General information: According to Agooddir, a significant part of the island was destroyed, two-thirds of the population emigrated due to the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano, which began on July 18, 1995.
Location: Caribbean region, an island in the Caribbean, southeast of Puerto Rico.
Geographical coordinates: 16° 45′ N. latitude, 62° 12’W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean.
Area: total: 100 km2; land surface area: 100 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: approximately 0.6 the area of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 40 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive fishing rights zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 3 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; small daily and seasonal temperature variations.
Terrain: volcanic islands, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowlands.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m; highest point: Chances Peak (highest point of the Soufrière Hills volcano) 914 m.
Natural resources: negligible.
Land use: arable land: 20%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 10%; forests and plantations: 40%; others: 30% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: Violent hurricanes (June to November); volcanic eruptions (full-scale eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano continued during 1996-97).
Current environmental issues: soil erosion on slopes cleared for agricultural purposes.
International agreements on environmental protection:
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 7,574; note: approximately 8,000 refugees fled the island after the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some of them returned (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 23.83% (male 907; female 898); 15 to 64 years old: 64.66% (male 2,341; female 2,556); over 65: 11.51% (male 464; female 408) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 13.39% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 17.43 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 7.53 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 123.98 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.01 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 0.92 male/female; over 65: 1.14 male/female; for the general population: 0.96 male/female. (2001 est.).
Child mortality: 8.19 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 78.03 years; men: 75.95 years; women: 80.22 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.82 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: resident of Montserrat; adjective: Montserratian.
Ethnic groups: black, white.
Believers: Anglicans, Methodists, Catholics, Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists, other Christian sects.
Literacy: Definition: Persons aged 15 and over who have ever attended school; for the general population: 97%; men: 97%; women: 97% (1970 est.).
Common long form: no;
Common short form: Montserrat. Dependency State: British Overseas Territory.
State structure: no data.
Capital: Plymouth (abandoned in 1997 due to volcanic activity; temporary government buildings were built in Brides, near Carse Bay/Little Bay on the northwestern tip of the island).
Administrative division: 3 districts: St. Anthony, St. Georges, St. Peters.
Independence: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
National holiday: Queen’s Birthday (second Saturday in June).
Constitution: the current constitution came into force on December 19, 1989.
Legal system: English common law and statutory law.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor Anthony John ABBOTT (since September 1997);
head of government: Chief Minister David BRANDT (since 22 August 1997);
Government: the executive council consists of the governor, the chief minister, three other ministers, the attorney general and the secretary of finance; elections: hereditary monarchy; the governor is appointed by the monarch; after legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes chief minister; note – as a result of the last elections, a coalition of NPP, NDP and one of the independent candidates was formed.
Legislature: unicameral Legislative Council (11 seats, 7 members elected by popular vote; term of office – five years); elections: elections last held 11 November 1996 (next to be held in 2001); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: RRA 2, MNR 2, NPP 1, independents 2.
Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (located in Saint Lucia), one of the judges of the Supreme Court resides on the island and presides over the High Court.
Political parties and leaders: National Reconstruction Movement (MNR) (Percival Austin BRAMBLE); National Development Party (NDP) (leader – no data); National Progressive Party (NPP) (Reuben T. MEADE); People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) (Bertrand OS-BORN [Bertrand OSBORNE]).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: Sap-sot, CDB, ECLAC (associate), ICFTU, Interpol(sub-bureau), OECS, WCL.
Diplomatic representation in the United States: none (overseas territory of Great Britain).
US Diplomatic Representation: None (UK Overseas Territory).
Flag description: blue, with the flag of Great Britain in the upper left part and the coat of arms of Montserrat in the center of the right part of the flag; the coat of arms depicts a woman standing next to a yellow harp, her hand wrapping around a yellow cross.
Economy overview: Strong volcanic activity, which began in July 1995, caused in 1996-99. a major blow to this small open economy. A catastrophic eruption in June 1997 closed off access to the airport and seaport, causing further economic and social damage. Two-thirds of the 12,000 inhabitants left the island. Some began to return in 1998, but the lack of livable buildings limits the number of returnees. Agriculture continues to be depressed due to lack of cultivable land and damage to crops. Economic prospects depend primarily on the development of volcanic activity and the activity of the public construction sector. The UK launched a three-year economic recovery assistance plan in 1999,
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $31 million (1999 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: -1.5% (1999 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $5,000 (1999 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 5.4%; industry: 13.6%; services: 81% (1996 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: 10% of the poorest households account for: n/a; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 5% (1998).
Work force: 4 521 people (1992); note – recently decreased due to the departure of people due to volcanic activity.
Employment structure: no data.
Unemployment rate: 20% (1996 est.).
Budget: revenues: $31.4 million; expenses: $31.6 million, including capital expenditures – $8.4 million (1997 est.).
Spheres of economy: tourism, production of rum, textiles, electronic equipment.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 10 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 9.3 million kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products.
Export: $1.5 million (1998)
Export items: electronic components, plastic bags, clothing, hot peppers, live plants, cattle.
Export partners: USA, Antigua and Barbuda (1993).
Import: $26 million (1998)
Imports: machinery and transport equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants and related materials.
Import partners: USA, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada (1993).
External debt: $8.9 million (1997) Economic aid recipient: $9.8 million (1995); note – Approximately $100 million (1996-98) received from the UK for reconstruction; in 1999, a three-year program for the allocation of state aid by the UK in the amount of $125 million (Country Policy Plan) was adopted.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: East Caribbean dollar.
Currency code: XCD.
Exchange rate: XCD/USD – 2.7000 (fixed exchange rate since 1976).
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 4,000 (1997).
Mobile Cell Phones: 70 (1994).
Telephone system: internal: no data; international: no data.
Broadcast stations: AM – 1, FM – 2, shortwave -0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 7,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 1 (1997).
Televisions: 3,000 (1997).
Internet Country Code: ms
Internet Service Providers: 17 (2000).
Number of users: no data.
Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 269 km; coated: 203 km; unpaved: 66 km (1995)
Ports and harbours: Caret Bay, Little Bay (anchorages and ferries), Plymouth (deprecated).
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 1; up to 914: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways:
Branches of the Armed Forces: Police Forces. Armed Forces – Note: Defense is the responsibility of the UK.