Nation at a Glance - Saint Vincent And The Grenadines

History

Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on Saint Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the UK for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.

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

Border Countries: 0 km

Total Area: 389 sq km Land: 389 sq km Water: 0 sq km

Climate: Tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)

Terrain: Volcanic, mountainous

Natural resources: Hydropower, arable land

Land use: Agricultural land: 25.6% arable land 12.8%; permanent crops 7.7%; permanent pasture 5.1% Forest: 68.7% Other: 5.7% (2011 est.)

Ethnic groups: Black 66%, Mixed 19%, East Indian 6%, European 4%, Carib Amerindian 2%, Other 3%

Languages: English, French patois

Religions: Protestant 75% (Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%), Roman Catholic 13%, Other (includes Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant) 12%

Population: 102,350 (July 2016 est.)

Administrative divisions: 6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick

Economy: Success of the economy hinges upon seasonal variations in agriculture, tourism, and construction activity, as well as remittances. Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is home to a small offshore banking sector and continues to fully adopt international regulatory standards. This lower-middle-income country remains vulnerable to natural and external shocks. The economy has shown some signs of recovery due to increased tourist arrivals, falling oil prices and renewed growth in the construction sector. The much anticipated international airport opened in early 2017 with hopes for increased airlift and tourism activity. The government's ability to invest in social programs and respond to external shocks is constrained by its high public debt burden, which was 67% of GDP at the end of 2013.

Agriculture - products: Bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish

Industries: Tourism; food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch

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