Last updated

Motto: "Ever Conscious of God We Aspire, Build and Advance as One People" [2]
Anthem: "Hail Grenada"
Grenada on the globe (Americas centered).svg
and largest city
St. George's
12°03′N61°45′W / 12.050°N 61.750°W / 12.050; -61.750
Official languages
Recognised regional languages
Ethnic groups
(2020 [4] )
(2020) [5]
Demonym(s) Grenadian [6]
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Charles III
Dame Cécile La Grenade
Dickon Mitchell
Legislature Parliament
House of Representatives
3 March 1967
 Independence from the United Kingdom
7 February 1974
13 March 1979
 Constitution Restoration
4 December 1984
348.5 km2 (134.6 sq mi)(185th)
 Water (%)
 2021 estimate
124,610 [7] [8] (179th)
318.58/km2 (825.1/sq mi)(45th)
GDP  (PPP)2023 estimate
Increase2.svg $2.3 billion [9]
 Per capita
Increase2.svg $20,195 [9]
GDP  (nominal)2023 estimate
Increase2.svg $1.3 billion [9]
 Per capita
Increase2.svg $11,437 [9]
HDI  (2022)Increase2.svg 0.793 [10]
high (73rd)
Currency East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
Driving side left
Calling code +1-473
ISO 3166 code GD
Internet TLD .gd
  1. Plus trace of Arawak  / Carib.

Grenada ( /ɡrəˈndə/ grə-NAY-də; Grenadian Creole French: Gwenad /ɡwiˈnd/ ) is an island country of the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The southernmost of the Windward Islands, Grenada is directly south of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and about 100 miles north of Trinidad and the South American mainland.


Grenada consists of the island of Grenada itself, two smaller islands, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and several small islands which lie to the north of the main island and are a part of the Grenadines. Its size is 348.5 square kilometres (134.6 sq mi), with an estimated population of 124,523 in July 2021. [11] Its capital is St. George's. [11] Grenada is also known as the "Island of Spice" due to its production of nutmeg and mace crops. [12]

12°07′N61°40′W / 12.117°N 61.667°W / 12.117; -61.667 Before the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, Grenada was inhabited by the indigenous peoples from South America. [13] Christopher Columbus sighted Grenada in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas. [11] Following several unsuccessful attempts by Europeans to colonise the island due to resistance from resident Island Caribs, French settlement and colonisation began in 1649 and continued for the next century. [14] On 10 February 1763, Grenada was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris. British rule continued until 1974 (except for a brief French takeover between 1779 and 1783). [15] However, on 3 March 1967, it was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs as an Associated State, and from 1958 to 1962, Grenada was part of the Federation of the West Indies, a short-lived federation of British West Indian colonies.

Independence was granted on 7 February 1974 under the leadership of Eric Gairy, who became the first prime minister of Grenada as a sovereign state. The new country became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. [11] In March 1979, the Marxist–Leninist New Jewel Movement overthrew Gairy's government in a bloodless coup d'état and established the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop as prime minister. [16] Bishop was later arrested and executed by members of the People's Revolutionary Army (PRA), which was used to justify a U.S.-led invasion in October 1983. Since then, the island has returned to a parliamentary representative democracy and has remained politically stable. [11] A Governor General represents the Head of State. The country is currently headed by King Charles III, King of Grenada and 14 other commonwealth realms.


The origin of the name "Grenada" is obscure, but it is likely that Spanish sailors named the island for the Andalusian city of Granada. [11] [17] The name "Granada" was recorded by Spanish maps in the 1520s and referred to the islands to the north as Los Granadillos ("Little Granadas"); [14] although those named islands were deemed the property of the King of Spain, there are no records to suggest the Spanish ever attempted to settle Grenada. [18] The French maintained the name (as "La Grenade" in French) after settlement and colonisation in 1649. [14] On 10 February 1763, the island of La Grenade was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris. The British renamed it "Grenada", one of many place-name anglicisations they made there. [19]

It carried at least two other European names during the Age of Discovery.[ citation needed ] The island was given its first by Christopher Columbus who sighted it on his third voyage to the region in 1498 and named it "La Concepción" in honour of the Virgin Mary. It is said that he may have actually named it "Assumpción", but it is uncertain, as he is said to have sighted what are now Grenada and Tobago from a distance and named them both at the same time. However, it became accepted that he named Tobago "Assumpción" and Grenada "La Concepción". [17] The year after, Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci travelled through the region with the Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda and mapmaker Juan de la Cosa. Vespucci is reported to have renamed the island "Mayo", although this is the only map where the name appears. [18]

The indigenous Arawak who once lived on the island before the arrival of the Europeans gave the name Camajuya. [20]


Precolumbian history

Grenada is thought to have been first populated by peoples from South America during the Caribbean Archaic Age, although definitive evidence is lacking. The earliest potential human presence comes from proxy evidence of lake cores, beginning c.3600 BC. [21] Less ephemeral, permanent villages began c.100–200. [13] The population peaked between 750–1250, with major changes in population afterwards, potentially the result of either the "Carib Invasion" (although highly contested), [22] regional droughts, or both. [23]

European arrival

In 1498, Christopher Columbus was the first European to report sighting Grenada during his third voyage, naming it 'La Concepción', but Amerigo Vespucci may have renamed it 'Mayo' in 1499. [24] Although it was deemed the property of the King of Spain, there are no records to suggest the Spanish attempted to settle. However, various Europeans are known to have passed and both fought and traded with the indigenous peoples there. [14] The first known settlement attempt was a failed venture by the English in 1609, but they were massacred and driven away by the native "Carib" peoples. [15] [24] [25]

French colony (1649–1763)

In 1649, a French expedition of 203 men from Martinique, led by Jacques Dyel du Parquet, founded a permanent settlement on Grenada. [15] [24] [25] They signed a peace treaty with the Carib chief Kairouane, but within months conflict broke out between the two communities. [26] [27] This lasted until 1654 when the island was completely subjugated by the French. [28] The indigenous peoples who survived either left for neighbouring islands or retreated to more remote parts of Grenada, where they ultimately disappeared during the 1700s.[ citation needed ] Warfare continued during the 1600s between the French on Grenada and the Caribs of present-day Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Chocolate was brought to Grenada in 1714 with the introduction of cocoa beans. [29]

The French named their new colony La Grenade, and the economy was initially based on sugar cane and indigo, worked by African slaves. [30] The French established a capital known as Fort Royal (later St. George's). To shelter from hurricanes, the French navy would often take refuge in the capital's natural harbour, as no nearby French islands had a natural harbour to compare with that of Fort Royal. The British captured Grenada in the Seven Years' War in 1762. [24]

British colonial period

Early colonial period

The island of Grenada and port Saint-Georges in 1776 Port Saint-Georges dans l'ile de la Grenade en 1776.jpg
The island of Grenada and port Saint-Georges in 1776

Grenada was formally ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. [24] The French re-captured the island during the American Revolutionary War, after Comte d'Estaing won the bloody land and naval Battle of Grenada in July 1779. [24] However, the island was restored to Britain with the Treaty of Versailles in 1783. [24] A decade later, dissatisfaction with British rule led to a pro-French revolt in 1795–96 led by Julien Fédon, which was successfully defeated by the British. [31] [32]

As Grenada's economy grew, more and more African slaves were forcibly transported to the island. Britain eventually outlawed the slave trade within the British Empire in 1807. Slavery was completely outlawed in 1833, leading to the emancipation of all enslaved by 1838. [24] [33] In an effort to ease the subsequent labour shortage, migrants from India were brought to Grenada in 1857. [15] [25]

Nutmeg was introduced to Grenada in 1843 when a merchant ship called in on its way to England from the East Indies. [15] [25] The ship had a small quantity of nutmeg trees on board, which they left in Grenada, and this was the beginning of Grenada's nutmeg industry that now supplies nearly 40% of the world's annual crop. [34]

Later colonial period

In 1877, Grenada was made a Crown colony. Theophilus A. Marryshow founded the Representative Government Association (RGA) in 1917 to agitate for a new and participative constitutional dispensation for the Grenadian people.[ citation needed ] Partly as a result of Marryshow's lobbying, the Wood Commission of 1921–22 concluded that Grenada was ready for constitutional reform in the form of a modified Crown colony government. This modification granted Grenadians the right to elect five of the 15 Legislative Council members on a restricted property franchise, enabling the wealthiest 4% of adult Grenadians to vote. [35] Marryshow was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1943.[ citation needed ]

In 1950, Eric Gairy founded the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP), initially as a trade union, which led to the 1951 general strike for better working conditions. [15] [25] [36] This sparked great unrest, and so many buildings were set ablaze that the disturbances became known as the "red sky" days. The British authorities decided to call in military reinforcements to help regain control of the situation.[ citation needed ] On 10 October 1951, Grenada held its first general elections on the basis of universal adult suffrage, [37] with Gairy's party winning six of the eight seats contested. [37]

From 1958 to 1962, Grenada was part of the Federation of the West Indies. [15] [24] [25] After the federation's collapse, Grenada was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs as an Associated State on 3 March 1967. [24] Herbert Blaize of the Grenada National Party (GNP) was the first Premier of the Associated State of Grenada from March to August 1967. Eric Gairy served as Premier from August 1967 until February 1974. [24]

Post-independence era

Maurice Bishop visiting East Germany, 1982 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1982-0610-101, Berlin, Besuch Regierungsdelegation Grenada, Bootsfahrt.jpg
Maurice Bishop visiting East Germany, 1982

Independence was granted on 7 February 1974 under the leadership of Eric Gairy, who became the first prime minister of Grenada. [15] [24] [25] Grenada opted to remain within the Commonwealth, retaining Queen Elizabeth as Monarch, represented locally by a governor-general. Civil conflict gradually broke out between Eric Gairy's government and some opposition parties, including the Marxist New Jewel Movement (NJM). [24] Gairy and the GULP won the 1976 Grenadian general election, albeit with a reduced majority; [24] however, the opposition deemed the results invalid due to fraud and the violent intimidation performed by the so-called 'Mongoose Gang', a private militia loyal to Gairy. [38] [39] [40]

On 13 March 1979, whilst Gairy was out of the country, the NJM launched a bloodless coup which removed Gairy, suspended the constitution, and established a People's Revolutionary Government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop, who declared himself prime minister. [24] His Marxist–Leninist government established close ties with Cuba, Nicaragua, and other communist bloc countries. [24] All political parties except for the New Jewel Movement were banned and no elections were held during the four years of PRG rule.

Invasion by the United States (1983)

Members of the Eastern Caribbean Defence Force during the 1983 invasion of Grenada Eastern Caribbean Defense Force.jpg
Members of the Eastern Caribbean Defence Force during the 1983 invasion of Grenada

Coup and execution of Maurice Bishop

Some years later,[ when? ] a dispute developed between Bishop and certain high-ranking members of the NJM. Though Bishop cooperated with Cuba and the USSR on various trade and foreign policy issues, he sought to maintain a non-aligned status. Hardline Marxist party members, including communist Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, deemed Bishop insufficiently revolutionary and demanded that he either step down or enter into a power-sharing arrangement.[ citation needed ]

On 16 October 1983, Bernard Coard and his wife, Phyllis, backed by the Grenadian Army, led a coup against the government of Maurice Bishop and placed Bishop under house arrest. [24] These actions led to street demonstrations in various parts of the island because Bishop had widespread support from the population. Because Bishop was a widely popular leader, he was freed by impassioned supporters who marched en masse to his guarded residence from a rally in the capital's central square. Bishop then led the crowd to the island's military headquarters to reassert his power. Grenadian soldiers were dispatched in armoured vehicles by the Coard faction to retake the fort. A confrontation between soldiers and civilians at the fort ended in gunfire and panic. Three soldiers and at least eight civilians died in the tumult that also injured 100 others, a school-sponsored study later found in 2000. [41] When the initial shooting ended with Bishop's surrender, he and a group of seven of his closest supporters were taken prisoner and executed by firing squad. Besides Bishop, the group included three of his cabinet ministers, a trade union leader and three service-industry workers. [42]

After the execution of Bishop, the People's Revolutionary Army (PRA) formed a military Marxist government with General Hudson Austin as chairman. The army declared a four-day total curfew, during which anyone leaving their home without approval would be shot on sight. [43] [44]

United States and allied response and reaction

M102 howitzers of 320th Field Artillery Regiment firing during the 1983 invasion of Grenada M102 howitzers during Operation Urgent Fury.jpg
M102 howitzers of 320th Field Artillery Regiment firing during the 1983 invasion of Grenada

US President Ronald Reagan stated that particularly worrying was the presence of Cuban construction workers and military personnel building a 10,000-foot (3,000 m) airstrip on Grenada. [45] Bishop had stated the purpose of the airstrip was to allow commercial jets to land, but some US military analysts argued that the only reason for constructing such a long and reinforced runway was so that it could be used by heavy military transport planes. The contractors, American and European companies, and the EEC, which provided partial funding, all claimed the airstrip did not have military capabilities. Reagan asserted that Cuba, under the direction of the Soviet Union, would use Grenada as a refuelling stop for Cuban and Soviet aeroplanes loaded with weapons destined for Central American communist insurgents. [46]

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Barbados, and Jamaica all appealed to the United States for assistance. [47] On 25 October 1983, combined forces from the United States and from the Regional Security System (RSS) based in Barbados invaded Grenada in an operation codenamed Operation Urgent Fury . The US stated this was done at the behest of Barbados, Dominica [ citation needed ] and Governor-General Paul Scoon. [48] Scoon had requested the invasion through secret diplomatic channels, but it was not made public for his safety. [49] Progress was rapid, and within four days the Americans had removed the military government of Hudson Austin.

The invasion was criticised by the governments of Britain, [50] Trinidad and Tobago, and Canada. The United Nations General Assembly condemned it as "a flagrant violation of international law" by a vote of 108 to 9, with 27 abstentions. [51] [52] The United Nations Security Council considered a similar resolution, which was supported by 11 countries. However, the United States vetoed the motion. [53]

Post-invasion arrests

After the invasion, the pre-revolutionary Grenadian constitution came into operation once again. Eighteen members of the PRG/PRA were arrested on charges related to the murder of Maurice Bishop and seven others. The 18 included the top political leadership of Grenada at the time of the execution, along with the entire military chain of command directly responsible for the operation that led to the executions. Fourteen were sentenced to death, one was found not guilty, and three were sentenced to 45 years in prison. The death sentences were eventually commuted to terms of imprisonment. Those in prison have become known as 'the Grenada 17'. [54]

Since 1983

When US troops withdrew from Grenada in December 1983, Governor-General Scoon appointed an interim advisory council chaired by Nicholas Brathwaite to organise new elections. [55] The first democratic elections since 1976 were held in December 1984, and were won by the New National Party under Herbert Blaize, who served as prime minister until his death in December 1989. [56] [57]

Ben Jones briefly succeeded Blaize as prime minister and served until the March 1990 election. [58] [59] This election was won by the National Democratic Congress under Nicholas Brathwaite, who served as prime minister until he resigned in February 1995. [60] He was succeeded by George Brizan for a brief period [61] until the June 1995 election which was won by the New National Party under Keith Mitchell, who went on to win the 1999 and 2003 elections, serving for a record 13 years until 2008. [24] Mitchell re-established relations with Cuba and also reformed the country's banking system, which had come under criticism over potential money laundering concerns. [15] [24] [25]

In 2000–02, much of the controversy of the late 1970s and early 1980s was once again brought into the public consciousness with the opening of the truth and reconciliation commission. [24] The commission was chaired by a Roman Catholic priest, Father Mark Haynes, and was tasked with uncovering injustices arising from the PRA, Bishop's regime, and before. It held a number of hearings around the country. Brother Robert Fanovich, head of Presentation Brothers' College (PBC) in St. George's, tasked some of his senior students with conducting a research project into the era and specifically into the fact that Maurice Bishop's body was never discovered. [62] [41] Paterson also uncovered that there was still a lot of resentment in Grenadian society resulting from the era and a feeling that there were many injustices still unaddressed.[ citation needed ]

Aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in Grenada Grenada ivan.jpg
Aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in Grenada

On 7 September 2004, after being hurricane-free for 49 years, the island was directly hit by Hurricane Ivan. [63] Ivan struck as a Category 3 hurricane, resulting in 39 deaths and damage or destruction to 90% of the island's homes. [15] [24] [25] On 14 July 2005, Hurricane Emily, a Category 1 hurricane at the time, struck the northern part of the island with 80-knot (150 km/h; 92 mph) winds, killing one person and causing an estimated US$110 million (EC$297 million) worth of damage. [15] [25] [64] Agriculture, and in particular the nutmeg industry, suffered serious losses, but that event caused changes in crop management and it is hoped that as new nutmeg trees mature, the industry will gradually rebuild.

Mitchell was defeated in the 2008 election by the NDC under Tillman Thomas; [65] [66] however, he won the 2013 Grenadian general election by a landslide and the NNP returned to power, [67] winning again by another landslide in 2018. [68] In March 2020, Grenada confirmed its first case of COVID-19 and, as of 17 March 2022, 13,921 cases and 217 deaths had been recorded. [69]

On 23 June 2022, the NDC won the general election under Dickon Mitchell, who became prime minister the following day. [70]


A map of Grenada Grenada-map.png
A map of Grenada

The island of Grenada is the southernmost island in the Antilles archipelago, bordering the eastern Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean, and roughly 140 km (90 mi) north of both Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago. Its sister islands make up the southern section of the Grenadines, which include Carriacou, Petite Martinique, Ronde Island, Caille Island, Diamond Island, Large Island, Saline Island, and Frigate Island; the remaining islands to the north belong to St Vincent and the Grenadines. Most of the population lives in Grenada, and major towns there include the capital, St. George's, Grenville and Gouyave. The largest settlement on the sister islands is Hillsborough on Carriacou.

Grenada is of volcanic origin, [11] as evident in its soil, mountainous interior, and several explosion craters, including Lake Antoine, Grand Etang Lake and Levera Pond. Grenada's highest point is Mount St. Catherine, rising to 840 m (2,760 ft) above sea level. [11] Other major mountains include Mount Granby and South East Mountain. Several small rivers with waterfalls flow into the sea from these mountains. The coastline contains several bays, most notably on the southern coast, which is split into numerous thin peninsulas.

Grenada is home to four ecoregions: Windward Islands moist forests, Leeward Islands dry forests, Windward Islands dry forests, and Windward Islands xeric scrub. [71] It had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 4.22/10, ranking it 131st globally out of 172 countries. [72]

An aerial photo of the capital St. George's Grenada2010.jpg
An aerial photo of the capital St. George's


The climate is tropical: hot and humid in the dry season and cooled by the moderate rainfall in the rainy season. Temperatures range from 22–32 °C (72–90 °F) and are rarely below 18 °C (64 °F). Grenada, being on the southern edge of the hurricane belt, has suffered only three hurricanes in fifty years. [73]

Hurricane Janet passed over Grenada on 23 September 1955, with winds of 185 km/h (115 mph), causing severe damage. The most recent storm to hit Grenada was Hurricane Ivan on 7 September 2004, [74] causing severe damage and thirty-nine deaths, and Hurricane Emily on 14 July 2005, causing serious damage in Carriacou and in the north of Grenada, which had been relatively lightly affected by Hurricane Ivan; Grenada has been put on Tropical Storm Watch several times since. [73]


Like much of the Caribbean, Grenada is depauperate of large animals. However, native opossums, armadillos, and introduced mona monkeys and mongooses are common. It also boasts a rich avifauna of 184 bird species, with one endemic (Grenada dove), six introduced, and 116 rare or accidental.[ citation needed ]


Approximately 2 million years ago, in the Pliocene era, the area of what is nowadays Grenada emerged from a shallow sea as a submarine volcano. In recent times, volcanic activity has been non-existent, except for some of its hot spring and underwater volcano Kick 'em Jenny. Most of Grenada's terrain is made up of volcanic activity that took place 1–2 million years ago.[ citation needed ] There would have been many unknown volcanoes responsible for the formation of Grenada including Grenada's capital St. George's with its horseshoe-shaped harbour, the carenage. Two extinct volcanoes, which are now crater lakes, Grand Etang Lake and Lake Antoine, would have also contributed to the formation of Grenada.


Grenada is a constitutional monarchy with Charles III as head of state, represented locally by a governor-general. [11] [24] Executive power lies with the head of government, the prime minister. The governor-general role is mainly ceremonial, while the prime minister is usually the leader of the largest party in Parliament. [11]

The Parliament of Grenada consists of a Senate (13 members) and a House of Representatives (15 members). Senators are appointed by the government and the opposition, while the representatives are elected by the population for five-year terms. [11] Grenada operates a multi-party system, with the largest parties being the centre-right New National Party (NNP) and the centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC). [11]

In February 2013, the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost the election. The opposition New National Party (NNP) won all 15 seats in the general election. Keith Mitchell, leader of NNP, who had served three terms as prime minister between 1995 and 2008, returned to power. [75] Mitchell has led NNP to win all 15 seats in the House of Representatives on three separate occasions. In November 2021, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said that the upcoming general elections which are constitutionally due no later than June 2023, will be the last one for him. [76]

Foreign relations

Grenada is a full and participating member of both the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). [11]

The Commonwealth

Grenada, along with much of the Caribbean region, is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The organisation, which primarily consists of former British colonies, focuses on fostering international relations between its members.

Organization of American States (OAS)

Grenada is one of the 35 states which has ratified the OAS charter and is a member of the Organization. [77] [78] Grenada entered into the Inter-American system in 1975 according to the OAS's website. [79]

Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty

On 6 July 1994 at Sherbourne Conference Centre in St. Michael, Barbados, George Brizan signed the Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty on behalf of the Government of Grenada. [80] This treaty covered concepts such as taxes, residence, tax jurisdictions, capital gains, business profits, interest, dividends, royalties and other areas.[ citation needed ]


On 30 June 2014, Grenada formally signed a Model 1 agreement with the United States of America to enable the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). [81]


In December 2014, Grenada joined Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) as a full member. Prime Minister Mitchell said that the membership was a natural extension of the cooperation Grenada has had over the years with both Cuba and Venezuela. [82]


Grenada has no standing military, leaving typical military functions to the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGFP) and the Coast Guard of Grenada. [11] The Special Service Unit (SSU) of the RGFP wear combat uniforms and participate in the Regional Security System (RSS), a military defence body of the Eastern Caribbean (who participated in the United States invasion of Grenada in 1983. [83]

In 2019, Grenada signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. [84]

Administrative divisions

Grenada is divided into six parishes. [11] The area known as Carriacou and Petite Martinique (not pictured) has the status of a dependency. [11]

Grenada Parishes Grenada parishes named.pngSaint AndrewSaint DavidSaint GeorgeSaint JohnSaint MarkSaint PatrickSaint Andrew
Grenada Parishes

Human rights

Homosexuality is illegal in Grenada and punishable by imprisonment. [85]

In 2023, the country scored 89 out of 100 in the Freedom ratings. [86]


Grenada has a small economy in which tourism is the major foreign exchange earner. [11] Major short-term concerns are the rising fiscal deficit and the deterioration in the external account balance. Grenada shares a common central bank and a common currency (the East Caribbean dollar) with seven other members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). [11] [87]

Grenada has suffered from a heavy external debt problem, with government debt service payments running at about 25% of total revenues in 2017; Grenada was listed as ninth from bottom in a study of 126 developing countries. [88]

Agriculture and exports

Opened nutmeg fruit, showing the seed and the red aril used for mace Myris fragr Fr 080112-3294 ltn.jpg
Opened nutmeg fruit, showing the seed and the red aril used for mace

Grenada is an exporter of several different spices, most notably nutmeg, its top export and depicted on the national flag, and mace. [89] [12] Other major exports include bananas, cocoa, fruit and vegetables, clothing, chocolate and fish. [11]

Nutmeg Industry

According to a case study released in November 2003, [90] the nutmeg industry in Grenada provided a major source of foreign exchange earnings to the country and acted as a livelihood for a significant portion of the population. The majority of Grenada nutmeg producers are small (e.g. 74.2% of growers have sales volumes of <500 lbs per year, accounting for 21.77% of total production). Only 3.3% of growers have sales in excess of 2500 lbs per year (accounting for 40% of the total output).

At the time the study was released, the majority of the production of nutmeg from within Grenada was derived from four companies:


Tourism is the mainstay of Grenada's economy. [11] Conventional beach and water-sports tourism is largely focused in the southwest region around St George, the airport and the coastal strip. Ecotourism is growing in significance.[ citation needed ]

Grenada has many beaches around its coastline, including the 3 km (1.9 mi) long Grand Anse Beach in St. George's, often described as one of the best beaches in the world. [92] Grenada's many waterfalls are also popular with tourists. The nearest to St. George's is the Annandale Waterfalls; others include Mt. Carmel, Concord, Tufton Hall and St Margaret's also known as Seven Sisters. [93]

Grand Anse Beach, St. George's Grand Anse Beach Grenada.jpg
Grand Anse Beach, St. George's

Several festivals also draw in tourists, such as Carriacou Maroon and String Band Music Festival in April, [94] the Annual Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament, [95] the Island Water World Sailing Week, [96] and the Grenada Sailing Festival Work Boat Regatta. [97]


Education in Grenada consists of kindergarten, pre-primary school, primary school, secondary school and tertiary education. The government spent 10.3% of its budget on education in 2016, the third highest rate in the world. [11] Literacy rates are very high, with 98.6% of the population being able to read and write. [11]


Maurice Bishop International Airport is the country's main airport, [11] connecting the country with other Caribbean islands, the United States, Canada, and Europe. There is also an airport on Carriacou called Lauriston Airport. [24]


A view of Carriacou, with other Grenadine islands visible in the distance Carriacou Scene.jpg
A view of Carriacou, with other Grenadine islands visible in the distance

A majority of Grenadians (82%) are primarily descended from enslaved Africans. [11] [24] Few of the indigenous population remained after the successful French colonisation of the island in the 17th century. A small percentage of descendants of indentured workers from India were brought to Grenada between 1857 and 1885, predominantly from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.[ citation needed ] Today, Grenadians of Indian descent constitute 2.2% of the population. [11] There is also a small community of French and English descendants. [24] The rest of the population is of mixed descent (13%). [4]

Grenada, like many of the Caribbean islands, is subject to a large amount of out-migration, with a large number of young people seeking more prospects abroad. Popular migration points for Grenadians include more prosperous islands in the Caribbean (such as Barbados), North American cities (such as New York City, Toronto and Montreal), the United Kingdom (in particular, London and Yorkshire; [98] see Grenadians in the UK) and Australia.[ citation needed ]


Religion in Grenada (2011 estimate) [99]

  Protestant (49.2%)
   Roman Catholic (36%)
  none (5.7%)
  unspecified (1.3%)
   Jehovah's Witness (1.2%)
   Rastafari (1.2%)
  other (incl. Hinduism, Islam, Afro-American religions and Judaism) (5.5%)

Figures are 2011 estimates [99]

In 2022, Grenada was scored 4 out of 4 for religious freedom. [86]


English is the country's official language, [11] but the primary spoken language is either of two creole languages (Grenadian Creole English and, less frequently, Grenadian Creole French) (sometimes called 'patois') which reflects the African, European, and native heritage of the nation. The creoles contain elements from a variety of African languages, French and English. [100] Grenadian Creole French is only spoken in smaller rural areas in the north. [101]

Some Hindustani terms are still spoken amongst the descendants of the Indo-Grenadian community.[ citation needed ]

The indigenous languages were Iñeri and Karina (Carib).[ citation needed ]


A carnival in 1965 GrenadaCarnival1965FeatheredHeaddresses.jpg
A carnival in 1965

Island culture is heavily influenced by the African roots of most of the Grenadians, coupled with the country's long experience of colonial rule under the British. Although French influence on Grenadian culture is much less visible than on some other Caribbean islands, surnames and place names in French remain, and the everyday language is laced with French words and the local Creole or Patois. [11] Stronger French influence is found in the well seasoned spicy food and styles of cooking similar to those found in New Orleans, and some French architecture has survived from the 1700s.[ citation needed ] Indian and Carib Amerindian influence is also seen, especially in the island's cuisine.

Oil down, a stew, is considered the national dish. [102] The name refers to a dish cooked in coconut milk until all the milk is absorbed, leaving a bit of coconut oil in the bottom of the pot. Early recipes call for a mixture of salted pigtail, pig's feet (trotters), salt beef and chicken, dumplings made from flour, and provisions like breadfruit, green banana, yam and potatoes. Callaloo leaves are sometimes used to retain the steam and add extra flavour. [102]

Soca, calypso, kaiso and reggae are popular music genres and are played at Grenada's annual Carnival. Over the years, rap music became popular amongst Grenadian youths, and numerous young rappers have emerged in the island's underground rap scene.[ citation needed ] Zouk is also being slowly introduced onto the island.[ citation needed ]

An important aspect of the Grenadian culture is the tradition of storytelling, with folk tales bearing both African and French influences.[ citation needed ] The character Anancy , a spider who is a trickster, originated in West Africa and is prevalent on other islands as well. French influence can be seen in La Diablesse , a well-dressed she-devil, and Loogaroo (from "loup-garou"), a werewolf.[ citation needed ]




Kirani James, noted Grenadian sprinter Kirani James Daegu 2011.jpg
Kirani James, noted Grenadian sprinter

Grenada has competed in every Summer Olympics since the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Kirani James won the first Olympic gold medal for Grenada in the men's 400 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the silver medal in the men's 400 meters at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro [103] and the bronze medal in the men's 400 meters at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. [104] [105]


As with other islands from the Caribbean, cricket is the national and most popular sport and is an intrinsic part of Grenadian culture. The Grenada national cricket team forms a part of the Windward Islands cricket team in regional domestic cricket; however, it plays as a separate entity in minor regional matches, [106] as well as having previously played Twenty20 cricket in the Stanford 20/20. [107]

The Grenada National Cricket Stadium in St. George's hosts domestic and international cricket matches. Devon Smith, West Indies record holder to win the List-A West Indian domestic competition for the second time, was born in the small town of Hermitage.

In April 2007, Grenada jointly hosted (along with several other Caribbean states) the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The Island's prime minister was the CARICOM representative on cricket and was instrumental in bringing the World Cup games to the region. After Hurricane Ivan, the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) paid for the new $40 million national stadium and provided the aid of over 300 labourers to build and repair it. [108] During the opening ceremony, the anthem of the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) was accidentally played instead of the PRC's anthem, leading to the firing of top officials. [109] [110]


Football is also a very popular sport in Grenada. [111]

See also


  1. As a Commonwealth realm Grenada retains "God Save the King" as its royal anthem by precedent, with the song played in the presence of members of the royal family. The words King, him and his used at present (in the reign of King Charles III) are replaced by Queen, she and hers when the monarch is female. [3]

Related Research Articles

The history of Grenada in the Caribbean, part of the Lesser Antilles group of islands, covers a period from the earliest human settlements to the establishment of the contemporary nationstate of Grenada. First settled by indigenous peoples, Grenada by the time of European contact was inhabited by the Caribs. French colonists killed most of the Caribs on the island and established plantations on the island, eventually importing African slaves to work on the sugar plantations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geography of Grenada</span> Geography of Grenada

Grenada is an island country located between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located at 12°07′N61°40′W. There are no large inland bodies of water on the island, which consists entirely of the state of Grenada. The coastline is 121 km long. The island has 15 constituencies and speaks English and Grenadian Creole. It is volcanic in origin and its topography is mountainous.

The politics of Grenada takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, whereby the prime minister is the head of government. Grenada is an independent Commonwealth realm. It is governed under a multi-party parliamentary system whose political and legal traditions closely follow those of the United Kingdom; it has a prime minister and a cabinet, and a bicameral Parliament with an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, motion, and association. Grenada is a member of the eastern Caribbean court system. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Jurisprudence is based on English common law.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">St. George's, Grenada</span> Capital of Grenada

St. George's is the capital of Grenada. The town is surrounded by a hillside of an old volcano crater and is located on a horseshoe-shaped harbour.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carriacou and Petite Martinique</span> Dependency of Grenada

Carriacou and Petite Martinique, also known as the Southern Grenadines, is a dependency (part) of Grenada, lying north of Grenada island and south of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Lesser Antilles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States invasion of Grenada</span> 1983 invasion of Grenada by the United States

The United States invasion of Grenada began at dawn on 25 October 1983. The United States and a coalition of six Caribbean nations invaded the island nation of Grenada, 100 miles (160 km) north of Venezuela. Codenamed Operation Urgent Fury by the U.S. military, it resulted in military occupation within a few days. It was triggered by the strife within the People's Revolutionary Government, which resulted in the house arrest and execution of the previous leader and second Prime Minister of Grenada, Maurice Bishop, and the establishment of the Revolutionary Military Council, with Hudson Austin as chairman. The invasion resulted in the appointment of an interim government, followed by elections in 1984.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eric Gairy</span> 20th-century Grenadian politician; 1st Prime Minister (1974–79)

Sir Eric Matthew Gairy PC was the first Prime Minister of Grenada, serving from his country's independence in 1974 until his overthrow in a coup by Maurice Bishop in 1979. Gairy also served as head of government in pre-independence Grenada as Chief Minister from 1961 to 1962, and as Premier from 1967 to 1974.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maurice Bishop</span> Grenadian revolutionary and 1979–1983 socialist leader

Maurice Rupert Bishop was a Grenadian revolutionary and the leader of New Jewel Movement – a Marxist–Leninist party that sought to prioritise socio-economic development, education, and black liberation – that came to power during the 13 March 1979 revolution that removed Eric Gairy from office. Bishop headed the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada from 1979 to 1983, when he was dismissed from his post and executed during the coup by Bernard Coard, leading to upheaval.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New Jewel Movement</span> Left-wing political party in Grenada from 1973–1983, ruled from 1979–1983

The New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation, or New JEWEL Movement (NJM), was a Marxist–Leninist vanguard party in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada that was led by Maurice Bishop.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Herbert Blaize</span> Grenadian politician

Herbert Augustus Blaize PC was a Grenadian politician and leader of the Grenada National Party. When Grenada was still a British Crown Colony he served as the first Chief Minister from 1960 to 1961, and again from 1962 to 1967. He became the first Premier of the autonomous Associated State of Grenada briefly in 1967. In the first elections following the 1983 coups and the American-led invasion of Grenada, he served as Prime Minister from 1984 until his death in 1989.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carriacou</span> Island in Grenada

Carriacou is an island of the Grenadine Islands. It is a part of Grenada, and is located in the south-eastern Caribbean Sea, northeast of the island Grenada and the north coast of South America. The name is derived from the Carib language Kayryouacou.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">People's Revolutionary Government (Grenada)</span> 1979–1983 socialist government of Grenada

The People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) was proclaimed on 13 March 1979 after the Marxist–Leninist New Jewel Movement overthrew the government of Grenada in a revolution, making Grenada the only socialist state within the Commonwealth. In Grenada, the revolution is referred to as the March 13th Revolution of 1979 or simply as “The Revolution”. The government suspended the constitution and ruled by decree until a factional conflict broke out, culminating in an invasion by the United States on 25 October 1983.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dominica</span> Country in the Caribbean

Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island country in the Caribbean. It is part of the Windward Islands chain in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The capital, Roseau, is located on the western side of the island. Dominica's closest neighbours are two constituent territories of the European Union, the overseas departments of France, Guadeloupe to the northwest and Martinique to the south-southeast. Dominica comprises a land area of 750 km2 (290 sq mi), and the highest point is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 m (4,747 ft) in elevation. The population was 71,293 at the 2011 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monarchy of Grenada</span> Constitutional monarchy as a system of government in Grenada

The monarchy of Grenada is a system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Grenada. The current Grenadian monarch and head of state, since 8 September 2022, is King Charles III. As sovereign, he is the personal embodiment of the Grenadian Crown. Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 14 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled King of Grenada and, in this capacity, he and other members of the royal family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of Grenada. However, the King is the only member of the royal family with any constitutional role.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Index of Grenada-related articles</span>

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the nation of Grenada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Carriacou</span>

Carriacou is the largest island of the Grenadines, an archipelago in the Windward Islands chain in the Caribbean Sea.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Afro-Grenadians</span>

Afro-Grenadians or Black Grenadians are Grenadian people of largely African descent. This term is not generally recognised by Grenadians or indeed Caribbeans. They usually refer to themselves simply as 'Grenadians' or 'Caribbean'. The term was first coined by an African Americans history professor, John Henrik Clarke (1915–1998), in his piece entitled A Note on Racism in History. The term may also refer to a Grenadian of African ancestry. Social interpretations of race are mutable rather than deterministic and neither physical appearance nor ancestry are used straightforwardly to determine whether a person is considered a Black Grenadian. According to the 2012 Census, 82% of Grenada's population is Black, 13% is mixed European and black and 2% is of Indian origin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grenada National Museum</span> Historic building in St Georges, Grenada

The Grenada National Museum is a museum in St. George's, Grenada. It is housed in a complex of several buildings, the oldest of which may have served as a French barracks from 1704. Parts of it were used by the adjacent prison until the 1850s, when the land was sold and the Home Hotel was built. It remained a hotel under several owners until closing in the early 1960s. In 1976, the Gairy government donated part of the complex for use as a museum of archaeology and history. Topics on display include Amerindians/Precolonial, the European Invasion, African Slavery, Plantation Economy, the former whaling industry, and colonial-era equipment and artifacts, including several items and a bathtub purportedly used by Josephine Bonaparte.

The Mongoose Gang was a private army or militia which operated from 1967 to 1979 under the control of Sir Eric Gairy, the Premier and later Prime Minister of Grenada, and head of the Grenada United Labour Party. Officially, Mongoose Gang members were called Special Reserve Police (S.R.P.) or Volunteer Constables.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dickon Mitchell</span> Prime Minister of Grenada

Dickon Amiss Thomas Mitchell is a Grenadian politician and attorney serving as the prime minister of Grenada since 24 June 2022 and the leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) since 2021. He led his party to victory in the 2022 general election.


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Further reading