St. Kitts and Nevis

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Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Coat of arms of St. Kitts and Nevis
flag coat of arms
Motto : Country Above Self
( English for "The land above the individual")
Official language English
Capital Basseterre
Form of government Parliamentary monarchy
Head of state Queen Elizabeth II

represented by Governor General Samuel Seaton (interim)

Head of government Timothy Harris
surface 261 km²
St. Kitts: 168 km²
Nevis: 93 km²
population 56,000 (2016 estimate)
Population density 201 inhabitants per km²
gross domestic product
  • Nominal
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 903 million ( 178. )
  • $ 1,459 million ( 177. )
  • 16,058 USD ( 47. )
  • 25,940 USD ( 53. )
Human Development Index   0.675 ( 73rd ) (2016)
currency East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)
independence September 19, 1983
(from the UK )
National anthem Oh land of beauty
National holiday September 19 (Independence Day)
Time zone UTC − 4
License Plate KAN
ISO 3166 KN , KNA, 659
Internet TLD .kn
Telephone code +1 (869) see NANP
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St. Kitts and Nevis (in the Federal Republic of Germany officially Federation St. Kitts and Nevis , in contrast in the Republic of Austria and the Swiss Confederation officially St. Kitts and Nevis , English Saint Kitts and Nevis, also officially Saint Christopher and Nevis , German St . Christopher and Nevis ) is a federal island state in the Lesser Antilles . He is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations . With its 56,000 inhabitants and an area of ​​269 square kilometers, the state is one of the twelve smallest generally recognized states on earth . It is named after the two islands of St. Kitts and Nevis . The capital and largest city of the country is Basseterre ; The official language is English .


The capital Basseterre

The island state of Antigua and Barbuda is to the east of the islands , the island of Montserrat to the south-east , Sint Eustatius to the north - west and Saint-Barthélemy to the north .

The island of St. Kitts consists of three volcanic groups , which are separated from each other by deep gorges . St. Kitts has an area of ​​168.4 km 2 . The capital Basseterre is also located there . The highest mountain is the 1156 m high Mount Liamuiga , formerly Mount Misery .

The island of Nevis is separated from St. Kitts by a three kilometer wide canal . Nevis has an area of ​​93.2 km². The highest point is Nevis Peak at 985 m. Booby Island is in the strait between the two islands .

Around 46,000 people live on the two islands (update based on the 2001 census), around 13,000 of them in the capital, Basseterre . As the second largest city, Charlestown has a population of just 1700.


The islands have a hot, tropical climate, tempered by trade winds. The dry season lasts from January to April. In summer and at the end of the year, the amount of precipitation is higher and varies depending on the altitude. The annual rainfall is around 1400 mm, the main rainy season is from May to October. Cyclones can occur between August and October.


Square in the center of Basseterre in front of the Berkeley Memorial

The official language of the Federation is English . However, Creole dialects are often spoken. The largest ethnic groups are blacks (90.4%), people of mixed race background (5.0%), South Asians (3.0%) and whites (including British, Lebanese and Portuguese 1.0%).

The majority of residents are Anglicans (36%) and Methodists (32%). There are also Catholics (12%), Moravians (9%) and 40 different other religious communities.

In 2017, 13.7% of the population were migrants. At the same time, even more people emigrated.

Population development

year population
1950 46,049
1960 51.195
1970 44,885
1980 43.210
1990 40,834
2000 45,374
2010 51,445
2017 55,345

Source: UN


The first inhabitants came around 3000 BC. On the islands. These residents were unfamiliar with agriculture or ceramics and probably came from Florida. These hunters and gatherers later disappeared. Around 400 BC The Saladoids came , who already knew agriculture and ceramics. They came from the Orinoco Delta in present-day Venezuela. Around 800 AD they were ousted by the Igneri, who belong to the Arawak . In 1300 the Kalinago came to the islands and pushed the Igneri towards the Greater Antilles. St. Kitts called them Liamuiga (fertile island) and Nevis Oualie (land of beautiful waters). The locals had trade ties with residents of what is now the Virgin Islands and Puerto Ricos . The two islands were discovered for the Europeans on Christopher Columbus' second voyage in 1493 , but were not settled by British colonists until the beginning of the 17th century . In 1623 Sir Thomas Warner founded the St. Kitts colony. In 1626, according to the monk Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre, the English and French carried out a massacre among the Kalinago. From 1629 to 1630 the islands were briefly in Spanish possession after Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Mendoza had conquered them.

Since colonization, the islands have been a constant point of contention between France and the United Kingdom . In 1783 the British secured the islands and incorporated them into the British Empire . 99 years later, the two islands were combined with nearby Anguilla to form a union called St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla .

Between 1929 and 1930, the Great Depression plunged the country into economic and political difficulties. After trade unions and parties came into being in 1930, universal and equal suffrage was introduced in 1952, and with it women suffrage . In 1958 it joined the West Indian Federation , which existed until 1962.

From 1967, the islands were given autonomous status from the United Kingdom. For the residents of Anguilla, which was then part of the Federation, these regulations did not go far enough. So Anguilla effectively left the confederation, but remained affiliated on paper.

On September 19, 1983, the British Crown granted St. Kitts and Nevis independence. Then there was a minority government because of a stalemate in parliament, which destabilized the country. At the end of the 1990s there were independence movements on the part of the island of Nevis, which called for a separation from St. Kitts. However, this demand did not find a sufficient majority of two thirds of the islanders in a referendum.

Constitutional Law and Politics

After dating back to the 1983 constitution the country is a parliamentary monarchy in the Commonwealth of Nations with a federal structure, the head of state, making it the British monarch , currently Queen Elizabeth II. It is represented by a governor general . Sir Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton has held this office since September 1, 2015 .

There is a National Assembly with eleven elected members and three members appointed by the Governor General, with eight of the elected seats for St. Kitts and three for Nevis. The legislative period is five years. Nevis also has its own parliament with three appointed and five elected members.

Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister from 1995 to 2015

In the parliamentary elections on February 16, 2015, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas (SKNLP) , who had been in power for 20 years, was replaced by former Foreign Minister Timothy Harris (PLP). His People's Labor Party formed a coalition with the Concerned Citizens' Movement and the People's Action Movement.

The country is a member of CARICOM , the OECS , the OAS and one of the sponsors of the University of the West Indies .

In December 2008, the government decided to reinstate the death penalty by hanging Charles Elroy Laplace , convicted of murder . In doing so, the government tried to combat the high crime rate , which makes St. Kitts one of the countries with the highest number of homicides per inhabitant (2008: 45 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants). Like the other former British colonies in the Caribbean, St. Kitts has adopted the British legal system, but the abolition of the death penalty in the former motherland 40 years ago was not implemented. The highest legal authority for St. Kitts is the Privy Council in London, which has overturned some death sentences already in the last few years. In the case of Charles Elroy Laplace, the objection period passed unused.

Administrative division

St. Kitts and Nevis is divided into 14 administrative districts ( parishes ), nine on St. Kitts and five on Nevis. The population figures in the table below refer to the census of May 14, 2001.

Saint Thomas Lowland Saint Paul Charlestown Saint John Figtree Saint George Gingerland Saint James Windward Saint Paul Capisterre Saint John Capisterre Christ Church Nichola Town Saint Mary Cayon Saint Peter Basseterre Saint George Basseterre Trinity Palmetto Point Saint Thomas Middle Island Saint Anne Sandy Point
Parishes in St. Kitts and Nevis
State of           
main place Area
per km²
St. Kitts Basseterre 174.2 34,930 201
Christ Church Nichola Town Mansion 18.6 2,059 111
Saint Anne Sandy Point Sandy Point Town 12.8 3,140 245
Saint George Basseterre Basseterre 28.7 13,220 461
Saint John Capisterre Saddlers , Dieppe Bay Town 24.8 3,181 128
Saint Mary Cayon Cayon 15.1 3,374 223
Saint Paul Capisterre Saint Paul's 13.8 2,460 178
Saint Peter Basseterre Monkey Hill 20.7 3,472 168
Saint Thomas Middle Island Middle Island 24.3 2,332 96
Trinity Palmetto Point Boyd's 15.4 1,692 110
Nevis Charlestown 92.5 11,181 121
Saint George Gingerland Gingerland 18.5 2,568 139
Saint James Windward Newcastle 31.1 1,836 59
Saint John Figtree Fig Tree 21.3 2,922 137
Saint Paul Charlestown Charlestown 3.5 1,820 520
Saint Thomas Lowland Cotton Ground 18.1 2,035 112
St. Kitts and Nevis Basseterre 266.7 46.111 172.9

Source: Statistics Division of Saint Kitts and Nevis


Economic structure

The economy of St. Kitts and Nevis is heavily dependent on tourism , in 2009 the country was visited by 200,000 mostly US tourists. The service sector therefore contributes three quarters of the gross domestic product of 1,459 million US dollars (adjusted for purchasing power, 2016). Industry contributes around a quarter; the production of simple consumer goods such as textiles and shoes as well as food processing dominate. With around 2.5% of economic output, agriculture is hardly of any importance; rice , bananas and various types of vegetables are grown , and there is also fishing . The GDP per capita is above the global average.

Until about 1970, the islands' most important industry was the cultivation and processing of sugar , and since then the state-owned companies have only posted losses and drove the country's national debt to over a billion US dollars, one of the highest values ​​in the world as measured by gross domestic product. Sugar processing was therefore stopped in 2005, and since then the country has been confronted with rising unemployment and the need to restructure the economy as quickly as possible. Are Angedacht approximately to financial services , tourism and export-oriented industries. Exports and tourism revenues are nowhere near enough to cover imports, with the country running a current account deficit of US $ 139 million in 2010 . The main trading partner is the USA .

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised an estimated expenditure of 333.3 million US dollars , which was offset by income of the equivalent of 370.4 million US dollars.
The national debt in 2013 was around $ 1 billion, or 83% of GDP.



There is no public service broadcaster. Freedom of the press and the media is guaranteed by the constitution.

Commercial radio broadcasts began in the 1930s. Thereafter, the BBC took over the broadcasting of programs with the help of which the first regular radio program ZIZ (today ZIZ 96 FM , VHF since 1973) was started. The cooperation with the BBC made it possible to offer a differentiated program with information, education and entertainment. The sister station Big Wave 96.7 FM was added in 2004. The West Indies News Network is an Internet portal and the operator of the VHF radio program WINN FM 98.9 . The owner, the Federation Media Group, has 50 shareholders, none of whom owns more than 10 percent of the shares in order to avoid individual dominance. The operator sees itself as the leading media company. Radio Paradise of Trinity Broadcasting Network can be received through a local medium-wave transmitter. There are also numerous private broadcasting stations with video and audio streams.

Famous pepole

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: St. Kitts and Nevis  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : St. Kitts and Nevis  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files
Wikimedia Atlas: Saint Kitts and Nevis  - geographical and historical maps

Individual evidence

  1. St Kitts announces appointment of acting GG, May 20, 2015, Jamaica Observer website, accessed January 28, 2016.
  2. Saint Kitts and Nevis Observer, February 2015 ( Memento from February 20, 2015 in the web archive )
  3. United Nations Statistics Division: Saint Kitts and Nevis , accessed April 21, 2017.
  4. [1] (PDF) International Monetary Fund
  5. [2] United Nations Development Program ( UNDP ),
  6. Standing Committee for Geographical Names (Ed.): List of names of states and their derivatives in German , 13th edition, as of January 2014 (accessed on September 11, 2017).
  7. ^ Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional Order of 1983
  8. Climate data and rainy season , accessed on September 20, 2013
  9. Migration Report 2017. UN, accessed on September 30, 2018 (English).
  10. Origins and Destinations of the World's Migrants, 1990-2017 . In: Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project . February 28, 2018 ( [accessed September 30, 2018]).
  11. World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved July 28, 2017 .
  12. ^ Prehistory of the Caribbean Culture Area , Southeast Archaeological Center, National Park Service , accessed December 25, 2014.
  13. ^ Jad Adams: Women and the Vote. A world history. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, ISBN 978-0-19-870684-7 , page 438
  14. ^ The Guardian, February 2015
  15. ^ The Saint Kitts and Nevis Observer, February 2015 ( Memento of February 20, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  16. ^ Report of the UNODC
  17. ^ Death penalty in St. Kitts. Retrieved August 18, 2009 .
  18. ^ A b United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Statistics Division: World Statistics Pocketbook: Small Island Developing States (= Series V, No. 38 / SIDS). United Nations, Division for Sustainable Development, New York, 2014, p. 28.
  19. a b The World Factbook , accessed October 5, 2017
  20. About ZIZ -
  21. About us -

Coordinates: 17 ° 20 ′  N , 62 ° 45 ′  W