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

Geographic Coordinates:

 16 45 N, 62 12 W


 Total: 102 sq km
Land: 102 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 About 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 40 km (Rank: 187)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 3 nm
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


 Tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation


 Volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland

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)

Natural Resources:


Land Use:

 Arable land: 20%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 80% (2005)

Natural Hazards:

 Severe hurricanes (June to November); volcanic eruptions

Volcanism: Soufriere Hills volcano, at a height of 915 m (3,010 ft), has erupted continuously since 1995; a massive eruption in 1997 destroyed most of the capital, Plymouth, and resulted in approximately half of the island becoming uninhabitable

Environment - Current Issues:

 Land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation

Geography - Note:

 The island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centers of differing ages

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 Noun: Montserratian(s)
Adjective: Montserratian

Ethnic Groups:

 Black, white




 Protestant (Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Christian denominations), Roman Catholic


 5,140 (July 2011 est.)

Note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left the island following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; some have returned

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 26.9% (male 717/female 665)
15-64 years: 66.6% (male 1,648/female 1,777)
65 years and over: 6.5% (male 208/female 125) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 29.6 years
Male: 29.2 years
Female: 30.1 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.447% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 11.67 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 7.2 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 14% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 2.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.033 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.03 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 15.23 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 11.54 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 19.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 73.16 years
Male: 74.99 years
Female: 71.24 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.26 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 96% of population
Rural: 96% of population
Total: 96% of population
Urban: 4% of population
Rural: 4% of population
Total: 4% of population (2008)

Education Expenditures:

 3.3% of GDP (2004)


 Definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Total population: 97%
Male: 97%
Female: 97% (1970 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 15 years
Male: 14 years
Female: 17 years (2007)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Montserrat


 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

Administrative Divisions:

 3 parishes; Saint Anthony, Saint Georges, Saint Peter

Dependency Status:

 Overseas territory of the UK


 None (overseas territory of the UK)

National Holiday:

 Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)


 Montserrat Constitution Order 2010, effective 1 September 2011

Legal System:

 English common law


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Adrian DAVIS (since 8 April 2011)

Head of government: Premier Rueben T. MEADE (since 27 September 2011); note - the office of premier came into effect with the new Constitution Order

Cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, the premier, 3 other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary

Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes premier

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Legislative Council (11 seats; 9 members popularly elected to serve five-year terms; the attorney general and financial secretary sit as ex-officio members)

Elections: last held on 8 September 2009 (next to be held by 2014)

Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MCAP 6, independents 3

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:

 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]

International Organization Participation:

 Caricom, CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU

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 arms feature a woman in green dress, Erin, the female personification of Ireland, standing beside a yellow harp and embracing a large dark cross with her right arm; Erin and the harp are symbols of Ireland reflecting the territory's Irish ancestry; blue represents awareness, trustworthiness, determination, and righteousness

National Anthem:

 Note: as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)


 (overseas territory of the UK)

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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.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $29 million (2002 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 -1% (2002 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $3,400 (2002 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 1.6%
Industry: 22.9%
Services: 75.6% (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 6% (1998 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 38% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $31.4 million
Expenditures: $37.04 million (2010 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 0.6% (2010 est.)
3.1% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 10.99% (31 December 2010 est.)
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 8.728% (31 December 2010 est.)
9.045% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $16.71 million (31 December 2008)
$17.9 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $45.42 million (31 December 2008)
$43.9 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $16.97 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$19.08 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $70.26 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$69.63 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $12.59 million (31 December 2008 est.)
$11.85 million (31 December 2007 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products


 Tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances

Industrial Production Growth Rate:


Electricity - Production:

 22 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 20.46 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 1,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 564 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$18.1 million (2010 est.)
-$12.68 million (2009 est.)


 $3.4 million (2010 est.)
$3.16 million (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Electronic components, plastic bags, apparel; hot peppers, limes, live plants; cattle


 $31.5 million (2010 est.)
$26.07 million (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials

Debt - External:

 $8.9 million (1997)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert East Caribbean Dollar to Any Currency

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2010)
2.7 (2009)
2.7 (2005)
2.7 (2004)
2.7 (2003)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 2,600 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 4,200 (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: modern and fully digitalized

Domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 100 per 100 persons

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

Broadcast Media:

 Radio Montserrat, a public radio broadcaster, transmits on 1 station and has a repeater transmission to a second station; repeater transmissions from the GEM Radio Network of Trinidad and Tobago provide another 2 radio stations; cable and satellite TV are obtainable (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2008)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 1 (1997)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 552 (2010)

Internet Users:

 1,200 (2009)

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 2 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 2
Under 914 m: 2 (2010)


 Note: volcanic eruptions that began in 1995 destroyed most of the 227 km road system; a new road infrastructure has been built on the north end of the island (2008)

Ports and Terminals:

 Little Bay, Plymouth

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Military Branches:

 No regular military forces; Royal Montserrat Police Force (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,353 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,135
Females age 16-49: 1,223 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 35
Female: 34 (2010 est.)

Military - Note:

 Defense is the responsibility of the UK

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Illicit Drugs:

 Transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe

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Last Updated: December 2011

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