Montserrat

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Montserrat
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Location of Montserrat
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Map of Montserrat
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Photos of Montserrat
 
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OF MONTSERRAT
 

Introduction

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English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island's sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid 19th century. Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995. Montserrat has endured volcanic activity since, with the last eruption occurring in July 2003.
 
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Geography

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Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
 
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16 45 N, 62 12 W
 
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total: 102 sq km
country comparison to the world: 226
land: 102 sq km
water: 0 sq km
 
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about 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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40 km
 
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territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
 
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tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
 
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volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland
 
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lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: lava dome in English's Crater (in the Soufriere Hills volcanic complex) estimated at over 930 m (2006)
 
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NEGL
 
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arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 80% (2005)
 
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NA
 
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severe hurricanes (June to November); volcanic eruptions
volcanism: Soufriere Hills volcano, at a height of 915 m (3,010 ft), has erupted continuously since 1995; a massive eruption in 1997 destroyed most of the capital, Plymouth, and resulted in approximately half of the island becoming uninhabitable
 
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land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation
 
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the island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centers of differing ages
 
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People and Society

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noun: Montserratian(s)
adjective: Montserratian
 
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black, white
 
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English
 
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Protestant (Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Christian denominations), Roman Catholic
 
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5,140 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 230
note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left the island following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some have returned
 
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0-14 years: 26.9% (male 717/female 665)
15-64 years: 66.6% (male 1,648/female 1,777)
65 years and over: 6.5% (male 208/female 125) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 29.6 years
male: 29.2 years
female: 30.1 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.447% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
 
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11.67 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
 
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7.2 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
 
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0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
 
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urban population: 14% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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at birth: 1.033 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.03 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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total: 15.23 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 117
male: 11.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 73.16 years
country comparison to the world: 121
male: 74.99 years
female: 71.24 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.26 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 96% of population
total: 96% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 4% of population
total: 4% of population (2008)
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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3.3% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 121
 
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definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 97% (1970 est.)
 
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total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 17 years (2007)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Montserrat
 
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overseas territory of the UK
 
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NA
 
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name: Plymouth
geographic coordinates: 16 42 N, 62 13 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Plymouth was abandoned in 1997 because of volcanic activity; interim government buildings have been built at Brades Estate in the Carr's Bay/Little Bay vicinity at the northwest end of Montserrat
 
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3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter
 
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none (overseas territory of the UK)
 
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Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
 
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Montserrat Constitution Order 2010, effective 1 September 2011
 
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English common law
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Adrian DAVIS (since 8 April 2011)
head of government: Premier Rueben T. MEADE (since 27 September 2011); note - the office of premier came into effect with the new Constitution Order
cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, the premier, 3 other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes premier
 
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unicameral Legislative Council (11 seats; 9 members popularly elected to serve five-year terms; the attorney general and financial secretary sit as ex-officio members)
elections: last held on 8 September 2009 (next to be held by 2014)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MCAP 6, independents 3
 
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Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based in Saint Lucia, one judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the High Court)
 
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Montserrat Democratic Party or MDP [Lowell LEWIS]; Movement for Change and Prosperity or MCAP [Roselyn CASSELL-SEALY]; New People's Liberation Movement or NPLM [John A. OSBORNE]
 
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NA
 
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Caricom, CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU
 
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none (overseas territory of the UK)
 
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none (overseas territory of the UK)
 
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blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Montserratian coat of arms centered in the outer half of the flag; the arms feature a woman in green dress, Erin, the female personification of Ireland, standing beside a yellow harp and embracing a large dark cross with her right arm; Erin and the harp are symbols of Ireland reflecting the territory's Irish ancestry; blue represents awareness, trustworthiness, determination, and righteousness
 
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note: as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)
 
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Economy

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Severe volcanic activity, which began in July 1995, has put a damper on this small, open economy. A catastrophic eruption in June 1997 closed the airports and seaports, causing further economic and social dislocation. Two-thirds of the 12,000 inhabitants fled the island. Some began to return in 1998 but lack of housing limited the number. The agriculture sector continued to be affected by the lack of suitable land for farming and the destruction of crops. Prospects for the economy depend largely on developments in relation to the volcanic activity and on public sector construction activity. The UK has launched a three-year $122.8 million aid program to help reconstruct the economy. Half of the island is expected to remain uninhabitable for another decade.
 
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$29 million (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 225
 
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$NA
 
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-1% (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
 
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$3,400 (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
 
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agriculture: 1.6%
industry: 22.9%
services: 75.6% (2010 est.)
 
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NA
 
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6% (1998 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
 
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NA%
 
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
 
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38% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
 
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revenues: $31.4 million
expenditures: $37.04 million (2010 est.)
 
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0.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
3.1% (2009 est.)
 
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10.99% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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8.728% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
9.045% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$16.97 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
$19.08 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$70.26 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
$69.63 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$12.59 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
$11.85 million (31 December 2007 est.)
 
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cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
 
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tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
 
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NA%
 
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22 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 210
 
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20.46 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
 
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1,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
 
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564 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
 
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-$18.1 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
-$12.68 million (2009 est.)
 
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$3.4 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 218
$3.16 million (2009 est.)
 
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electronic components, plastic bags, apparel; hot peppers, limes, live plants; cattle
 
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$31.5 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 219
$26.07 million (2009 est.)
 
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machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials
 
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$8.9 million (1997)
country comparison to the world: 195
 
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East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2010)
2.7 (2009)
2.7 (2005)
2.7 (2004)
2.7 (2003)
 
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Communications

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2,600 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 221
 
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4,200 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 215
 
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general assessment: modern and fully digitalized
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 100 per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-664; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS) optic submarine cable with links to 13 other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad
 
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Radio Montserrat, a public radio broadcaster, transmits on 1 station and has a repeater transmission to a second station; repeater transmissions from the GEM Radio Network of Trinidad and Tobago provide another 2 radio stations; cable and satellite TV are obtainable (2007)
 
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.ms
 
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552 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 177
 
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1,200 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 213
 
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Transportation

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2 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 199
 
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total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2010)
 
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note: volcanic eruptions that began in 1995 destroyed most of the 227 km road system; a new road infrastructure has been built on the north end of the island (2008)
 
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Little Bay, Plymouth
 
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Military

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no regular military forces; Royal Montserrat Police Force (2010)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,353 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,135
females age 16-49: 1,223 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 35
female: 34 (2010 est.)
 
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defense is the responsibility of the UK
 
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Transnational Issues

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none
 
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transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe
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