Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Region: Caribbean

Capital: Kingstown

Population: 109,400 (UNDP 2011)

Surface area: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $11,700 (2011- CIA est.)

Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on St. Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the United Kingdom 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.

Economy – Overview
Success of the economy hinges upon seasonal variations in agriculture, tourism, and construction activity as well as remittance inflows. Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism, but persistent high unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands. This lower-middle-income country is vulnerable to natural disasters – tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002. In 2008, the islands had more than 200,000 tourist arrivals, mostly to the Grenadines, a drop of nearly 20% from 2007. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards. The government’s ability to invest in social programs and respond to external shocks is constrained by its high public debt burden, which was 90% of GDP at the end of 2010. GDP growth reached a 10-year high of nearly 7% in 2006. Following the global downturn, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has experienced annual contractions since 2009, The GONSALVES administration is directing government resources to infrastructure projects, including a new international airport that is under construction. (CIA, 2012)

Major Export Commodities: bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets

Remittances:35 million USD (World Bank 2011 est.)

Human Development Index 2011 ranking: 85 out of 187 countries

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA iUS $17 million.

Major development partners include: E.U. Institutions, CarDB, IMF, Japan, IDA (OECD 2010).

Total External Debt: US $288 million (December 2011 – CIA est.)

Life Expectancy: 72.3 years (UNDP 2011)

Environmental Indicators:

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

                                               Forested Area (percentage of land area): 68.1

                                               CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 1.9

                                               (Data Source: UNDP 2011)

United Nations membership date: 16 September 1980

New York Mission:

Permanent Mission of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue,Suite 400G New York, N.Y.10017USA
Telephone: 212-599-0950, -0955
Fax: 212-599-1020. Website:


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 July 2012