Nation at a Glance - Grenada

History

Carib Indians inhabited Grenada when Christopher COLUMBUS discovered the island in 1498, but it remained uncolonized for more than a century. The French settled Grenada in the 17th century, established sugar estates, and imported large numbers of African slaves. Britain took the island in 1762 and vigorously expanded sugar production. In the 19th century, cacao eventually surpassed sugar as the main export crop; in the 20th century, nutmeg became the leading export. In 1967, Britain gave Grenada autonomy over its internal affairs. Full independence was attained in 1974 making Grenada one of the smallest independent countries in the Western Hemisphere. Grenada was seized by a Marxist military council on 19 October 1983. Six days later the island was invaded by US forces and those of six other Caribbean nations, which quickly captured the ringleaders and their hundreds of Cuban advisers. Free elections were reinstituted the following year and have continued since then.

Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago

Border Countries: 0 km

Total Area: 344 sq km Land: 344 sq km Water: 0 sq km

Climate: Tropical; tempered by northeast trade winds

Terrain: Volcanic in origin with central mountains

Natural resources: Timber, tropical fruit, deepwater harbors

Land use: Agricultural land: 32.3% arable land 8.8%; permanent crops 20.6%; permanent pasture 2.9% Forest: 50% Other: 17.7% (2011 est.)

Ethnic groups: African descent 89.4%, Mixed 8.2%, East Indian 1.6%, Other 0.9% (includes indigenous) (2001 est.)

Languages: English (official), French patois

Religions: Roman Catholic 44.6%, Protestant 43.5% (includes Anglican 11.5%, Pentecostal 11.3%, Seventh Day Adventist 10.5%, Baptist 2.9%, Church of God 2.6%, Methodist 1.8%, Evangelical 1.6%, Other 1.3%), Jehovah's Witness 1.1%, Rastafarian 1.1%, Other 6.2%, None 3.6%

Population: 111,219 (July 2016 est.)

Administrative divisions: 6 parishes and 1 dependency*; Carriacou and Petite Martinique*, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick

Economy: Grenada relies on tourism and revenue generated by St. George’s University - a private university offering degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, the health sciences, nursing, arts and sciences, and business - as its main source of foreign exchange. In the past two years the country expanded its sources of revenue, including from selling passports under its citizenship by investment program. These projects produced a resurgence in the construction and manufacturing sectors of the economy. In 2017, Grenada experienced its fifth consecutive year of growth and the government successfully marked the completion of its five-year structural adjustment program that included among other things austerity measures, increased tax revenue and debt restructuring. Public debt-to-GDP was reduced from 100% of GDP in 2013 to 71.8% in 2017.

Agriculture - products: Bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, mace, citrus, avocados, root crops, sugarcane, corn, vegetables

Industries: Food and beverages, textiles, light assembly operations, tourism, construction

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