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Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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Location of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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Map of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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Introduction ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on St. Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the United Kingdom for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.
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Geography ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
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13 15 N, 61 12 W
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total: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
country comparison to the world: 202
land: 389 sq km
water: 0 sq km
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twice the size of Washington, DC
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0 km
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84 km
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
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tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
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volcanic, mountainous
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lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: La Soufriere 1,234 m
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hydropower, cropland
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arable land: 17.95%
permanent crops: 17.95%
other: 64.1% (2005)
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10 sq km (2003)
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total: 0.01
per capita: 83 cu m/yr (1995)
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hurricanes; Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent is a constant threat
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pollution of coastal waters and shorelines from discharges by pleasure yachts and other effluents; in some areas, pollution is severe enough to make swimming prohibitive
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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the administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is comprised of 32 islands and cays
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People ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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104,574 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
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0-14 years: 25.9% (male 13,637/female 13,425)
15-64 years: 66.4% (male 35,693/female 33,701)
65 years and over: 7.8% (male 3,659/female 4,459) (2009 est.)
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total: 28.9 years
male: 29 years
female: 28.9 years (2009 est.)
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-0.344% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 223
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15.27 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
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6.91 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
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-11.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
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urban population: 47% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 15.14 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 127
male: 16.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 73.65 years
country comparison to the world: 102
male: 71.82 years
female: 75.54 years (2009 est.)
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1.98 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
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NA
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NA
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NA
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noun: Saint Vincentian(s) or Vincentian(s)
adjective: Saint Vincentian or Vincentian
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black 66%, mixed 19%, East Indian 6%, European 4%, Carib Amerindian 2%, other 3%
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Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, other (includes Hindu, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant) 12%
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English, French patois
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definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 96%
male: 96%
female: 96% (1970 est.)
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total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2005)
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8.1% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 14
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Government ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
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name: Kingstown
geographic coordinates: 13 09 N, 61 14 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick
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27 October 1979 (from the UK)
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Independence Day, 27 October (1979)
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27 October 1979
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based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Fredrick Nathaniel BALLANTYNE (since 2 September 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Ralph E. GONSALVES (since 29 March 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
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unicameral House of Assembly (21 seats, 15 elected representatives and six appointed senators; representatives are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 7 December 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - ULP 55.3%, NDP 44.7%; seats by party - ULP 12, NDP 3
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Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consisting of a High Court and Court of Appeals; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court reside in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
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New Democratic Party or NDP [Arnhim EUSTACE]; Unity Labor Party or ULP [Ralph GONSALVES] (formed by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party or SVLP and the Movement for National Unity or MNU)
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NA
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ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
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chief of mission: Ambassador La Celia A. PRINCE
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 364-6730
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6736
consulate(s) general: New York
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the US does not have an embassy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold (double width), and green; the gold band bears three green diamonds arranged in a V pattern
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Economy ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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Economic growth slowed in 2008 after reaching a 10-year high of nearly 7% in 2006, and will likely slow in 2009 with the global economic downturn, though it will be above average for Latin America. Success of the economy hinges upon seasonal variations in agriculture, tourism, and construction activity as well as remittance inflows. Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism, but persistent high unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands. This lower-middle-income country is vulnerable to natural disasters - tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002. In 2007, the islands had more than 200,000 tourist arrivals, mostly to the Grenadines. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards. The government's ability to invest in social programs and respond to external shocks is constrained by its high debt burden - 25% of current revenues are directed towards debt servicing. An agreement with Italy to write-off debt reduced the public debt-to-GDP ratio to about 70%. The GONSALVES administration is directing government resources to infrastructure projects, including a new international airport that is expected to be completed in 2011.
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$1.07 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
$1.06 billion (2007 est.)
$991 million (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$601 million (2008 est.)
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0.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
7% (2007 est.)
7.6% (2006 est.)
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$10,200 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
$10,100 (2007 est.)
$9,400 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 10%
industry: 26%
services: 64% (2001 est.)
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57,520 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
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agriculture: 26%
industry: 17%
services: 57% (1980 est.)
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15% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
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NA%
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
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revenues: $94.6 million
expenditures: $85.8 million (2000 est.)
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6.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
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6.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 61
6.5% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 95
8.8% (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 157
$155.5 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 147
$280.2 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 149
$387.8 million (31 December 2007)
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bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish
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food processing, cement, furniture, clothing, starch
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133.8 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
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124.4 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
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2,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
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0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
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1,451 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
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0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 94
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
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0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
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$-149 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
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$193 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 182
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bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch; tennis racquets
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Greece 38.8%, France 23.1%, Italy 9.2% (2008)
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$578 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 184
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foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
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Singapore 27.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.3%, US 12.2%, China 7.3%, Italy 7.2%, Norway 5.2% (2008)
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$223 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 178
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East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)
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Communications ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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22,800 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 190
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130,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 178
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general assessment: adequate system
domestic: islandwide, fully automatic telephone system; VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to the other islands of the Grenadines; mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 100 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-784; the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables carry international calls; connectivity also provided by VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia
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AM 1, FM 6, shortwave 0 (2004)
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1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2004)
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.vc
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181 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 190
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66,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 165
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Transportation ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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6 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 174
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total: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
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total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
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total: 829 km
country comparison to the world: 185
paved: 580 km
unpaved: 249 km (2003)
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total: 525
country comparison to the world: 21
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 83, cargo 315, carrier 20, chemical tanker 2, liquefied gas 6, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 17, petroleum tanker 17, refrigerated cargo 20, roll on/roll off 18, specialized tanker 2, container 21
foreign-owned: 476 (Austria 2, Barbados 1, Belgium 8, Bulgaria 15, Canada 1, China 94, Croatia 7, Cyprus 1, Czech Republic 1, Denmark 16, Egypt 3, Estonia 16, France 6, Germany 3, Gibraltar 1, Greece 71, Guyana 2, Hong Kong 6, Iceland 7, India 7, Iran 1, Israel 2, Italy 17, Japan 3, Kenya 2, Latvia 17, Lebanon 6, Lithuania 9, Monaco 5, Montenegro 1, Namibia 1, Netherlands 3, Norway 13, Poland 1, Puerto Rico 1, Romania 1, Russia 21, Singapore 4, Slovenia 5, South Africa 1, Sweden 2, Switzerland 6, Syria 13, Turkey 20, Ukraine 11, UAE 9, UK 14, US 18, Venezuela 1) (2008)
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Kingstown
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Military ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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no regular military forces; Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, Coast Guard (2009)
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males age 16-49: 34,373 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 22,975
females age 16-49: 22,250 (2009 est.)
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male: 1,020
female: 1,009 (2009 est.)
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NA
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Transnational Issues ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UNCLOS, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea
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transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; small-scale cannabis cultivation
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