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Introduction Montserrat
Much of this island has been devastated and two-thirds of population has fled abroad due to eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995.
Geography Montserrat
Caribbean, island in Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates:
16 45 N, 62 12 W
Map references:
Central America and Caribbean
total: 102 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 102 sq km
Area - comparative:
about 0.6 times size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
40 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 3 NM
tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with limited coastal lowland
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Chances Peak (in Soufriere Hills volcanic complex) 914 m
Natural resources:
Land use:
arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 80% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
severe hurricanes (June to November); volcanic eruptions (Soufriere Hills volcano has erupted continuously since 1996)
Environment - current issues:
land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation
Geography - note:
island is entirely volcanic in origin and contains seven active volcanoes
People Montserrat
Total Population:
note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left island following resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some have returned (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 23.4% (male 1,062; female 1,041)
15-64 years: 65.3% (male 2,805; female 3,066)
65 years and over: 11.4% (male 537; female 484) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 27.8 years
male: 27.7 years
female: 27.9 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
4.5% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
17.57 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
7.34 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
34.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.11 male(s)/female
Population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 7.77 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 9.05 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 78.36 years
male: 76.24 years
female: 80.59 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.8 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Montserratian(s)
adjective: Montserratian
Ethnic groups:
black, white
Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Christian denominations
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 97% (1970 est.)
Government Montserrat
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Montserrat
Dependency status:
overseas territory of UK
Government type:
Plymouth (abandoned in 1997 due to volcanic activity; interim government buildings have been built at Brades Estate, in Carr's Bay/Little Bay vicinity at northwest end of Montserrat)
Administrative divisions:
3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter
none (overseas territory of UK)
National holiday:
Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
present constitution came into force 19 December 1989
Legal system:
English common law and statutory law
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor Anthony LONGRIGG (since NA May 2001)
elections: monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by monarch; following legislative elections, leader of majority party usually becomes chief minister
head of government: Chief Minister John OSBORNE (since 5 April 2001)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of governor, chief minister, three other ministers, attorney general, and finance secretary
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 NA April 2001 (next to be held by November 2006)
note: in 2001, Elections Commission instituted a single constituency/voter-at-large system whereby all eligible voters cast ballots for all nine seats of Legislative Council
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NPLM 7, NPP 2
Judicial branch:
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based in Saint Lucia, one judge of Supreme Court is a resident of islands and presides over High Court)
Political parties and leaders:
National Progressive Party or NPP [Reuben T. MEADE]; New People's Liberation Movement or NPLM [John A. OSBORNE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Caricom, CDB, ECLAC (associate), ICFTU, Interpol (subbureau), OECS
Diplomatic representation in US:
none (overseas territory of UK)
Diplomatic representation from US:
none (overseas territory of UK)
Flag description:
blue, with flag of UK in upper hoist-side quadrant and Montserratian coat of arms centered in outer half of flag; 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 limited , open economy. A catastrophic eruption in June 1997 closed airports and seaports, causing further economic and social dislocation. Two-thirds of 12,000 inhabitants fled island. Some began to return in 1998, but lack of housing limited number. agriculture sector continued to be affected by lack of suitable land for farming and destruction of crops. Prospects for economy depend largely on developments in relation to volcano and on public sector construction activity. UK has launched a three-year $122.8 million aid program to help reconstruct economy. Half of island is expected to remain uninhabitable for another decade.
buying power parity - $29 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-1% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $3,400 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.4%
industry: 13.6%
services: 81% (1996 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.6% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
4,521 ; note - lowered by flight of people from volcanic activity
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
6% (1998 est.)
revenues: $31.4 million
expenditures: $31.6 million, includes capital expenditures of $8.4 million (1997 est.)
tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
2.5 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
2.325 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
400 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
$700,000 (2001)
Exports - commodities:
electronic components, plastic bags, apparel, hot peppers, live plants, cattle
Exports - partners:
US, Antigua and Barbuda
$17 million (2001)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials
Imports - partners:
US, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada
Debt - external:
$8.9 million (1997)
Economic aid - recipient:
Country Policy Plan (2001) is a three-year program for spending $122.8 million in British budgetary assistance
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Montserrat
Telephones - main lines in use:
4,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
70 (1994)
Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: NA
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
7,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (1997)
3,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
17 (2000)
Internet users:
Transportation Montserrat
0 km
total: 227 km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km
note: volcanic eruptions beginning in 1995 destroyed most of road system (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Plymouth (abandoned), Little Bay (anchorages and ferry landing), Carr's Bay
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
none; only airport previously destroyed by volcanic activity; a helicopter service to Antigua is used (2002)
Military Montserrat
Military branches:
no regular indigenous military forces; Police Force
Military - note:
defense is responsibility of UK
Transnational Issues Montserrat
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for US and Europe