Saint Kitts and Nevis

Region: Caribbean

Capital: Basseterre

Population: 53,100 (UNDP 2011)

Surface area: 261 sq km

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $16,400 (2011- CIA- est.)

Background:

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. Nevis continues in its efforts to try and separate from Saint Kitts.

Economy – Overview
The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis depends on tourism; since the 1970s tourism has replaced sugar as the traditional mainstay of the economy. Following the 2005 harvest, the government closed the sugar industry, after several decades of losses. To compensate for lost jobs, the government has embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and to stimulate other sectors of the economy, such as export-oriented manufacturing and offshore banking. Roughly 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2009, but reduced tourism arrivals and foreign investment led to an economic contraction in 2009 and 2010. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. A mild recovery began in 2011. The current government is constrained by one of the world’s highest public debt burdens -equivalent to roughly 200% of GDP in 2011 – largely attributable to public enterprise losses. (CIA, 2012)

Major Export Commodities: machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco

Remittances:52 million USD (World Bank 2011 est.)

Human Development Index 2011: 72 out of 187 countries

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA US $11 million. Major development partners include the Caribbean Development Bank, Japan, and the European Community (OECD 2010).

Total External Debt: US $211.3 million (December 2011- CIA -est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 73.1 years (UNDP 2011)

Environmental Indicators:

                                               Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 8

                                               Forested Area (percentage of land area): 42.3

                                               CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 4.9

                                               (Data Source: UNDP 2011)

United Nations membership date: 23 September 1983

New York Mission:

Permanent Mission of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations

414 East 75th Street, 5th Floor

New York, N.Y. 10021 USA

Telephone: 212-535-1234

Fax: 212-535-6854

Website: www.stkittsnevis.org

Sources:

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov

World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org

Human Development Report 2011.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

Updated July 2012