Country List | World Factbook Home
CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Map of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Introduction Saint Kitts and Nevis
First settled by the British in 1623, the islands became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed.
Geography Saint Kitts and Nevis
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
total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
water: 0 sq km
land: 261 sq km
Area - comparative:
1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
135 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
tropical tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
volcanic with mountainous interiors
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m
Natural resources:
arable land
Land use:
arable land: 16.67%
permanent crops: 2.78%
other: 80.55% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
hurricanes (July to October)
Environment - current issues:
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
with coastlines in the shape of a baseball bat and ball, the two volcanic islands are separated by a three-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 Saint Kitts and Nevis
38,736 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 29.4% (male 5,827; female 5,571)
15-64 years: 61.9% (male 11,980; female 12,005)
65 years and over: 8.7% (male 1,383; female 1,970) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.01% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
18.61 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
9.04 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-9.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
15.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.29 years
female: 74.26 years (2002 est.)
male: 68.49 years
Total fertility rate:
2.39 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian
Ethnic groups:
predominantly black some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 98% (1980 est.)
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
Government type:
constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament
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
19 September 1983 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 19 September (1983)
19 September 1983
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 Cuthbert Montraville SEBASTIAN (since 1 January 1996)
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995) and Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - SKNLP 8, CCM 2, NRP 1
elections: last held 6 March 2000 (next to be held by July 2005)
Judicial branch:
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Kitts and Nevis)
Political parties and leaders:
Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]; Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]; People's Action Movement or PAM [Lindsey GRANT]; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Osbert LIBURD
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636
FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador in 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
Economy Saint Kitts and Nevis
Economy - overview:
Sugar was the traditional mainstay of the St. Kitts economy until the 1970s. Although the crop still dominates the agricultural sector, activities such as tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking have assumed larger roles in the economy. As tourism revenues are now the chief source of the islands' foreign exchange, a decline in stopover tourist arrivals following the September 11 terrorist attacks has eroded government finances. The government revised estimates of 2001 growth down to 1% and faces dim recovery prospects in 2002, given the depressed state of the tourism industry, low sugar prices, and a growing budget deficit.
purchasing power parity - $339 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $8,700 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 26%
services: 71% (2001) (2001)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.7% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
18,172 (June 1995)
Labor force - by occupation:
Unemployment rate:
4.5% (1997) (1997)
revenues: $85.7 million
expenditures: $95.6 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
sugar processing, tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
95 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
88.35 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish
$51.7 million (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners:
US 68.5%, UK 22.3%, Caricom countries 5.5% (1995 est.)
$141.3 million (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
Imports - partners:
US 42.4%, Caricom countries 17.2%, UK 11.3% (1995 est.)
Debt - external:
$140 million (2000) (2000)
Economic aid - recipient:
$5.5 million (1995) (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
Communications Saint Kitts and Nevis
Telephones - main lines in use:
17,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
205 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: good interisland and international connections
domestic: interisland links to Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Martin (Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles) are handled by VHF/UHF/SHF radiotelephone
international: international calls are carried by radiotelephone to Antigua and Barbuda and switched there to submarine cable or to Intelsat; or carried to Saint Martin (Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles) by radiotelephone and switched to Intelsat
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 3, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
28,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus three repeaters) (1997)
10,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)
Internet users:
2,000 (2000)
Transportation Saint Kitts and Nevis
total: 58 km
narrow gauge: 58 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts to serve sugarcane plantations (2002)
total: 320 km
paved: 136 km
unpaved: 184 km (2000)
Ports and harbors:
Basseterre, Charlestown
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
2 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Military Saint Kitts and Nevis
Military branches:
Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (including Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force (including Special Service Unit)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues Saint Kitts and Nevis
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; some money-laundering activity

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003