Also known as: Mother Colony of the West Indies
Motto: Country above Self

History Originally settled by Carib Amerindians and by the British in 1623 who fought with the French for possession. The island became an associated state of the UK with full internal autonomy in 1967, and gained independence in 1983. Nevis maintains efforts to achieve independence from St. Kitts.

Location: St. Kitts and Nevis is a part of the Leeward Islands group lying about 427.5 kilometers (225 miles) south-east of Puerto Rico and to the north of the Windward group of islands.
Geographic coordinates: 17 20 N, 62 45 W
Area: total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
land: 261 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries: 0 km
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 extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m
Natural resources: arable land
Land use: arable land: 19.44%
permanent crops: 2.78%
other: 77.78% (2005)
Natural hazards: hurricanes (July to October)
  Geography - note: 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

Population: 40,131 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.3% (male 5,397/female 5,138)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 13,231/female 13,196)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 1,326/female 1,843) (2009 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.847% (2009 est.)
Birth rate: 17.67 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate: 8.05 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 32% of total population (2008)
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: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Nationality: noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian
Ethnic groups: predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
Religions: Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
Languages: English
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97.8%
male: NA
female: NA (2003 est.)

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: parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Capital: name: Basseterre
geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W
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 Holidays: New Year's Day (01 January); Carnival Day (02 January); Good Friday; Easter Monday; Labor Day (05 May); August Monday (first Monday in August); Independence Day (19 September); Christmas Day (25 December); Boxing Day (26 December)
Constitution: 19 September 1983
Legal system: based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 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)

head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995). Prime Minister Douglas was born on January 14, 1953. He achieved his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Degrees at the University of the West Indies. In December 1990, he served as a member of the delegation of Council of Freely-elected Heads of Government, lead by President Jimmy Carter, as an International Observer to the General Elections in Haiti in 1990.
Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister

elections: 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
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 25 October 2004 (next to be held by 2009)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SKNLP 7, CCM 2, NRP 1, PAM 1
Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consisting of a Court of Appeal and a High Court; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court reside in Saint Kitts and Nevis); member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
Political parties and leaders:  Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]; Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]; People's Action Movement or PAM [Lindsay GRANT]; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]
International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Izben Cordinal WILLIAMS
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 to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis
Date of CARICOM Membership: 26 July 1974
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

Economic Summary: Both islands enjoy good scenery and  beaches. This has aided the development of tourism as the economy's most important revenue earner, replacing sugar, the traditional mainstay of the economy until the 1970s. Following the 2005 harvest, the government closed the sugar industry after decades of losses of 3-4% of GDP annually. To compensate for employment losses, the government has embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and to stimulate other sectors of the economy, such as tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking. Economic growth was above average for Latin America from 2004 to 2006, but has since slowed. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, the St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. The current government is constrained by a high public debt burden equivalent to nearly 185% of GDP by the end of 2006, largely attributable to public enterprise losses.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $777.7 million (2008 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$555 million (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $19,500 (2008 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 25.8%
services: 70.7% (2001)
Labor force: 18,170 (June 1995)
Unemployment rate: 4.5% (1997)
revenues: $89.7 million
expenditures: $128.2 million (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.5% (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish
tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages
$84 million (2006
Exports - commodities:
machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners:
US 40.4%, Malaysia 40.2%, Canada 3.7% (2008)
Imports: $383 million (2006)
Imports - Commodities: machinery, manufactures, food, fuels.
Imports - partners:
US 46.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.8%, UK 4.1% (2008)
Business Hours: Commercial:  8:00-12:00 13:00-16:00/16:30 hrs Monday to Friday Government:  8:00-12:00 13:00-16:00/16:30 hrs Monday to Friday
Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007)

Telephones Main lines in use: 20,400 (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 80,000 (2008)
Telephone system: general assessment: good inter-island and international connections
domestic: inter-island links via Eastern Caribbean Fiber Optic cable; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004
international: country code - 1-869; connected internationally by the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 3, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2003)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2003)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
45 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 198
Internet users:
10,000 (2002)
country comparison to the world: 1

Airports: 2 (2009) Main airport: Golden Rock International
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009
total: 50 km
country comparison to the world: 132
narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)
total: 383 km
country comparison to the world: 198
paved: 163 km
unpaved: 220 km (2002)
Merchant marine:
total: 159
country comparison to the world: 40
by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 109, chemical tanker 7, container 1, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 19, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 121 (Belgium 1, Cyprus 1, Egypt 2, Estonia 3, Finland 1, Greece 3, India 1, Italy 1, Japan 3, Kuwait 1, Latvia 5, Malaysia 1, Pakistan 3, Romania 1, Russia 19, Singapore 1, Spain 1, Syria 7, Turkey 35, Ukraine 9, UAE 18, UK 3, Yemen 1) (2008)
Ports and Terminals: Basseterre

  Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force (2009)
  Main Source of Information: the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook

Items of Interest  
National Anthem: O Land of Beauty!
Our country where peace abounds,
Thy children stand free
On the strength of will and love.
With God in all our struggles,
St. Kitts and Nevis be
A nation bound together,
With a common destiny.

As stalwarts we stand
For justice and liberty.
With wisdom and truth
We will serve and honor thee.
No sword nor spear can conquer
For God will surely defend.
His blessings shall forever
To posterity extend.

Highest National Award: Order of the National Hero
Favourite local cuisine: Goat Water ( a stew of goat, breadfruit, green pawpaw, tomatoes and dumplings), Cook-up (chicken, pigs tail, salt fish and vegetables cooked with rice and peas)
Government web page: