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Montserrat Flag

Country Profile

Capital City: Plymouth

Local Time: UTC -4h


Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico.
Area: 102 sq. km.
Terrain: Volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland.

Climate: Tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation.

Government: UK overseas territory.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Montserratian(s)
Population: 5000
Ethnic Groups: Black, white, mixed.
Religions: Christianity
Languages: English
Literacy: 97%


Currency: East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)

Natural resources: Sun, volcano, sea, surf

Agriculture products: Cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers, livestock products.

Industries: Tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances.

Exports partners:
USA, Antigua and Barbuda

Imports partners: USA, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada

Internet Links

Official Sites of Montserrat

Government of Montserrat

UK Government
Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)

UK Embassies Overseas

Tourist Map of Montserrat

Volcanic Risk Maps

Map of Central America and the Caribbean



Background:  Much of this island has been devastated and two-thirds
of the population has fled abroad due to the eruption of the Soufriere
Hills volcano that began on 18 July 1995.

Geography Montserrat

Location:  Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto

Geographic coordinates:  16 45 N, 62 12 W

Map references:  Central America and the Caribbean

Area:  total: 102 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 102 sq km

Area - comparative:  about 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  40 km

Maritime claims:  exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 3 NM

Climate:  tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation

Terrain:  volcanic islands, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point:
Chances Peak (in the Soufriere Hills volcanic complex) 914 m

Natural resources:  NEGL

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:  the island is entirely volcanic in origin and contains
seven active volcanoes

People Montserrat

Population:  8,437 note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left the island
following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some have
returned (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 23.6% (male 1,001; female 986) 15-64 years:
65% (male 2,624; female 2,864) 65 years and over: 11.4% (male 508;
female 454) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  8.43% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  17.54 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  7.47 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  74.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
1.12 male(s)/female total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  7.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   80.4 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.81 children born/woman (2002 est.)

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:   age 15 and over has ever attended school total population:
Government Montserrat

Country name:  conventional long form: none conventional short form:

Dependency status:  overseas territory of the UK

Government type:  NA

Capital:  Plymouth (abandoned in 1997 due to 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

Constitution:  present constitution came into force 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 Anthony LONGRIGG (since NA May 2001)
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch;
following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually
becomes chief minister head of government: Chief Minister John OSBORNE
(since 5 April 2001) cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor,
the chief minister, three other ministers, the attorney general, and
the 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, 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 election results:
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:  National Progressive Party or NPP [Reuben
T. MEADE]; New People's Liberation Movement or NPLM [John A. OSBORNE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  Caricom, CDB, ECLAC
(associate), ICFTU, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, WCL

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 volcano 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 - $31 million (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  -1.5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $2,400 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 5.4% industry: 13.6% services:
81% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  5% (1998)

Labor force:  4,521 (1992); note - lowered by flight of people from
volcanic activity

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%

Unemployment rate:  6% (1998 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $31.4 million expenditures: $31.6 million, including
capital expenditures of $8.4 million (1997 est.)

Industries:  tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production:  5 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  4.65 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions,
peppers; livestock products

Exports:  $1.5 million (1998)

Exports - commodities:  electronic components, plastic bags, apparel,
hot peppers, live plants, cattle

Exports - partners:  US, Antigua and Barbuda (1993)

Imports:  $26 million (1998)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and transportation equipment,
foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials

Imports - partners:  US, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada (1993)

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

Currency:  East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Currency code:  XCD

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)

Radios:  7,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  1 (1997)

Televisions:  3,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .ms

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  17 (2000)

Internet users:  NA

Transportation Montserrat

Highways:  total: 269 km paved: 203 km unpaved: 66 km (1995)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Plymouth (abandoned), Little Bay (anchorages and
ferry landing), Carr's Bay

Merchant marine:  none (2002 est.)

Airports:  none; the only airport was destroyed by volcanic activity;
a helicopter service to Antigua is used (2001)

Military Montserrat

Military branches:  no regular indigenous military forces; Police Force

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

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Montserrat Newsletter

The Montserrat Reporter

Arts & Culture
Montserrat Philatelic Bureau

Business & Economy
Montserrat Economic Development Unit

Destination Montserrat - Travel and Tour Guides

Montserrat Index Page

Volcano Island

Montserrat Info

Montserrat College of Art

Montserrat Volcano Observatory

The Montserrat National Trust

The History of Montserrat




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