ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
(pronounced "DEN-zihl DOUG-lass")
"We have all been motivated and sensitized as to the future role that we have to play as Caribbean leaders."
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis (St. Kitts is an abbreviation for St. Christopher) is located in the eastern Caribbean at the northern end of the Leeward Islands group, part of a chain of islands known as the Lesser Antilles. The country's total area is 261 sq km (101 sq mi), encompassing two islands. The larger, St. Kitts, at 168 sq km (65 sq mi), is an oval-shaped island only about 8 km (5 mi) wide. Its highest elevation is 1,156 m (3,792 ft) on Mount Liamuiga, an extinct volcano with a lake in its crater, forested mountain slopes, and streams. The smaller island, Nevis, lying 3.2 km (2 mi) to the southeast of St. Kitts, covers 93 sq km (36 sq mi) and is a volcanic cone nearly circular in shape. More rocky and less fertile than St. Kitts, its highest elevation is 985 m (3,232 ft) at the summit of Nevis Peak. The two islands boast many beaches, a pleasant tropical climate, and a mean temperature of 27ºC (80ºF), all of which are valuable assets to the tourism industry.
English is the official and principal language of the country. Most of the population is of African descent—from ancestors who were brought to the Caribbean region to work as slaves on the sugar plantations. The estimated population in mid-2002 was 38,756, with approximately 15,000 of those living in the capital city of Basseterre, a coastal city on the island of St. Kitts and chief port of the country. The largest city on Nevis is Charlestown. The primary religion is Anglican, a Protestant religion originating in England and brought by the English who first settled the islands. The economy is primarily based on tourism and sugar cane. Other products include cotton, electronic equipment, salt and clothing, while imports include food, manufactured goods, machinery, and fuel. In 2001 the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US $8,700. Major trading partners include the United States, Great Britain, Trinidad and Tobago, and Canada. The unit of currency is the East Caribbean ( EC ) dollar, adopted in the 1970s by a number of countries.
Office of the Prime Minister
PO Box 186
Basseterre, St. Kitts