Saint Kitts and Nevis - KN - KNA - SKN - Central America and the Caribbean

Last updated: February 20, 2024
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Saint Kitts and Nevis Factbook Data

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis

Age structure

0-14 years: 19.4% (male 5,338/female 5,298)

15-64 years: 68.54% (male 18,958/female 18,615)

65 years and over: 12.05% (2023 est.) (male 3,146/female 3,462)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Saint Kitts and Nevis. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

17 20 N, 62 45 W

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Natural hazards

hurricanes (July to October)

volcanism: Mount Liamuiga (1,156 m) on Saint Kitts, and Nevis Peak (985 m) on Nevis, are both volcanoes that are part of the volcanic island arc of the Lesser Antilles, which extends from Saba in the north to Grenada in the south


Area - comparative

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women (under 18 with written parental permission); no conscription (2023)

Background

Carib Indians occupied the islands of the West Indies for hundreds of years before the British and French began settlement in 1623. During the course of the 17th century, Saint Kitts became the premier base for English and French expansion into the Caribbean. The French ceded the territory to the UK in 1713. At the turn of the 18th century, Saint Kitts was the richest British Crown Colony per capita in the Caribbean, a result of the sugar trade. Although small in size and separated by only 3 km (2 mi) of water, Saint Kitts and Nevis were viewed and governed as different states until the late-19th century, when the British forcibly unified them along with the island of Anguilla. In 1967, the island territory of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla became an associated state of the UK with full internal autonomy. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. The remaining islands achieved independence in 1983 as Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 1998, a referendum on Nevis to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority vote needed.

Environment - current issues

deforestation; soil erosion and silting affects marine life on coral reefs; water pollution from uncontrolled dumping of sewage

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Population below poverty line

NA

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

broadcasting equipment, recreational boats, electrical plugs and sockets, measuring instruments, electrical transformers (2021)

Exports - partners

United States 56%, Italy 19%, Canada 4%, Germany 3%, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3% (2021)

Administrative divisions

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

Agricultural products

coconuts, tropical fruit, roots/tubers, vegetables, sweet potatoes, pulses, watermelons, carrots/turnips, eggs, tomatoes

Military and security forces

Ministry of National Security: St. Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (SKNDF), St. Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard, the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (2024)

note: the Nevis Police Force includes the paramilitary Special Services Unit

Budget

revenues: $286 million (2020 est.)

expenditures: $324 million (2020 est.)

Capital

name: Basseterre

geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the French name translates as "low land" in English; the reference is to the city's low-lying location within a valley, as well as to the fact that the city is on the leeward (downwind) part of the island, and is thus a safe anchorage

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, ships, cars, poultry, valves, jewelry (2021)

Climate

tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)

Coastline

135 km

Constitution

history: several previous (preindependence); latest presented 22 June 1983, effective 23 June 1983

amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires approval by at least two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership and assent of the governor general; amendments to constitutional provisions such as the sovereignty of the federation, fundamental rights and freedoms, the judiciary, and the Nevis Island Assembly also require approval in a referendum by at least two thirds of the votes cast in Saint Kitts and in Nevis

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
2.7 (2021 est.)
2.7 (2020 est.)
2.7 (2019 est.)
2.7 (2018 est.)
2.7 (2017 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor General Marcella LIBURD (since 1 February 2023)

head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Terrance DREW (since 6 August 2022); Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Geoffrey HANLEY (since 13 August 2022)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by governor general in consultation with prime minister

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by governor general

Fiscal year

calendar year

Flag description

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

Illicit drugs

a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean; some local demand for cocaine and some use of synthetic drugs


Independence

19 September 1983 (from the UK)

Industries

tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the superior court of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - headquartered on St. Lucia - consists of the Court of Appeal - headed by the chief justice and 4 judges - and the High Court with 18 judges; the Court of Appeal is itinerant, traveling to member states on a schedule to hear appeals from the High Court and subordinate courts; High Court judges reside in the member states, with 2 assigned to Saint Kitts and Nevis; note - the ECSC in 2003 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final court of appeal on Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Kitts and Nevis is also a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice

judge selection and term of office: chief justice of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court appointed by His Majesty, King Charles III; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, an independent body of judicial officials; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62

subordinate courts: magistrates' courts

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Land use

agricultural land: 23.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 19.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 42.3% (2018 est.)

other: 34.6% (2018 est.)

Legal system

English common law

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly (14 or 15 seats, depending on inclusion of attorney general; 11 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 3 appointed by the governor general - 2 on the advice of the prime minister and the third on the advice of the opposition leader; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 5 August 2022 (next to be held on 2027)

election results: percent of vote by party - SKNLP 44.4%, PLP 16.1%, PAM 16.2%, CCM 12.7%, other 10.6%; seats by party - SKNLP 6, CCM 3, PLP 1, CCM 1

Maritime claims

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

International organization participation

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO

National holiday

Independence Day, 19 September (1983)

Nationality

noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)

adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian

Natural resources

arable land

Geography - note

smallest country in the Western Hemisphere both in terms of area and population; 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

Economic overview

high-income, tourism-based Caribbean OECS economy; better debt balancing; CARICOM and ECCU member; growing offshore financial and telecommunications hub; environmentally fragile; unique citizenship-driven growth model

Political parties and leaders

Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Mark BRANTLEY]
Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Dr. Janice DANIEL-HODGE]
People's Action Movement or PAM [Shawn K. RICHARDS]
People's Labour Party or PLP [Dr. Timothy HARRIS]
Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Terrance DREW]

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Basseterre, Charlestown

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: good interisland and international connections; broadband access; expanded FttP (Fiber to the Home) and LTE markets; regulatory development; telecom sector contributes greatly to the overall GDP; telecom sector is a growth area (2020)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is 33 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is 120 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 1-869; landing points for the ECFS, Southern Caribbean Fiber and the SSCS submarine cables providing connectivity for numerous Caribbean Islands (2019)

Terrain

volcanic with mountainous interiors

Government type

federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

Country name

conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis

conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis

former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis

etymology: Saint Kitts was, and still is, referred to as Saint Christopher and this name was well established by the 17th century (although who first applied the name is unclear); in the 17th century a common nickname for Christopher was Kit or Kitt, so the island began to be referred to as "Saint Kitt's Island" or just "Saint Kitts"; Nevis is derived from the original Spanish name "Nuestra Senora de las Nieves" (Our Lady of the Snows) and refers to the white halo of clouds that generally wreathes Nevis Peak

note: Nevis is pronounced nee-vis

Location

Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago

Map references

Central America and the Caribbean

Irrigated land

8 sq km (2012)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jacinth HENRY-MARTIN (since 15 September 2023)

chancery: 1203 19th St. NW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636

FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740

email address and website:
stkittsnevis@embskn.com

Embassy of St.Kitts and Nevis to the USA – and Permanent Mission to the OAS (embassydc.gov.kn)

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Internet country code

.kn

GDP (official exchange rate)

$964 million (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 17 years

male: 16 years

female: 19 years (2015)

Urbanization

urban population: 31.1% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.06% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

the government operates a national TV 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 (2019)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.3% of population

rural: 98.3% of population

total: 98.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.7% of population

rural: 1.7% of population

total: 1.7% of population (2015 est.)

National anthem

name: "Oh Land of Beauty!"

lyrics/music: Kenrick Anderson GEORGES

note: adopted 1983
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Saint Kitts and Nevis. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Major urban areas - population

14,000 BASSETERRE (capital) (2018)

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Hospital bed density

4.8 beds/1,000 population (2012)

National symbol(s)

brown pelican, royal poinciana (flamboyant) tree; national colors: green, yellow, red, black, white

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 41.4% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 25.9% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 30.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 62.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -60.4% (2017 est.)

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 14 years

Population distribution

population clusters are found in the small towns located on the periphery of both islands

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

V4

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 87.3% of population

rural: 87.3% of population

total: 87.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 12.7% of population

rural: 12.7% of population

total: 12.7% of population (2017 est.)

Ethnic groups

African descent 92.5%, mixed 3%, White 2.1%, East Indian 1.5%, other 0.6%, unspecified 0.3% (2001 est.)

Religions

Protestant 75.6% (includes Anglican 16.6%, Methodist 15.8%, Pentecostal 10.8%, Church of God 7.4%, Baptist 5.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Wesleyan Holiness 5.3%, Moravian 4.8%, Evangelical 2.1%, Brethren 1.7%, Presbyterian 0.3%), Roman Catholic 5.9%, Hindu 1.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.4%, Rastafarian 1.3%, other 5%, none 8.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)

Languages

English (official)

Imports - partners

United States 50%, Trinidad and Tobago 10%, China 5%, Jamaica 4%, Germany 4% (2021)

Disputes - international

none identified


Elevation

highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Physicians density

2.77 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

NA

Current health expenditure

5.4% of GDP (2020)

Military - note

St. Kitts joined the Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS) in 1984; RSS signatories (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) agreed to prepare contingency plans and assist one another, on request, in national emergencies, prevention of smuggling, search and rescue, immigration control, fishery protection, customs and excise control, maritime policing duties, protection of off-shore installations, pollution control, national and other disasters, and threats to national security

SKNDF's missions included defense of the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty, protecting natural resources, interdicting narcotics trafficking, and providing humanitarian relief as needed (2024)

Literacy

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 41.7

youth dependency ratio: 28

elderly dependency ratio: 13.7

potential support ratio: 7.3 (2021)

Military and security service personnel strengths

less than 500 active personnel (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the SKNDF is lightly armed with equipment from Belgium, the UK, and the US (2023)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 0 cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 200,000 cubic meters (2017 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 32,892 tons (2015 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 8.05 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.24 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.1 megatons (2020 est.)

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 1 (cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park

Heliports

1 (2024)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 96.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 3.7% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 1,800 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.87 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

57.2% (2023 est.)

Remittances

4.32% of GDP (2021 est.)
3.57% of GDP (2020 est.)
3.82% of GDP (2019 est.)

Labor force

18,170 (June 1995 est.)

Net migration rate

1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 38.1 years (2023 est.)

male: 38.3 years

female: 37.8 years

Debt - external

$201.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$187.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$337.533 million (31 December 2021 est.)
$373.502 million (31 December 2020 est.)
$362.798 million (31 December 2019 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

1,743 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

62.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
61.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.76 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.5% (1997)

Population

54,817 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

1.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 37,920 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 79% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

268,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 268,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)

land: 261 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Taxes and other revenues

15.03% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.261 billion (2021 est.)
$1.272 billion (2020 est.)
$1.488 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Roadways

total: 383 km (2002)

paved: 163 km (2002)

unpaved: 220 km (2002)

Infant mortality rate

total: 8.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 5.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.8 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 57,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 120 (2021 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.2% (2021 est.)
-1.17% (2020 est.)
-0.33% (2019 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

-$61.009 million (2021 est.)
-$78.456 million (2020 est.)
-$25.045 million (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$26,500 (2021 est.)
$26,700 (2020 est.)
$31,200 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 30,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 56 (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

22.9% (2016)

Energy consumption per capita

71.96 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

12.1 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 71,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 175.34 million kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 40 million kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 341 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 22, container ship 16, general cargo 85, oil tanker 59, other 159

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

NA

Imports

$441.192 million (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$432.584 million (2020 est.)
$602.385 million (2019 est.)

Exports

$408.471 million (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$383.152 million (2020 est.)
$598.343 million (2019 est.)

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 15,700 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 8.84 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 3.73 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 1.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 3.89 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.21 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.3 years (2023 est.)

male: 74.9 years

female: 79.8 years

Real GDP growth rate

-0.88% (2021 est.)
-14.53% (2020 est.)
4.05% (2019 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

1.55% (2021 est.)

Railways

total: 50 km (2008)

narrow gauge: 50 km (2008) 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 30% (2017 est.)

services: 68.9% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

2.5% of GDP (2021 est.)

Population growth rate

0.59% (2023 est.)

Airports

2 (2024)