 (next to be held by March 2006)
Judicial branch 
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
Political parties and leaders 
National Reform Party or NRP [Joel MIGUEL]; New Democratic Party or NDP [Arnhim EUSTACE]; People's Progressive Movement or PPM [Ken BOYEA]; Progressive Labor Party or PLP [leader NA]; United People's Movement or UPM [Adrian SAUNDERS]; 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 
International organization participation 
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Ellsworth I. A. JOHN
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 in Barbados is accredited to 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


Economy - overview 
Bananas and other agricultural products remain the staple of this lower-middle income country's economy. Although tourism and other services have been growing moderately in recent years, the government has been ineffective at introducing new industries. Unemployment remains high, and economic growth hinges upon seasonal variations in the agricultural and tourism sectors. Tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994 and 1995, and tourism in the Eastern Caribbean has suffered low arrivals following September 11. St. Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector, but its restrictive secrecy laws have come under international review. As of June 2001, it remained on the Financial Action Task Force's list of noncooperative jurisdictions.
purchasing power parity - $339 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
-0.8% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $2,900 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 10%
industry: 26%
services: 64% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
-0.4% (2001 est.)
Labor force 
67,000 (1984 est.)
Labor force - by occupation 
agriculture 26%, industry 17%, services 57% (1980 est.)
Unemployment rate 
22% (1997 est.) (1997 est.)
revenues: $94.6 million
expenditures: $85.8 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.) (2000 est.)
food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch
Industrial production growth rate 
-0.9% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production 
82 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 73%
hydro: 27%
other: 0% (1999)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
76.3 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 
0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 
0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products 
bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish
$53.7 million (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities 
bananas 39%, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch, tennis racquets
Exports - partners 
Caricom countries 49%, UK 16%, US 10% (1995)
$185.6 million (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities 
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
Imports - partners 
US 36%, Caricom countries 28%, UK 13% (1995)
Debt - external 
$167.2 million (2000) (2000)
Economic aid - recipient 
$47.5 million (1995); note - EU $34.5 million (1998) (1995)
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code 
Exchange rates 
East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)
Fiscal year 
calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use 
20,500 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
Telephone system 
general assessment: adequate system
domestic: islandwide, fully automatic telephone system; VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to the other islands of the Grenadines
international: VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; new SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and to Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 1, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)
77,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
1 (plus three repeaters) (1997)
18,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
15 (2000)
Internet users 
3,500 (2001)


0 km
total: 1,040 km
paved: 320 km
unpaved: 720 km (1996)
Ports and harbors 
Merchant marine 
total: 788 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 7,000,660 GRT/10,702,776 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 142, cargo 382, chemical tanker 24, combination bulk 11, combination ore/oil 3, container 47, liquefied gas 7, livestock carrier 3, multi-functional large-load carrier 2, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 48, refrigerated cargo 39, roll on/roll off 52, short-sea passenger 13, specialized tanker 10, vehicle carrier 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Albania 1, Anguilla 1, Argentina 1, Australia 2, Bahamas, The 1, Bangladesh 1, Barbados 2, Belgium 4, Bulgaria 14, Canada 1, Cayman Islands 1, China 135, Colombia 1, Croatia 12, Cyprus 6, Denmark 16, Egypt 7, Estonia 6, France 27, Germany 12, Greece 156, Guyana 7, Hong Kong 23, Iceland 1, India 11, Indonesia 3, Israel 2, Italy 19, Japan 1, Kenya 4, Latvia 5, Lebanon 9, Liberia 5, Lithuania 1, Malta 1, Man, Isle of 1, Marshall Islands 3, Mexico 1, Monaco 6, Netherlands 14, Netherlands Antilles 1, Nigeria 3, Norway 33, Pakistan 5, Panama 2, Poland 2, Portugal 2, Puerto Rico 2, Russia 8, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saudi Arabia 3, Singapore 4, Slovenia 7, South Korea 4, Spain 1, Sweden 6, Switzerland 10, Syria 2, Taiwan 1, Thailand 1, Trinidad and Tobago 1, Tunisia 1, Turkey 15, Ukraine 8, United Arab Emirates 45, United Kingdom 16, United States 25, Vietnam 1 (2002 est.)
6 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)


Military branches 
Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (includes Special Service Unit), Coast Guard
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
Illicit drugs 
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; small-scale cannabis cultivation