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Central America and Caribbean :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS Page last updated on June 08, 2018 The World Factbook Central America and Caribbean ::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 The World Factbook Central America and Caribbean ::SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS NO PHOTOS AVAILABLE. The World Factbook Central America and Caribbean ::SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS
  • Introduction :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • Background: 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 Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin 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) Population - distribution: population clusters are found in the small towns located on the periphery of both islands Natural hazards: hurricanes (July to October) volcanism: Mount Liamuiga (1,156 m) on Saint Kitts, and Nevis Peak (985 m) on Nevis, are both volcanoes that are part of the volcanic island arc of the Lesser Antilles, which extends from Saba in the north to Grenada in the south Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion and silting affects marine life on coral reefs; water pollution from uncontrolled dumping of sewage 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

  • Population: 52,715 (July 2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 207 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 Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.32% (male 5,378/female 5,332) 15-24 years: 14.54% (male 3,689/female 3,978) 25-54 years: 44.6% (male 12,070/female 11,441) 55-64 years: 11.9% (male 3,130/female 3,142) 65 years and over: 8.64% (male 2,107/female 2,448) (2017 est.) population pyramid: The World Factbook Central America and Caribbean ::SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS Population Pyramid A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

    For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page under the References tab. Median age: total: 35 years male: 35.2 years female: 34.8 years (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 80 Population growth rate: 0.73% (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 142 Birth rate: 13.2 births/1,000 population (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 147 Death rate: 7.1 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 129 Net migration rate: 1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 55 Population distribution: population clusters are found in the small towns located on the periphery of both islands Urbanization: urban population: 30.8% of total population (2018) rate of urbanization: 0.92% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.) Major urban areas - population: BASSETERRE (capital) 14,000 (2018) Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female 0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 15-24 years: 0.94 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 (2017 est.) Infant mortality rate: total: 8.4 deaths/1,000 live births male: 5.9 deaths/1,000 live births female: 10.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 151 Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.9 years male: 73.5 years female: 78.4 years (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 95 Total fertility rate: 1.77 children born/woman (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 157 Health expenditures: 5.1% of GDP (2014) country comparison to the world: 138 Hospital bed density: 4.8 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: 22.9% (2016) country comparison to the world: 71 Education expenditures: 2.8% of GDP (2015) country comparison to the world: 105 School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years male: 13 years female: 16 years (2015)
  • Government :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • Country name: conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis note: Nevis is pronounced neevis 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 23 June 1983, effective 19 September 1983 at independence (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 - SKNLP 39.3%, PAM 27.9% CCM 13.0% NRP 10.8%, PLP 9.0%; seats by party - PAM 4, SKNLP 3, CCM 2, NRP 1, PLP 1 Judicial branch: highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the superior court of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - headquartered on St. Lucia - consists of the Court of Appeal - headed by the chief justice and 4 judges - and the High Court with 18 judges; the Court of Appeal is itinerant, travelling to member states on a schedule to hear appeals from the High Court and subordinate courts; High Court judges reside at the member states with 2 assigned to Saint Kitts and Nevis; note - the ECSC 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: chief justice of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, an independent body of judicial officials; 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 [Mark BRANTLEY] Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY] People's Action Movement or PAM [Shawn RICHARDS] People's Labour Party or PLP [Dr. Timothy HARRIS] Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS] 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 Dr. 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(s) 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 the 2009-2013 period, and the economy returned to growth only in 2014. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, Saint 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. Saint Kitts and Nevis is among other countries in the Caribbean that supplement their economic activity through economic citizenship programs, whereby foreigners can obtain citizenship from Saint Kitts and Nevis by investing there. GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.528 billion (2017 est.) $1.488 billion (2016 est.) $1.443 billion (2015 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars country comparison to the world: 199 GDP (official exchange rate): $939 million (2017 est.) GDP - real growth rate: 2.7% (2017 est.) 3.1% (2016 est.) 4.9% (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 125 GDP - per capita (PPP): $26,800 (2017 est.) $26,600 (2016 est.) $25,800 (2015 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars country comparison to the world: 74 Gross national saving: 17.2% of GDP (2017 est.) 18.6% of GDP (2016 est.) 16.5% of GDP (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 108 GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 58.8% government consumption: 20.4% investment in fixed capital: 30.4% investment in inventories: 0% exports of goods and services: 33.3% imports of goods and services: -43% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 1.1% industry: 30% services: 68.9% (2017 est.) Agriculture - products: sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish Industries: tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages Industrial production growth rate: 6% (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 36 Labor force: 18,170 (June 1995 est.) country comparison to the world: 213 Unemployment rate: 4.5% (1997 est.) country comparison to the world: 64 Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA% Budget: revenues: $370.4 million expenditures: $370.4 million (2017 est.) Taxes and other revenues: 39.4% of GDP (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 38 Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): 0% of GDP (2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 36 Public debt: 65.8% of GDP (2016 est.) 70.6% of GDP (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 61 Fiscal year: calendar year Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.2% (2017 est.) -0.4% (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 54 Central bank discount rate: 6.5% (31 December 2009 est.) 6.5% (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 63 Commercial bank prime lending rate: 9.1% (31 December 2017 est.) 9.24% (31 December 2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 90 Stock of narrow money: $230.9 million (31 December 2017 est.) $210.1 million (31 December 2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 181 Stock of broad money: $1.122 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $1.077 billion (31 December 2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 171 Stock of domestic credit: $740.7 million (31 December 2017 est.) $704.8 million (31 December 2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 170 Market value of publicly traded shares: $598.4 million (31 December 2011 est.) $623.9 million (31 December 2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 112 Current account balance: $-120 million (2017 est.) $-102 million (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 82 Exports: $58.4 million (2017 est.) $53.9 million (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 201 Exports - commodities: machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco Exports - partners: US 49.6%, Poland 15.2%, Turkey 11.6% (2016) Imports: $264.4 million (2017 est.) $244.4 million (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 200 Imports - commodities: machinery, manufactures, food, fuels Imports - partners: US 56.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 6.8%, Cyprus 6.2%, Japan 4% (2016) Debt - external: $198 million (31 December 2017 est.) $187.9 million (31 December 2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 189 Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2017 est.) 2.7 (2016 est.) 2.7 (2015 est.) 2.7 (2014 est.) 2.7 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • Electricity access: population without electricity: 5,232 electrification - total population: 91% electrification - urban areas: 100% electrification - rural areas: 80% (2012) Electricity - production: 208 million kWh (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 188 Electricity - consumption: 193.4 million kWh (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 190 Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 192 Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 196 Electricity - installed generating capacity: 63,200 kW (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 188 Electricity - from fossil fuels: 94.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 55 Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 177 Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 200 Electricity - from other renewable sources: 6.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 86 Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 189 Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 184 Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 185 Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.) country comparison to the world: 187 Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 193 Refined petroleum products - consumption: 1,900 bbl/day (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 195 Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 194 Refined petroleum products - imports: 1,907 bbl/day (2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 189 Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 190 Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 127 Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 176 Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 183 Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 190 Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 300,000 Mt (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 191
  • Communications :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • Telephones - fixed lines: total subscriptions: 17,433 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33 (July 2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 181 Telephones - mobile cellular: total: 76,583 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 145 (July 2016 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 32 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 (2016) 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) Internet country code: .kn Internet users: total: 39,000 percent of population: 75.7% (July 2016 est.) country comparison to the world: 201
  • Transportation :: SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

  • Civil aircraft registration country code prefix: V4 (2016) 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 (2017) 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: 202 Merchant marine: total: 274 by type: bulk carrier 6, container ship 5, general cargo 58, oil tanker 60, other 145 (2017) country comparison to the world: 56 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
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