Saint Kitts and Nevis

Region: Caribbean

Capital: Basseterre

Population: 51,538 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 261 sq km

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $16,300 (2012 CIA est.)

Carib Indians occupied the islands of the West Indies for hundreds of years before the British began settlement in 1623. In 1967, the island territory of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla became an associated state of the UK with full internal autonomy. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. The remaining islands achieved independence in 1983 as Saint Kitts and Nevis. 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 separate from Saint Kitts. (CIA 2014)

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 2009-2012, and the economy returned to growth only in 2013. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. The government has made notable progress on reducing its public debt—from 154% of GDP in 2011 to 83% in 2013—although it still faces one of the highest levels in the world, largely attributable to public enterprise losses. (CIA 2014)

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

Remittances inflows: US $45 million (World Bank 2012 est.)

Human Development Index 2011: 72 out of 186 countries (UNDP 2013)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners:
Net ODA US $21,910,000.
Major development partners include: the Caribbean Development Bank, Japan, and the European Community (OECD 2012).

Total External DebtUS $158.9 million (31 December 2013 CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 75.29 years (CIA 2014)

Environmental Indicators:
Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 8.6
Forested Area (percentage of land area): 42.3
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 4.9
(UNDP 2013)

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

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
World Development Indicators. World Bank
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Human Development Report 2011.United Nations Development Programme.

Updated January 2015