Map of St Vincent and Grenadines. St Vincent and Grenadines on the world map
Map of St Vincent and Grenadines with cities. Where St Vincent and Grenadines is on the world map. The main geographical facts about St Vincent and Grenadines - population, country area, capital, official language, religions, industry and culture.
St Vincent and the Grenadines
SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES Fact File
Official name St Vincent and the Grenadines
Form of government Constitutional monarchy with single legislative body (House of Assembly)
Area 340 sq km (131 sq miles)
Time zone GMT-4 hours
Projected population 2015 123,000
Population density 342.4 per sq km (888.5 per sq mile)
Life expectancy 72.8
Infant mortality (per 1,000) 16.2
Official language English
Other language French Creole
Literacy rate 96 %
Religions Anglican 42%, Methodist 21 %, Roman Catholic 12%, other 25%
Ethnic groups African 82%, mixed 14%, European, East Indian, indigenous 4%
Currency East Caribbean dollar
Economy Agriculture 50%, services 30^ industry 20%
GNP per capita US$ 2,900
Climate Tropical, with wet season May to November Highest point Mt Soufriere 1,234 m (4,048 ft) Map reference Page 427
The mountainous, volcanic Caribbean island of St Vincent has 89 percent of the country's total land area and 95 percent of the population, the rest consisting of the islands of the Northern Grenadines—Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, and Union. St Vincent was visited by Columbus in 1498 but the fierce resistance of the Amerindian Caribs meant that settlement was slow. A long dispute with France (the French often being supported by the Caribs) finally led to it becoming a British colony in 1783. As St Vincent and the Grenadines the country became self-governing in 1969 and independent in 1979.
St Vincent is dominated by a north-south spur of densely forested mountains, cut east to west by numerous short, fast-running rivers and streams. In the north, volcanic Mt Soufriere is still very active. It caused serious damage in 1891 and in 1902 it killed 2,000 people. The 1979 eruption, which was followed by a hurricane the next year, devastated agriculture and caused a major setback in tourism.
The Northern Grenadines are coralline islets, extending south of St Vincent toward Grenada, some of them with picturesque names such as All Awash Island and The Pillories. The tropical climate is moderated by steady trade winds.
Agriculture, led by banana production, is the foundation of the country's economy, most of it small-scale or subsistence farming on the lower mountain slopes or terraces. Other crops exported include arrowroot starch used to make medicines and paper for computer printers. Tourism is of growing importance, with visitors drawn to the clear, clean waters of Mustique and Bequia. Attempts to develop various industries have so far had little success: unemployment stands at about thirty-five to forty percent.