a flag for every occasion
Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis
Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)
Governor General: Sir Cuthbert Sebastian (1996)
Prime Minister: Denzil Douglas (1995)
Area: St. Kitts 65 sq mi (168 sq km); Nevis 36 sq mi (93 sq km)
Population (2001 est.): 38,756 (average annual rate of natural increase: 1.0%); birth rate: 18.8/1000; infant mortality rate: 16.3/1000; density per sq mi: 385
Capital: Basseterre (on St. Kitts), 19,000
Largest town on Nevis: Charlestown, 1,771
Monetary unit: East Caribbean dollar
Ethnicity/race: black African
Literacy rate: 98% (1970)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (1998 est.): $244 million; per capita $6,000. Real growth rate: 1.6%. Inflation: 1%. Unemployment: 4.5% (1997). Arable land: 22%. Agriculture: sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish. Labor force: 18,172 (June 1995). Industries: sugar processing, tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages. Natural resources: arable land. Exports: $42 million (1998): machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco. Imports: $160 million (1998): machinery, manufactures, food, fuels. Major trading partners: U.S., UK, Caricom countries.
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 14,000 (1995); mobile cellular: 0 (1995). Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998). Radios: 28,000 (1997). Television broadcast stations: 1 (plus three repeaters) (1997). Televisions: 10,000 (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): n.a.
Transportation: Railways: total: 58 km (1995). Highways: total: 320 km; paved: 136 km; unpaved: 184 km (1996 est.). Ports and harbors: Basseterre, Charlestown. Airports: 2 (1999 est.).
International disputes: none.
St. Kitts and Nevis are related physiographically by a volcanic mountain chain that dominates the central core of both islands. St. Kitts is roughly oval in shape except for a long, narrow peninsula to the southeast. St. Kitts' highest point is Mount Liamuiga (3,792 ft [1,156 m]), which has a lake in its forested crater. The Narrows, a 2-mile- (3-kilometer-) wide channel, separates the two islands. The circularly shaped Nevis is surrounded by coral reefs and the island is almost entirely a single mountain, Nevis Peak (3,232 ft [985 m]).
When Christopher Columbus visited the islands in 1493, they were inhabited by the Carib people. St. Kitts, formerly St. Christopher, was settled by the British in 1623; Nevis in 1628. The French settled on St. Kitts in 1627, and an Anglo-French rivalry lasted for more than 100 years. After a decisive British victory over the French at Brimstone Hill in 1782, the islands came under permanent British control. The islands, including nearby Anguilla, were united in 1882. They joined the West Indies federation in 1958 and remained in that association until its dissolution in 1962. St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla became an associated state of the United Kingdom in 1967. Anguilla seceded in 1980, and St. Kitts and Nevis became independent on Sept. 19, 1983.
A drop in world sugar prices hurt the nation's economy through the mid-1980s, and the government sought to reduce the islands' dependence on sugar production and to diversify the economy, promoting tourism and financial services. In 1990, the premier of Nevis announced that he intended to seek an end to the federation with St. Kitts by 1992, but a local election in June 1992 postponed the idea. In Aug. 1998, 62% of Nevis voters for Nevis to secede, but the vote fell short of the two-thirds majority required.
See Also: Government Of St. Kitts & Nevis http://www.stkittsnevis.net/index.html
(Source: www.infoplease.com )
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