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Montserrat

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Quick Facts
CapitalPlymouth (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)
GovernmentNA
CurrencyEast Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Areatotal: 102 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 102 sq km
Population8,437
note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left the island following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some have returned (July 2002 est.)
LanguageEnglish
ReligionAnglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Christian denominations

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.

Map of MontserratMap of Montserrat
Map of Montserrat

montserrat Travel Guide :

Montserrat

Geography

Location 
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
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
Montserrat

People

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 mas)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 mas)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 mas)/female
65 years and over: 1.12 mas)/female
total population: 0.96 mas)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
7.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 78.2 years
female: 80.4 years (2002 est.)
male: 76.1 years
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 
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 97% (1970 est.)
Montserrat

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Montserrat
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 (1926)
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 herary; 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: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NPLM 7, NPP 2
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
Montserrat

Economy

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%
industry: 14%
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) (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
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) (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
Montserrat

Communications

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
Montserrat

Transportation

Railways 
0 km (2003)
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; only airport was destroyed by volcanic activity; a helicopter service to Antigua is used
Montserrat

Military

Military branches 
no regular indigenous military forces; Police Force
Military - note 
defense is the responsibility of the UK
Montserrat

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
none
Illicit drugs 
transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe

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