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Montserrat (2008)

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Montserrat 2008 year

Administrative divisions 3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter
Age structure 0-14 years: 23.5% (male 1,144/female 1,094)

15-64 years: 65.7% (male 2,989/female 3,281)

65 years and over: 10.8% (male 527/female 503) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
Airports 2 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 2

under 914 m: 2 (2007)
Area total: 102 sq km

land: 102 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative about 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC
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.
Birth rate 17.51 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $31.4 million

expenditures: $31.6 million (1997 est.)
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
Climate tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
Coastline 40 km
Constitution effective 19 December 1989
Country name conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Montserrat
Death rate 7.02 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $8.9 million (1997)
Dependency status overseas territory of the UK
Diplomatic representation from the US none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation in the US none (overseas territory of the UK)
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient Country Policy Plan (2001) is a three-year program for spending $122.8 million in British budgetary assistance (2002 est.)
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.
Electricity - consumption 18.6 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 20 million kWh (2005)
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)
Environment - current issues land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation
Ethnic groups black, white
Exchange rates East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

note: fixed rate since 1976
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 Lowell LEWIS (since 2 June 2006)

cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, the chief minister, three other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes chief minister
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $700,000 (2001)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 0 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities electronic components, plastic bags, apparel; hot peppers, limes, live plants; cattle
Exports - partners US, Antigua and Barbuda (2006)
Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March
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
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 1.2%

industry: 23.1%

services: 75.7% (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate -1% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 16 45 N, 62 12 W
Geography - note the island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centers of differing ages
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Illicit drugs transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $17 million (2001)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 458 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials
Imports - partners US, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada (2006)
Independence none (overseas territory of the UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
Infant mortality rate total: 7.03 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 8.15 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.6% (2002 est.)
International organization participation Caricom, CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU
Irrigated land NA
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)
Labor force 4,521

note: lowered by flight of people from volcanic activity (2000 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 20%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 80% (2005)
Languages English
Legal system English common law and statutory law
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 31 May 2006 (next to be held by 2011)

election results: percent of vote by party - MCAP 36.1%, NPLM 29.4%, MDP 24.4%, independents 10.1%; seats by party - MCAP 4, NPLM 3, MDP 1, independents 1

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
Life expectancy at birth total population: 79 years

male: 76.8 years

female: 81.31 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school

total population: 97%

male: 97%

female: 97% (1970 est.)
Location Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Military - note defense is the responsibility of the UK
Military branches no regular military forces; Royal Montserrat Police Force (2005)
National holiday Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
Nationality noun: Montserratian(s)

adjective: Montserratian
Natural hazards severe hurricanes (June to November); volcanic eruptions (Soufriere Hills volcano has erupted continuously since 1995)
Natural resources NEGL
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
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
Population 9,538

note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left the island following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some have returned (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 1.048% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Religions Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Christian denominations
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.046 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.911 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.048 male(s)/female

total population: 0.955 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: modern and fully digitalized

domestic: NA

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
Telephones - main lines in use NA
Telephones - mobile cellular NA
Television broadcast stations 1 (1997)
Terrain volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland
Total fertility rate 1.77 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 6% (1998 est.)
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