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Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Kitts and Nevis
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Map of Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Introduction ::Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Carib Indians occupied the islands for hundreds of years before the British began settlement in 1623. The islands became an associated state of the UK with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Nevis continues in its efforts to separate from Saint Kitts.
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Geography ::Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago
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17 20 N, 62 45 W
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total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
country comparison to the world: 211
land: 261 sq km
water: 0 sq km
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1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
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0 km
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135 km
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
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tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
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volcanic with mountainous interiors
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lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m
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arable land
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arable land: 19.44%
permanent crops: 2.78%
other: 77.78% (2005)
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NA
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0.02 cu km (2000)
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hurricanes (July to October)
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NA
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, 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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with coastlines in the shape of a baseball bat and ball, the two volcanic islands are separated by a 3-km-wide channel called The Narrows; on the southern tip of long, baseball bat-shaped Saint Kitts lies the Great Salt Pond; Nevis Peak sits in the center of its almost circular namesake island and its ball shape complements that of its sister island
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People ::Saint Kitts and Nevis
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40,131 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209
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0-14 years: 26.3% (male 5,397/female 5,138)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 13,231/female 13,196)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 1,326/female 1,843) (2009 est.)
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total: 28.6 years
male: 27.9 years
female: 29.3 years (2009 est.)
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0.847% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
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17.67 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
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8.05 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
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-1.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
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urban population: 32% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 13.94 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 130
male: 15.66 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 73.2 years
country comparison to the world: 109
male: 70.33 years
female: 76.25 years (2009 est.)
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2.26 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
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NA
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NA
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NA
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noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s)
adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian
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predominantly black; some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
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Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
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English
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definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97.8%
male: NA
female: NA (2003 est.)
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total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2005)
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9.3% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 8
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Government ::Saint Kitts and Nevis
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conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis
former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
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parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
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name: Basseterre
geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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14 parishes; Christ Church Nichola Town, Saint Anne Sandy Point, Saint George Basseterre, Saint George Gingerland, Saint James Windward, Saint John Capesterre, Saint John Figtree, Saint Mary Cayon, Saint Paul Capesterre, Saint Paul Charlestown, Saint Peter Basseterre, Saint Thomas Lowland, Saint Thomas Middle Island, Trinity Palmetto Point
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19 September 1983 (from the UK)
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Independence Day, 19 September (1983)
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19 September 1983
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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 Cuthbert Montraville SEBASTIAN (since 1 January 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995); Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with 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 or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
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unicameral National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 25 October 2004 (next to be held by 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SKNLP 7, CCM 2, NRP 1, PAM 1
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Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consisting of a Court of Appeal and a High Court; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court reside in Saint Kitts and Nevis); member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
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Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]; Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]; People's Action Movement or PAM [Lindsay GRANT]; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]
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NA
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ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
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chief of mission: Ambassador Izben Cordinal WILLIAMS
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636
FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740
consulate(s) general: New York
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the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis
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divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a broad black band bearing two white, five-pointed stars; the black band is edged in yellow; the upper triangle is green, the lower triangle is red
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Economy ::Saint Kitts and Nevis
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The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis is heavily dependent upon tourism revenues, which has replaced sugar, the traditional mainstay of the economy until the 1970s. Following the 2005 harvest, the government closed the sugar industry after decades of losses of 3-4% of GDP annually. To compensate for employment losses, the government has embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and to stimulate other sectors of the economy, such as tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking. Economic growth was above average for Latin America from 2004 to 2006, but has since slowed. Like other tourist destinations in the Caribbean, the St. Kitts and Nevis is vulnerable to damage from natural disasters and shifts in tourism demand. The current government is constrained by a high public debt burden equivalent to nearly 185% of GDP by the end of 2006, largely attributable to public enterprise losses.
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$777.7 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
$755 million (2007 est.)
$733.7 million (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$555 million (2008 est.)
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3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
2.9% (2007 est.)
5.3% (2006 est.)
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$19,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
$19,100 (2007 est.)
$18,600 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 25.8%
services: 70.7% (2001)
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18,170 (June 1995)
country comparison to the world: 202
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4.5% (1997)
country comparison to the world: 57
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NA%
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
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revenues: $89.7 million
expenditures: $128.2 million (2003 est.)
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4.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
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6.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 63
6.5% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 94
8.89% (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 162
$97.31 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 132
$688.6 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 136
$782.4 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 104
$439.7 million (31 December 2007)
$304.5 million (31 December 2006)
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sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish
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tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages
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NA%
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130 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
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120.9 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
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1,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
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0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
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1,225 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
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0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 122
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
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0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
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$-163 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
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$84 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 197
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machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
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US 40.4%, Malaysia 40.2%, Canada 3.7% (2008)
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$383 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 187
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machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
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US 46.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.8%, UK 4.1% (2008)
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$314 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 174
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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 Kitts and Nevis
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20,400 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 194
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80,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 187
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general assessment: good interisland and international connections
domestic: interisland links via Eastern Caribbean Fiber Optic cable; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004
international: country code - 1-869; connected internationally by the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables
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AM 3, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2003)
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1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2003)
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.kn
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53 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 206
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16,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 195
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Transportation ::Saint Kitts and Nevis
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2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 206
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total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)
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total: 50 km
country comparison to the world: 131
narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)
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total: 383 km
country comparison to the world: 197
paved: 163 km
unpaved: 220 km (2002)
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total: 159
country comparison to the world: 40
by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 109, chemical tanker 7, container 1, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 19, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 121 (Belgium 1, Cyprus 1, Egypt 2, Estonia 3, Finland 1, Greece 3, India 1, Italy 1, Japan 3, Kuwait 1, Latvia 5, Malaysia 1, Pakistan 3, Romania 1, Russia 19, Singapore 1, Spain 1, Syria 7, Turkey 35, Ukraine 9, UAE 18, UK 3, Yemen 1) (2008)
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Basseterre
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Military ::Saint Kitts and Nevis
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Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (includes Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force (2009)
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18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)
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males age 16-49: 10,095
females age 16-49: 10,081 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 8,159
females age 16-49: 8,517 (2009 est.)
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male: 376
female: 362 (2009 est.)
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NA
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Transnational Issues ::Saint Kitts and Nevis
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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; some money-laundering activity
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