Caribbean Stats

Montserrat

Flag Location Map
Introduction - Montserrat
Background
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.
Geography - Montserrat
Location
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates
16 45 N, 62 12 W
Map references
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total: 102 sq km country comparison to the world: 225 land: 102 sq km water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
about 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
40 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 3 nm exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate
tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
Terrain
volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland
Elevation extremes
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)
Natural resources
NEGL
Land use
arable land: 20% permanent crops: 0% other: 80% (2005)
Irrigated land
NA
Natural hazards
severe hurricanes (June to November); volcanic eruptions (Soufriere Hills volcano has erupted continuously since 1995)
Environment - current issues
land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation
Geography - note
the island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centers of differing ages
People - Montserrat
Population
5,097 country comparison to the world: 228 note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left the island following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some have returned (July 2009 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 27.6% (male 731/female 678) 15-64 years: 65.5% (male 1,599/female 1,738) 65 years and over: 6.9% (male 232/female 119) (2009 est.)
Median age
total: 28.5 years male: 28.2 years female: 28.7 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate
0.392% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 167
Birth rate
12.36 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 166
Death rate
8.44 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 94
Net migration rate
NA
Urbanization
urban population: 14% of total population (2008) rate of urbanization: 2.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 1.95 male(s)/female total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 16.08 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 122 male: 12.01 deaths/1,000 live births female: 20.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 72.76 years country comparison to the world: 117 male: 74.74 years female: 70.68 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate
1.23 children born/woman (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 217
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths
NA
Nationality
noun: Montserratian(s) adjective: Montserratian
Ethnic groups
black, white
Religions
Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Christian denominations
Languages
English
Literacy
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school total population: 97% male: 97% female: 97% (1970 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 16 years male: 15 years female: 16 years (2006)
Education expenditures
3.3% of GDP (2004) country comparison to the world: 137
Government - Montserrat
Country name
conventional long form: none conventional short form: Montserrat
Dependency status
overseas territory of the UK
Government type
NA
Capital
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
Administrative divisions
3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter
Independence
none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday
Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
Constitution
effective 19 December 1989
Legal system
English common law and statutory law
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Peter A. WATERWORTH (since 27 July 2007) head of government: Chief Minister Rueben MEADE (since 10 September 2009) cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, the chief minister, 3 other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes chief minister
Legislative branch
unicameral Legislative Council (11 seats, 9 popularly elected; members serve five-year terms) note: expanded in 2001 from 7 to 9 elected members with attorney general and financial secretary sitting as ex-officio members elections: last held 8 September 2009 (next to be held by 2014) election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MCAP 6, independents 3 note: in 2001, the Elections Commission instituted a single constituency/voter-at-large system whereby all eligible voters cast ballots for all nine seats of the Legislative Council
Judicial branch
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)
Political parties and leaders
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]
Political pressure groups and leaders
NA
International organization participation
Caricom, CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU, WFTU
Diplomatic representation in the US
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US
none (overseas territory of the UK)
Flag description
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 coat of arms features a woman standing beside a yellow harp with her arm around a black cross
Economy - Montserrat
Economy - overview
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.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
$29 million (2002 est.) country comparison to the world: 223
GDP (official exchange rate)
$NA
GDP - real growth rate
-1% (2002 est.) country comparison to the world: 123
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$3,400 (2002 est.) country comparison to the world: 162
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 1.2% industry: 23.1% services: 75.7% (1999 est.)
Labor force
NA
Unemployment rate
6% (1998 est.) country comparison to the world: 58
Population below poverty line
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%
Budget
revenues: $31.4 million expenditures: $31.6 million (1997 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
2.6% (2002 est.) country comparison to the world: 81
Central bank discount rate
6.5% (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 65 6.5% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
9.89% (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 81 10.4% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money
$16.71 million (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 127 $17.9 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money
$45.42 million (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 128 $43.9 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit
$9.93 million (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 133 $5.537 million (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products
cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
Industries
tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
Industrial production growth rate
NA%
Electricity - production
22 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 205
Electricity - consumption
20.46 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 205
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production
0 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 168
Oil - consumption
1,000 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 194
Oil - exports
0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 189
Oil - imports
520.6 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 198
Oil - proved reserves
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 110
Natural gas - production
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 161
Natural gas - consumption
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 161
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 156
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 94
Natural gas - proved reserves
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 112
Exports
$700,000 (2001) country comparison to the world: 218
Exports - commodities
electronic components, plastic bags, apparel; hot peppers, limes, live plants; cattle
Imports
$17 million
Imports - commodities
machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials
Debt - external
$8.9 million (1997) country comparison to the world: 190
Exchange rates
East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003) note: fixed rate since 1976
Communications - Montserrat
Telephones - main lines in use
2,800 (2008) country comparison to the world: 218
Telephones - mobile cellular
3,000 (2008) country comparison to the world: 214
Telephone system
general assessment: modern and fully digitalized domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone systems available 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
Radio broadcast stations
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations
1 (1997)
Internet country code
.ms
Internet hosts
688 (2009) country comparison to the world: 168
Internet users
1,200 (2008) country comparison to the world: 211
Transportation - Montserrat
Airports
2 (2009) country comparison to the world: 207
Airports - with paved runways
total: 2 under 914 m: 2 (2009)
Roadways
note: volcanic eruptions that began in 1995 destroyed most of the 227 km road system; a new road infrastructure has been built in the north end of the island (2008)
Ports and terminals
Little Bay, Plymouth
Military - Montserrat
Military branches
no regular military forces; Royal Montserrat Police Force (2008)
Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49: 2,528 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 1,126 females age 16-49: 1,226 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 36 female: 33 (2009 est.)
Military - note
defense is the responsibility of the UK
Transnational Issues - Montserrat
Disputes - international
none
Illicit drugs
transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe