Saint Kitts and Nevis

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Coordinates: 17°20′N62°45′W / 17.333°N 62.750°W / 17.333; -62.750

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Contents

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Motto: "Country Above Self"

KNA orthographic.svg
Saint Kitts and Nevis - Location Map (2013) - KNA - UNOCHA.svg
Capital
and largest city
Basseterre
17°18′N62°44′W / 17.300°N 62.733°W / 17.300; -62.733
Official languages English
Vernacular language Saint Kitts Creole
Ethnic groups
(2001) [1]
Demonym(s) Kittitian or Nevisian
Government Federal parliamentary
constitutional monarchy
  Monarch
Elizabeth II
Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton
Timothy Harris
Legislature National Assembly
Independence
27 February 1967
 from the United Kingdom
19 September 1983
Area
 Total
261 km2 (101 sq mi)(188th)
 Water (%)
Negligible
Population
 2016 estimate
54,821 [2] (209th)
 2011 census
46,204
 Density
164/km2 (424.8/sq mi)(64th)
GDP  (PPP)2019 estimate
 Total
$1.758 billion
 Per capita
$31,095 [3]
GDP  (nominal)2019 estimate
 Total
$1.058 billion
 Per capita
$18,714 [4]
HDI  (2017)Increase2.svg 0.778 [5]
high ·  72nd
Currency East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Time zone UTC-4
Driving side left
Calling code +1 869
ISO 3166 code KN
Internet TLD .kn
  1. Or "Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis".

Saint Kitts and Nevis ( /-ˈkɪts...ˈnvɪs/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, [6] is an island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, in both area and population. [7] The country is a Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as queen and head of state. [8] [9]

Island country state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands

An island country is a country whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 1996, 25.2% of all independent countries were island countries.

West Indies Island region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean

The West Indies is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Lucayan Archipelago.

Leeward Islands subgroup of islands in the West Indies

The Leeward Islands are a group of islands situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean. Starting with the Virgin Islands east of Puerto Rico, they extend southeast to Guadeloupe and its dependencies. In English, the term Leeward Islands refers to the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles chain. The more southerly part of this chain, starting with Dominica, is called the Windward Islands. Dominica was originally considered part of the Leeward Islands, but was transferred from the British Leeward Islands to the British Windward Islands in 1940.

The capital city is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts. [10] The smaller island of Nevis lies approximately 3 km (2 mi) to the southeast across a shallow channel called The Narrows. [11]

Basseterre Place in Saint Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis

Basseterre is the capital and largest city of Saint Kitts and Nevis with an estimated population of 14,000 in 2018. Geographically, the Basseterre port is located at 17°18′N62°44′W, on the south western coast of Saint Kitts Island, and it is one of the chief commercial depots of the Leeward Islands. The city lies within Saint George Basseterre Parish.

Saint Kitts island in Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts, also known more formally as Saint Christopher Island, is an island in the West Indies. The west side of the island borders the Caribbean Sea, and the eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean. Saint Kitts and the neighbouring island of Nevis constitute one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Saint Kitts and Nevis are separated by a shallow 3-kilometre (2 mi) channel known as "The Narrows".

Nevis Island in the Caribbean Sea

Nevis is a small island in the Caribbean Sea that forms part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies. Nevis and the neighbouring island of Saint Kitts constitute one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Nevis is located near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles archipelago, about 350 km east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 80 km west of Antigua. Its area is 93 square kilometres (36 sq mi) and the capital is Charlestown.

The British dependency of Anguilla was historically also a part of this union, which was then known collectively as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, however it chose to secede from the union and remains a British overseas territory. [12] To the north-northwest lie the islands of Sint Eustatius, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten and Anguilla. To the east and northeast are Antigua and Barbuda, and to the southeast is the small uninhabited island of Redonda (part of Antigua and Barbuda) and the island of Montserrat.

Anguilla British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean

Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. It is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin. The territory consists of the main island of Anguilla, approximately 16 miles (26 km) long by 3 miles (4.8 km) wide at its widest point, together with a number of much smaller islands and cays with no permanent population. The territory's capital is The Valley. The total land area of the territory is 35 square miles (91 km2), with a population of approximately 17,400.

Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla Crown Colony and later, a Dependent Territory of the United Kingdom located in the Caribbean Sea

Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla was a British colony in the West Indies from 1882 to 1983, consisting of the islands of Anguilla, Nevis, and Saint Christopher. From 1882 to 1951, and again from 1980, the colony was known simply as Saint Christopher and Nevis. It gained independence in 1983 as the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Sint Eustatius Special municipality of the Netherlands

Sint Eustatius, also known locally as Statia, is an island in the Caribbean. It is a special municipality of the Netherlands.

Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be colonized by Europeans. Saint Kitts was home to the first British and French colonies in the Caribbean, and thus has also been titled "The Mother Colony of the West Indies".[ citation needed ]

Caribbean Region to the center-east of America composed of many islands / coastal regions surrounding the Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Etymology

Clouds covering Nevis Peak Nevispeak1.jpg
Clouds covering Nevis Peak

Saint Kitts was named "Liamuiga", which roughly translates as "fertile land", by the Kalinago who originally inhabited the island.[ citation needed ] The name is preserved via St. Kitts's tallest peak, Mount Liamuiga. Nevis's pre-Columbian name was "Oualie", meaning "land of beautiful waters".[ citation needed ]

Island Caribs group of people who live in Venezuela and the Lesser Antilles islands

Island Caribs, also known as the Kalinago or simply Caribs, are an indigenous people of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. They have descended from the Mainland Caribs (Kalina) of South America. The men spoke a carib pidgin language of Karina origins.

Mount Liamuiga mountain

Mount Liamuiga is a 3,792-foot (1,156 m) stratovolcano which forms the western part of the island of Saint Kitts. The peak is the highest point on the island of Saint Kitts, in the federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, and in the entire British Leeward Islands, as well as one of the tallest peaks in the eastern Caribbean archipelago. The peak is topped by a 0.6-mile (1 km) wide summit crater, which contained a shallow crater lake until 1959. As of 2006, the crater lake had re-formed. The last verified eruptions from the volcano were about 1,800 years ago, while reports of possible eruptions in 1692 and 1843 are considered uncertain.

It is thought that Christopher Columbus, the first European to see the islands in 1493, named the larger island San Cristóbal, after Saint Christopher, his patron saint and the patron hallow of travellers. New studies suggest that Columbus named the island Sant Yago (Saint James), and that the name "San Cristóbal" was in fact given by Columbus to the island now known as Saba, 32 km (20 mi) northwest. It seems that "San Cristóbal" came to be applied to the island of St. Kitts only as of the result of a mapping error.[ citation needed ] No matter the origin of the name, the island was well documented as "San Cristóbal" by the 17th century. [13] The first English colonists kept the English translation of this name, and dubbed it "St. Christopher's Island". In the 17th century, a common nickname for Christopher was Kit(t), hence the island came to be informally referred to as "Saint Kitt's Island", later further shortened to "Saint Kitts". [14]

Columbus gave Nevis the name San Martín.[ citation needed ] The current name "Nevis" is derived from a Spanish name Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, meaning 'Our Lady of the Snows'. [15] It is not known who chose this name for the island, but it is a reference to the story of a 4th century Catholic miracle: a summertime snowfall on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. [16] It is though that the white clouds which usually wreathe the top of Nevis Peak reminded someone of the story of a miraculous snowfall in a hot climate. [17] The island of Nevis, upon first British settlement, was referred to as "Dulcina", a name meaning 'sweet one' in Spanish.[ citation needed ] Eventually, the original Spanish name was restored and used in the shortened form, "Nevis".

Today the Constitution refers to the state as both "Saint Kitts and Nevis" and "Saint Christopher and Nevis", but the former is the one most commonly used.

History

The Spanish capture of Saint Kitts in 1629 by Fadrique de Toledo, 1st Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza Spanish capture of St Kitts.jpg
The Spanish capture of Saint Kitts in 1629 by Fadrique de Toledo, 1st Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza

Pre-colonial period

The name of the first inhabitants, pre-Arawakan peoples who settled the islands perhaps as early as 3000 years ago, is not known. [18] They were followed by the Arawak peoples, or Taíno, about 1000 BC.[ citation needed ] The warlike Island Caribs invaded about 800 AD. [19] :10

European arrival and early colonial period

Christopher Columbus was the first European to sight the islands in 1493. [20] [21] The first settlers were the English in 1623, led by Thomas Warner, who established a settlement at Old Road Town on the west coast of St Kitts after achieving an agreement with the Carib chief Ouboutou Tegremante. [19] :15–18 [22] The French later also settled on St Kitts in 1625 under Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc. [23] As a result both parties agreed to partition the island into French and English sectors. From 1628 onward the English also began settling on Nevis. [24]

The French and English, intent on self-enrichment through exploitation of the island's natural resources, [25] soon encountered resistance, with the native Caribs (Kalinago) waging war throughout the first three years of the settlements' existence. [26] [27] The Europeans thus resolved to rid themselves of this problem once and for all. To facilitate this objective, an ideological campaign was waged by colonial chroniclers, dating back to the Spanish, as they produced literature which systematically denied Kalinago humanity (a literary tradition carried through the late-seventeenth century by such authors as Jean-Baptiste du Tertre and Pere Labat). [27] In 1626 the Anglo-French settlers joined forces to massacre the Kalinago at a place that became known as Bloody Point, allegedly to pre-empt an imminent Carib plan to expel or kill all European settlers. [28] [29] With the native population thus pacified, the English and French began to establish large sugar plantations which were worked by vast numbers of imported African slaves. This system created enormous wealth for the planter-colonists whilst also drastically changing the islands' demographics as black slaves soon came to outnumber Europeans by some margin. [30] [19] :26–31

A Spanish expedition of 1629 sent to enforce Spanish claims destroyed the English and French colonies and deported the settlers back to their respective countries. As part of the war settlement in 1630, the Spanish permitted the re-establishment of the English and French colonies. [19] :19–23 Spain later formally recognised Britain's claim to St Kitts with the Treaty of Madrid (1670), in return for British cooperation in the fight against piracy. [31]

As Spanish power went into decline, Saint Kitts became the premier base for English and French expansion into the wider Caribbean. From St. Kitts the British settled the islands of Antigua, Montserrat, Anguilla and Tortola, and the French settled Martinique, the Guadeloupe archipelago and Saint Barthélemy. During the late-17th century France and England fought for control over St Kitts and Nevis, fighting wars in 1667 [19] :41–50, 1689-90 [19] :51–55 and 1701-13. The French renounced their claim to the islands with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. [19] :55–60 [32] The islands' economy, already shattered by years of war, was further decimated by natural disasters: in 1690 an earthquake destroyed Jamestown, capital of Nevis, forcing the construction of a new capital at Charlestown; further damage was caused by a hurricane in 1707. [33] :105–108

British colonial period

The colony had recovered by the turn of the 18th century, and by the close of the 1700s St. Kitts had become the richest British Crown Colony per capita in the Caribbean as result of its slave-based sugar industry. [34] The 18th century also saw Nevis, formerly the richer of the two islands, being eclipsed by St Kitts in economic importance. [19] :75 [33] :126,137

The fortress on Brimstone Hill, focus of the French invasion of 1782 BrimstoneHill01.jpg
The fortress on Brimstone Hill, focus of the French invasion of 1782

As Britain became embroiled in war with its American colonies, the French decided to use the opportunity to re-capture St Kitts in 1782, however the attack was repulsed and St Kitts was recognised as British territory in the Treaty of Paris (1783). [35] [36]

The African slave trade was terminated within the British Empire in 1807, and slavery outlawed completely in 1834. A four-year "apprenticeship" period followed for each slave, in which they worked for their former owners for wages. On Nevis 8,815 slaves were freed in this way, while St. Kitts had 19,780 freed. [33] :174 [19] :110,114–117

Saint Kitts and Nevis, along with Anguilla, were federated in 1882. In the first few decades of the 20th century economic hardship and lack of opportunities led to the growth of a labour movement; the Great Depression led sugar workers to go on strike in 1935. [37] The 1940s saw the founding of the St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Labour Party (later renamed the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party, or SKNLP) [38] under Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw. Bradshaw later became Chief Minister and then Premier of the colony from 1966-1978; he sought to gradually bring the sugar-based economy under greater state control. [19] :151–152 The more conservative-leaning People's Action Movement party (PAM) was founded in 1965. [39]

After a brief period as part of the West Indies Federation (1958-62), the islands became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967. [40] Both Nevis and Anguilla were unhappy at St Kitts' domination of the federation, with Anguilla unilaterally declaring independence in 1967. [41] [42] In 1971 Britain resumed full control of Anguilla and it was formally separated in 1980. [43] [19] :147–149 [44] Attention then focused on Nevis, with the Nevis Reformation Party seeking to safeguard the smaller island's interests in any future independent state. Eventually it was agreed that the island would have a degree of autonomy with its own Premier and Assembly, as well as the constitutionally-protected right to unilaterally secede if a referendum on independence resulted in a two-thirds majority in favour. [45] [46] St Kitts and Nevis achieved full independence on 19 September 1983. [47] [48] Kennedy Simmonds of the PAM, Premier since 1980, duly became the country's first Prime Minister. St Kitts and Nevis opted to remain within the British Commonwealth, retaining Queen Elizabeth as Monarch, represented locally by a Governor-General.

Post independence era

Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister from 1995-2015 Denzil L Douglas.jpg
Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister from 1995-2015

Kennedy Simmonds went on to win elections in 1984, 1989 and 1993, before being unseated when the SKNLP returned to power in 1995 under Denzil Douglas. [49] [50]

In Nevis, growing discontent with their perceived marginalisation within the federation [51] led to a referendum to separate from St. Kitts in 1998, which though resulting a 62% vote to secede, fell short of the required two-thirds majority to be legally enacted. [52] [53] [54]

In late-September 1998, Hurricane Georges caused approximately $458,000,000 in damages and limited GDP growth for the year and beyond. Meanwhile the sugar industry, in decline for years and propped up only by government subsidies, was closed completely in 2005. [55]

The 2015 Saint Kitts and Nevis general election was won by Timothy Harris and his recently formed People's Labour Party, with backing from the PAM and the Nevis-based Concerned Citizens' Movement under the 'Team Unity' banner. [56]

Politics

Government House, Basseterre, is the official residence of the Governor-General of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Government House, Basseterre.jpg
Government House, Basseterre, is the official residence of the Governor-General of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Government headquarters of Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis Government building 2.JPG
Government headquarters of Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Nevis Island Assembly The Museum of Nevis History - Alexander Hamilton birthplace.jpg
The Nevis Island Assembly

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a sovereign, democratic and federal state. [57] The Queen of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Elizabeth II, is its head of state. [58] The Queen is represented in the country by a Governor-General, who acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party of the House, and the cabinet conducts affairs of state. The country may also be described by the unofficial term, "Commonwealth realm", because it is a constitutional monarchy which shares the same monarch as fifteen other members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

St. Kitts and Nevis has a unicameral legislature, known as the National Assembly. It is composed of fourteen members: eleven elected Representatives (three from the island of Nevis) and three Senators who are appointed by the Governor-General. [59] Two of the senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, and one on the advice of the leader of the opposition. Unlike in other countries senators do not constitute a separate Senate or upper house of parliament, but sit in the National Assembly alongside representatives. All members serve five-year terms. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are responsible to the Parliament. Nevis also maintains its own semi-autonomous Assembly.

Foreign relations

Saint Kitts and Nevis has no major international disputes. Saint Kitts and Nevis is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the Organisation of American States (OAS). [60]

Organisation of American States (OAS)

St. Kitts & Nevis entered the OAS system on 16 September 1984. [61]

Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA)

Three Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA) have been held with three past Summits, in Canada, Argentina and Panama. It was the intention of the leaders to have this Summit within the framework of that which was held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009. [62]

The position of the OAS with respect to indigenous persons appears to be developing over the years. The following statements appear to capture the position of the OAS with respect to the ILSA as at December 2016 according to the website of the Summit of Americas: "The OAS has supported and participated in the organisation of Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA)," according to the OAS's website. "The most recent statement made by the Heads of State of the hemisphere was in the Declaration of Commitments of Port of Spain in 2009 - Paragraph 86". [62]

The Draft American Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Persons appears to be a working document. The last "Meeting for Negotiations in the Quest for Consensus on this area appeared to be Meeting Number (18) eighteen and is listed as being held in May 2015 according to the website. [63] [ check quotation syntax ]

Agreements which impact on financial relationships

Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty 1994

At a CARICOM Meeting, representative of St. Kitts and Nevis, Kennedy Simmons signed The Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty 1994 on the 6 July 1994. [64]

The representatives of seven CARICOM countries signed similar agreements at Sherbourne Conference Centre, St. Michael, Barbados. [64] The countries whose representatives signed the treaties in Barbados were: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. [64] This treaty covered taxes, residence, tax jurisdictions, capital gains, business profits, interest, dividends, royalties and other areas.

FATCA

On 30 June 2014, St. Kitts and Nevis signed a Model 1 agreement with the United States of America in relation to Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). [65] At 28 April 2016, the status of the agreement went to "In Force".[ citation needed ]

Military

Saint Kitts and Nevis has a defence force of 300 personnel. It is mostly involved in policing and drug-trade interception.

Human rights

Male homosexuality is illegal in St. Kitts and Nevis. [66] In 2011, The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis said it has no mandate from the people to abolish the criminalisation of homosexuality among consenting adults. [67]

Administrative divisions

The federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is divided into fourteen parishes: nine divisions on Saint Kitts and five on Nevis.

  1. Christ Church Nichola Town (SK)
  2. Saint Anne Sandy Point (SK)
  3. Saint George Basseterre (SK)
  4. Saint John Capisterre (SK)
  5. Saint Mary Cayon (SK)
  6. Saint Paul Capisterre (SK)
  7. Saint Peter Basseterre (SK)
  8. Saint Thomas Middle Island (SK)
  9. Trinity Palmetto Point (SK)
  1. Saint George Gingerland (N)
  2. Saint James Windward (N)
  3. Saint John Figtree (N)
  4. Saint Paul Charlestown (N)
  5. Saint Thomas Lowland (N)

Geography

A map of Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis-CIA WFB Map.png
A map of Saint Kitts and Nevis
A view of Nevis island from the southeastern peninsula of Saint Kitts Stkitts-view-lookingatsea.jpg
A view of Nevis island from the southeastern peninsula of Saint Kitts

The country consists of two main islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, separated at a distance of 2 miles (3km) by The Narrows strait. [68] Both are of volcanic origin, with large central peaks covered in tropical rainforest. [69] The majority of the population live along the flatter coastal areas. [70] St Kitts contains several mountain ranges (the North West Range, Central Range and South-West Range) in its centre, where the highest peak of the country, Mount Liamuiga 1,156 metres (3,793 ft) can be found. [71] Along the east coast can be found the Canada Hills and Conaree Hills. The land narrows considerably in the south-east, forming a much flatter peninsula which contains the largest body of water, the Great Salt Pond.To the southeast, in The Narrows, lies the small isle of Booby Island. There are numerous rivers descending from the mountains of both islands, which provide fresh water to the local population. Nevis, the smaller of two main islands and roughly circular in shape, is dominated by Nevis Peak 985 metres (3,232 ft). [72]

Fauna

The national bird is the brown pelican. [73] There are 176 species of bird. [74]

Climate

By the Köppen climate classification, St. Kitts has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw) and Nevis has a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen Am). [75] Mean monthly temperatures in Basseterre varies little from 23.9 °C (75.0 °F) to 26.6 °C (79.9 °F). Yearly rainfall is approximately 2,400 millimetres (90 in), although it has varied from 1,356 millimetres (53.4 in) to 3,183 millimetres (125.3 in) in the period 1901–2015. [76]

Climate data for Saint Kitts and Nevis (1991-2015)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Daily mean °C (°F)23.9
(75.0)
23.8
(74.8)
24.0
(75.2)
24.7
(76.5)
25.5
(77.9)
26.2
(79.2)
26.3
(79.3)
26.6
(79.9)
26.4
(79.5)
26.0
(78.8)
25.4
(77.7)
24.4
(75.9)
25.3
(77.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches)150
(5.9)
102
(4.0)
99
(3.9)
153
(6.0)
219
(8.6)
181
(7.1)
214
(8.4)
232
(9.1)
222
(8.7)
289
(11.4)
286
(11.3)
225
(8.9)
2,372
(93.3)
Source: Climate Change Knowledge Portal [76]

Demographics

Downtown Basseterre, St. Kitts Downtown Basseterre, St. Kitts.jpg
Downtown Basseterre, St. Kitts

Religion in Saint kitts and Nevis (2001) [77]

  Anglican (20.6%)
  Methodist (19.1%)
  Pentecostal (8.18%)
  Church of God (6.83%)
  Roman Catholic (6.70%)
  Other (6.48%)
  Moravian (5.47%)
  No religion (atheism, agnosticism, etc) (5.17%)
  Baptist (4.79%)
  Seventh-day Adventist (4.67%)
  Not stated (3.21%)
  Brethren (1.79%)
  Jehovah's witness (1.32%)
  Rastafarian (1%)
  Hindu (0.80%)
  Muslim (0.28%)
  Presbyterian (0.20%)
  Salvation Army (0.13%)
  Baha'i (0.04%)

Population

The population of Saint Kitts and Nevis is around 53,000 (July 2019 est.) [78] and has remained relatively constant for many years. [79] At the end of the nineteenth century there were 42,600 residents, the number slowly rising to a little over 50,000 by the mid-twentieth century.[ citation needed ] Between 1960 and 1990, the population dropped from 50,000 to 40,000, before rising again to its current level. Approximately three-quarters of the population live on Saint Kitts, with 15,500 of these living in the capital, Basseterre. Other large settlements include Cayon (population 3,000) and Sandy Point Town (3,000), both on Saint Kitts, and Gingerland (2,500) and Charlestown (1,900), both on Nevis.

The population is mainly of Afro-Caribbean (92.5%), with significant minorities of European (2.1%) and Indian (1.5%) descent (2001 estimate). [1]

As of 2016, there were 54,821 inhabitants; their average life expectancy is 76.9 years. Emigration has historically been very high, so high that the total estimated population in 2007 was little changed from that in 1961. [80]

Emigration from St. Kitts and Nevis to the United States: [73]

  • 1986–1990: 3,513
  • 1991–1995: 2,730
  • 1996–2000: 2,101
  • 2001–2005: 1,756
  • 2006–2010: 1,817

Religion

Most inhabitants (82%) are Christians, mainly Anglicans and other Protestants denominations, with a smaller population of Catholics. [81] Roman Catholics are pastorally served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgetown (on Barbados), while the Anglicans by the Diocese of the North East Caribbean and Aruba.

Culture

The Mongoose Play, a popular production of folk theatre and music MongoosePlay.jpg
The Mongoose Play , a popular production of folk theatre and music

English is the sole official language. Saint Kitts Creole is also widely spoken.

Saint Kitts and Nevis is known for a number of musical celebrations including Carnival (18 December to 3 January on Saint Kitts). The last week in June features the St Kitts Music Festival, while the week-long Culturama on Nevis lasts from the end of July into early August. [82]

Additional festivals on the island of Saint Kitts include Inner City Fest, in February in Molineaux; Green Valley Festival, usually around Whit Monday in village of Cayon; Easterama, around Easter in village of Sandy Point; Fest-Tab, in July or August in the village of Tabernacle; and La festival de Capisterre, around Independence Day in Saint Kitts and Nevis (19 September), in the Capisterre region. These celebrations typically feature parades, street dances and salsa, jazz, soca, calypso and steelpan music.

The 1985 film Missing in Action 2: The Beginning was filmed in Saint Kitts. [83]

Sports

Cricket is common in Saint Kitts and Nevis. Top players can be selected for the West Indies cricket team. The late Runako Morton was from Nevis. Saint Kitts and Nevis was the smallest country to host 2007 Cricket World Cup matches. [84]

Rugby and netball are also common in Saint Kitts and Nevis as well.

The St. Kitts and Nevis national football team, also known as the "Sugar Boyz", has experienced some international success in recent years, progressing to the semi-final round of qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in the CONCACAF region. Led by Glence Glasgow, they defeated the US Virgin Islands and Barbados before they were outmatched by Mexico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Despite not representing the country, Marcus Rashford is of descent.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Billiard Federation, SKNBF, is the governing body for cue sports across the two islands. The SKNBF is a member of the Caribbean Billiards Union (CBU) with the SKNBF President Ste Williams holding the post of CBU Vice-President.

Kim Collins is the country's foremost track and field athlete. He has won gold medals in the 100 metres at both the World Championships in Athletics and Commonwealth Games, and at the 2000 Sydney Olympics he was the country's first athlete to reach an Olympic final. He and three other athletes represented St. Kitts and Nevis at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The four by one hundred metre relay team won a bronze medal in the 2011 world championships.

American writer and former figure skater and triathlete Kathryn Bertine was granted dual citizenship in an attempt to make the 2008 Summer Olympics representing St. Kitts and Nevis in women's cycling. Her story was chronicled online at ESPN.com as a part of its E-Ticket feature entitled "So You Wanna Be An Olympian?" She ultimately failed to earn the necessary points for Olympic qualification. [85]

St. Kitts and Nevis had two athletes ride in the time trial at the 2010 UCI Road World Championships: Reginald Douglas and James Weekes. [86]

Economy

The capital, Basseterre Basseterre from sea 2.JPG
The capital, Basseterre

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a twin-island federation whose economy is characterised by its dominant tourism, agriculture, and light manufacturing industries. [87] Sugar was the primary export from the 1940s on, but rising production costs, low world market prices, and the government's efforts to reduce dependence on it have led to a growing diversification of the agricultural sector. In 2005, the government decided to close down the state-owned sugar company, which had experienced losses and was a significant contributor to the fiscal deficit. [88] [89]

St. Kitts and Nevis is heavily dependent upon tourism to drive its economy, a sector which has expanded significantly since the 1970s. [90] [91] In 2009 there were 587,479 arrivals to Saint Kitts compared to 379,473 in 2007, an increase of just under 40% in a two-year period, however the tourist sector decreased during the Global financial crisis and has only recently returned to pre-crash levels. [92] In recent years the government has sought to diversify the economy via agricultural, tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore-banking. [93]

In July 2015, St Kitts & Nevis and the Republic of Ireland signed a tax agreement to "promote international co-operation in tax matters through exchange of information." The agreement was developed by the OECD Global Forum Working Group on Effective Exchange of Information, which consisted of representatives from OECD member countries and 11 other countries in the Caribbean and other parts of the world. [94]

Transport

Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport on St Kitts St. Kitts Airport Terminal from side.jpg
Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport on St Kitts
Vance W. Amory International Airport on Nevis Vance Amory International Airport, Nevis.JPG
Vance W. Amory International Airport on Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis has two international airports. The larger one is Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport on the island of Saint Kitts with service outside to the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. The other airport, Vance W. Amory International Airport, is located on the island of Nevis and has flights to other parts of the Caribbean.

The St. Kitts Scenic Railway is the last remaining running railroad in the Lesser Antilles.

Economic citizenship by investment

St. Kitts allows foreigners to obtain the status of St. Kitts citizen by means of a government sponsored investment programme called Citizenship-by-Investment. [95] [96] Established in 1984, St. Kitts' citizenship programme is the oldest prevailing economic citizenship programme of this kind in the world. However, while the programme is the oldest in the world, it only catapulted in 2006 when Henley & Partners, a global citizenship advisory firm, became involved in the restructuring of the programme to incorporate donations to the country's sugar industry. [97]

Citizenship-by-Investment Programmes have been criticised by some researchers due to the risks of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. [98] According to the official website of St. Kitts' Citizenship-by-Investment Programme they offer multiple benefits: "When you acquire citizenship under the St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship programme, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent. As citizens of St. Kitts & Nevis, you and your family are issued with passports which allow visa-free travel to more than 130 countries [99] and territories worldwide, including all of the EU. Of course you have the right to take up residence in St. Kitts & Nevis as well as in most of the CARICOM member countries at any time and for any length of time". [100]

Each candidate must go through several legal steps and make a qualifying investment into the country [100] and should complete certain legal requirements to qualify for citizenship under the investment programme. There is a minimum investment that has to be made by the applicant, in either an approved real estate or in the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (a public charity), to qualify for the economic citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis.[ citation needed ]

According to Henley & Partners, the requirements are as follows: [101] [102]

According to Imperial & Legal, from 1 April 2018 St Kitts and Nevis government implemented a new investment option – Contribution to Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). To qualify for citizenship of St Kitts & Nevis, applicants who choose to invest in SGF will need to make a one-off non-refundable contribution of $150,000 plus due diligence fees. [103]

Education

There are eight publicly administered high and secondary level schools in St Kitts and Nevis, and several private secondary schools. Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16. [104]

See also

Related Research Articles

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The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis has traditionally depended on the growing and processing of sugar cane; decreasing world prices have hurt the industry in recent years. Tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking activity have assumed larger roles. Most food is imported. The government has undertaken a program designed to revitalize the faltering sugar sector. It is also working to improve revenue collection in order to better fund social programs. In 1997, some leaders in Nevis were urging separation from Saint Kitts on the basis that Nevis was paying far more in taxes than it was receiving in government services, but the vote on cessation failed in August 1998. In late September 1998, Hurricane Georges caused approximately $445 million in damages and limited GDP growth for the year.

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Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis flag

The flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis consists of a yellow-edged black band containing two white stars that divides diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner, with a green upper triangle and red lower triangle. Adopted in 1983 to replace the flag of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, it has been the flag of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis since the country gained independence that year. Although the flag utilises the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement, the symbolism behind them is interpreted differently. The three islands later became part of the West Indies Federation in 1958; after this dissolved four years later, they were granted the status of associate state as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. However, Anguilla decided to secede from the federation in 1969, owing to fears that their population, which was already small, would be further marginalised in parliament. This was eventually formalised in 1980, and a new flag for the remaining parts of the federation was needed, since the symbolism of the previous flag centred on the concept of a union of three.

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Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw Saint Kitts and Nevis political leader and labour activist

Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw was the first Premier of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, and previously served as Chief Minister, legislator, and labour activist.

Timothy Harris Saint Kitts and Nevis politician

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Outline of Saint Kitts and Nevis Overview of and topical guide to Saint Kitts and Nevis

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Saint Kitts and Nevis:

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Saint Kitts and Nevis passport passport

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Constitution of Saint Kitts and Nevis

The Constitution of Saint Kitts and Nevis was adopted on 23 June 1983 and took effect when the country became independent on 19 September 1983. It consists of 11 chapters and various schedules, which establish the rights, responsibilities and definition of the citizens of the federation. It also provides the form and structure of government, and enumerates the powers of the different branches of government. Its treatment of the island of Nevis is rather unusual among federated nations.

India–Saint Kitts and Nevis relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and Saint Kitts and Nevis

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The Commonwealth of Dominica has been operating a citizenship by investment programme since 1993, making it the second Caribbean island-nation to launch one such programme – having been preceded by the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. The Dominica Citizenship by Investment Programme, sometimes referred to as the Dominica Economic Citizenship Programme, is framed within Section 101 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the 1978 Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship Act, and regulations published in 2014, 2016, and 2017. Under the Programme, an investor can obtain citizenship of Dominica upon the payment of a one-time contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund, or, as of 2014, upon the purchase of an approved project – generally a real estate development – and the payment of a Government fee.

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