Saint Kitts and Nevis

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 14, 2011
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Location of Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Map of Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Introduction

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Carib Indians occupied the islands for hundreds of years before the British began settlement in 1623. The islands became an associated state of the UK with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Nevis continues in its efforts to separate from Saint Kitts.
 
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Geography

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Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago
 
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17 20 N, 62 45 W
 
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total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
country comparison to the world: 212
land: 261 sq km
water: 0 sq km
 
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one and a half times the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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135 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
 
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tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
 
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volcanic with mountainous interiors
 
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lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m
 
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arable land
 
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arable land: 19.44%
permanent crops: 2.78%
other: 77.78% (2005)
 
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0.2 sq km (2008)
 
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0.02 cu km (2000)
 
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hurricanes (July to October)
 
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NA
 
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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with coastlines in the shape of a baseball bat and ball, the two volcanic islands are separated by a 3-km-wide channel called The Narrows; on the southern tip of long, baseball bat-shaped Saint Kitts lies the Great Salt Pond; Nevis Peak sits in the center of its almost circular namesake island and its ball shape complements that of its sister island
 
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People and Society

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noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian
 
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predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
 
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English (official)
 
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Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
 
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50,314 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
 
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0-14 years: 22.8% (male 5,701/female 5,755)
15-64 years: 69.6% (male 17,740/female 17,297)
65 years and over: 7.6% (male 1,681/female 2,140) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 32 years
male: 32.1 years
female: 32 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.823% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
 
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14.07 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
 
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7.1 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
 
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1.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
 
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urban population: 32% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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BASSETERRE (capital) 13,000 (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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total: 9.66 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 152
male: 6.36 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 74.6 years
country comparison to the world: 97
male: 72.25 years
female: 77.01 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.79 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
 
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6% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 108
 
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1.0952 physicians/1,000 population (2000)
country comparison to the world: 99
 
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6 beds/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 25
 
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improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 1% 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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9.6% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 6
 
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definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97.8%
male: NA
female: NA (2003 est.)
 
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total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2008)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis
former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
 
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parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
 
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name: Basseterre
geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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14 parishes; Christ Church Nichola Town, Saint Anne Sandy Point, Saint George Basseterre, Saint George Gingerland, Saint James Windward, Saint John Capesterre, Saint John Figtree, Saint Mary Cayon, Saint Paul Capesterre, Saint Paul Charlestown, Saint Peter Basseterre, Saint Thomas Lowland, Saint Thomas Middle Island, Trinity Palmetto Point
 
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19 September 1983 (from the UK)
 
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Independence Day, 19 September (1983)
 
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19 September 1983
 
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English common law
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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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 General Cuthbert Montraville SEBASTIAN (since 1 January 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995); Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister
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elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
 
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unicameral National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 25 January 2010 (next to be held by 2015)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SKNLP 6, CCM 2, PAM 2, NRP 1
 
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Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consisting of a Court of Appeal and a High Court; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court reside in Saint Kitts and Nevis); member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
 
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Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]; Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]; People's Action Movement or PAM [Lindsay GRANT]; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]
 
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NA
 
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ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, PetroCaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Jacinth HENRY-MARTIN
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636
FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740
consulate(s) general: New York
 
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the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis
 
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divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a broad black band bearing two white, five-pointed stars; the black band is edged in yellow; the upper triangle is green, the lower triangle is red; green signifies the island's fertility, red symbolizes the struggles of the people from slavery, yellow denotes year-round sunshine, and black represents the African heritage of the people; the white stars stand for the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, but can also express hope and liberty, or independence and optimism
 
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brown pelican
 
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name: "Oh Land of Beauty!"
lyrics/music: Kenrick Anderson GEORGES
note: adopted 1983
 
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Economy

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The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis is heavily dependent upon tourism revenues, which has replaced sugar, the traditional mainstay of the economy until the 1970s. Following the 2005 harvest, the government closed the sugar industry after decades of losses of 3-4% of GDP annually. To compensate for employment losses, the government has embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and to stimulate other sectors of the economy, such as tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking. More than 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2009. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. The current government is constrained by one of the world's highest public debt burdens equivalent to roughly 185% of GDP, largely attributable to public enterprise losses.
 
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$684 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 210
$694.6 million (2009 est.)
$768.2 million (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$531 million (2010 est.)
 
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-1.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
-9.6% (2009 est.)
4.6% (2008 est.)
 
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$13,700 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
$14,000 (2009 est.)
$15,700 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 2.6%
industry: 22.8%
services: 74.6% (2010 est.)
 
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18,170 (June 1995)
country comparison to the world: 209
 
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4.5% (1997)
country comparison to the world: 41
 
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NA%
 
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
 
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37% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
 
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revenues: $185.2 million
expenditures: $185.2 million (2010 est.)
 
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34.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
 
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0% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
 
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185% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
 
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0.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
2% (2009 est.)
 
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6.5% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 55
6.5% (31 December 2008)
 
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8.625% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
8.775% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$113.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
$111.3 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$879.1 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
$823.8 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$703.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
$703.7 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$623.9 million (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 108
$648 million (31 December 2009)
$595.2 million (31 December 2008)
 
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sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish
 
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tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages
 
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NA%
 
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130 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
 
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120.9 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
 
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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: 195
 
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2,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
 
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1,699 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
 
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-$140.5 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
-$184.8 million (2009 est.)
 
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$61.7 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
$57.56 million (2009 est.)
 
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machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
 
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US 56.5%, Canada 9.2%, Azerbaijan 5% (2010)
 
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$292.7 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
$266 million (2009 est.)
 
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machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
 
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US 39.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 17%, Poland 4.7%, Barbados 4% (2010)
 
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$168.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
$136.4 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$215.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
$226.6 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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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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20,600 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 192
 
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84,600 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 193
 
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general assessment: good interisland and international connections
domestic: interisland links via Eastern Caribbean Fiber Optic cable; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004; fixed-line teledensity about 40 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 160 per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-869; connected internationally by the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables
 
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the government operates a national television network that broadcasts on 2 channels; cable subscription services provide access to local and international channels; the government operates a national radio network; a mix of government-owned and privately-owned broadcasters operate roughly 15 radio stations (2007)
 
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.kn
 
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51 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 210
 
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17,000 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 196
 
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Transportation

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2 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 208
 
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total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 50 km
country comparison to the world: 131
narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)
 
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total: 383 km
country comparison to the world: 200
paved: 163 km
unpaved: 220 km (2002)
 
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total: 160
country comparison to the world: 41
by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 92, chemical tanker 4, combination ore/oil 1, container 3, liquefied gas 4, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 24, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 3
foreign-owned: 94 (Bahrain 1, Belgium 1, China 1, Estonia 3, Italy 1, Japan 3, Kuwait 3, Latvia 2, Malaysia 1, Norway 1, Pakistan 3, Russia 11, Singapore 5, Syria 5, Turkey 22, UAE 17, UK 2, Ukraine 10, US 1, Yemen 1) (2010)
 
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Basseterre, Charlestown
 
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Military

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Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force; for national security, Saint Kitts and Nevis relies on the Regional Security System, headquartered in Barbados (2011)
 
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18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)
 
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males age 16-49: 13,506
females age 16-49: 13,089 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 10,742
females age 16-49: 10,923 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 380
female: 422 (2010 est.)
 
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NA
 
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Transnational Issues

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joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UNCLOS, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea
 
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transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; some money-laundering activity
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