Montserrat Population: 5,315

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English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island's sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid-19th century. Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995. Montserrat has endured volcanic activity since, with the last eruption occurring in 2013.

    The island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centers of differing ages
Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates: 16 45 N, 62 12 W
Area: total: 102 sq km
land: 102 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: about 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 40 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland
Natural resources: NEGL
Land use: agricultural land: 30% (2011 est.) arable land: 20% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 10% (2011 est.) forest: 25% (2011 est.)
other: 45% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: volcanic eruptions; severe hurricanes (June to November) volcanism: Soufriere Hills volcano (915 m), 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; the island of Montserrat is part of the volcanic island arc of the Lesser Antilles that extends from Saba in the north to Grenada in the south
Current Environment Issues: land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation
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Nationality: noun: Montserratian(s)
adjective: Montserratian
Ethnic groups: African/black 88.4%, mixed 3.7%, hispanic/Spanish 3%, caucasian/white 2.7%, East Indian/Indian 1.5%, other 0.7% (2011 est.)
Languages: English
Religions: Protestant 67.1% (includes Anglican 21.8%, Methodist 17%, Pentecostal 14.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 10.5%, and Church of God 3.7%), Roman Catholic 11.6%, Rastafarian 1.4%, other 6.5%, none 2.6%, unspecified 10.8% (2001 est.)
Population: 5,315 (July 2018 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: 15.99% (male 436 /female 414)
15-24 years: 21.39% (male 588 /female 549)
25-54 years: 47.58% (male 1,224 /female 1,305)
55-64 years: 8.81% (male 214 /female 254)
65 years and over: 6.23% (male 191 /female 140) (2018 est.)
Median age: total: 33.8 years
male: 33.1 years
female: 34.4 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.43% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 10.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 6.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 9.1% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.64% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.36 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births male: 9.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.8 years male: 76.1 years
female: 73.5 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.34 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99% of population

urban: 1% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 82.9% of population (2007 est.)
rural: 82.9% of population (2007 est.)
total: 82.9% of population (2007 est.)

urban: 17.1% of population (2007 est.)
rural: 17.1% of population (2007 est.)
total: 17.1% of population (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Education expenditures: 5.1% of GDP (2009)
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Montserrat
etymology: island named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 after the Benedictine abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat, near Barcelona, Spain
Government type: parliamentary democracy (Legislative Council); self-governing overseas territory of the UK
Capital: name: Plymouth; note - Plymouth was abandoned in 1997 because of volcanic activity; interim government buildings have been built at Brades Estate, the de facto capital, in the Carr's Bay/Little Bay vicinity at the northwest end of Montserrat
geographic coordinates: 16 42 N, 62 13 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time) etymology and

note: now entirely deserted because of volcanic activity, the city was originally named after Plymouth, England; de jure, Plymouth remains the capital city of Montserrat; it is therefore the only ghost town that serves as the capital of a political entity
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: history: previous 1960; latest effective 1 September 2010 (The Montserrat Constitution Order 2010) amendments: amended 2011 (2018)
Legal system: English common law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Andrew PEARCE (since 1 February 2018)

head of government: Premier Donaldson ROMERO (since 12 September 2014); note - effective with The Constitution Order 2010, effective October 2010, the office of premier replaced the office of chief minister

cabinet: Executive Council consists of the governor, the premier, 3 other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes premier
Legislative branch: description: unicameral Legislative Assembly (11 seats; 9 members directly elected in a single constituency by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds to serve 5-year terms and 2 ex-officio members - the attorney general and financial secretary)

elections: last held on 11 September 2014 (next to be held by 2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - PDM 50.0%, MCAP 35.4%, other 14.6%; seats by party - PDM 7, MCAP 2; composition - men 7, women 2, percent of women 22.2%
Judicial branch: highest courts: the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the superior court of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - headquartered on St. Lucia - consists of the Court of Appeal - headed by the chief justice and 4 judges - and the High Court with 18 judges; the Court of Appeal is itinerant, travelling to member states on a schedule to hear appeals from the High Court and subordinate courts; High Court judges reside in the member states, with 1 assigned to Montserrat; Montserrat is also a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice judge selection and term of office: chief justice of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court appointed by the Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, and independent body of judicial officials; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62

subordinate courts: magistrate's court
Political parties and leaders: Movement for Change and Prosperity or MCAP [Easton Taylor FARRELL] People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Donaldson ROMERO]
International organization participation: Caricom, CDB, Interpol (subbureau), OECS, UPU
National anthem:

note: as a territory of the UK, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)
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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 airport 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. Half of the island remains uninhabitable. In January 2013, the EU announced the disbursement of a $55.2 million aid package to Montserrat in order to boost the country's economic recovery, with a specific focus on public finance management, public sector reform, and prudent economic management. Montserrat is tied to the EU through the UK. Although the UK is leaving the EU, Montserrat’s aid will not be affected as Montserrat maintains a direct agreement with the EU regarding aid.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $167.4 million (2011 est.) $155.9 million (2010 est.) $162.7 million (2009 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $167.4 million (2011 est.) (2011 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 7.4% (2011 est.) -4.2% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $34,000 (2011 est.) $31,100 (2010 est.) $32,300 (2009 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 90.8% (2017 est.) government consumption: 50.4% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 17.9% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 29.5% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -88.6% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 1.9% (2017 est.) industry: 7.8% (2017 est.) services: 90.3% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
Industries: tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
Industrial production growth rate: -21% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 4,521 (2012)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 12.7%
services: 85.9% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate: 5.6% (2017 est.) 6% (1998 est.)
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 66.67 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 47.04 million (2017 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.2% (2017 est.) -0.2% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$15.4 million (2017 est.) -$12.2 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $4.4 million (2017 est.) $5.2 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: electronic components, plastic bags, apparel; hot peppers, limes, live plants; cattle
Exports - partners: US 29%, France 23%, Saint Kitts and Nevis 22.2% (2017)
Imports: $39.44 million (2017 est.) $36.1 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants
Imports - partners: US 72.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 6%, UK 4.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $47.58 million (31 December 2017 est.) $51.47 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $8.9 million (1997)
Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2017 est.) 2.7 (2016 est.) 2.7 (2015 est.) 2.7 (2014 est.) 2.7 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 24 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 22.32 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 5,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 406 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 57,180 Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 5,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 95 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern and fully digitalized; high dependency on tourism and offshore financial services; operators expand FttP (Fiber to Home) services; LTE launches and operators invest in mobile networks (2018)

domestic: fixed-line 57 per 100 and mobile-cellular teledensity 95 per 100 persons (2018)

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 (2016)
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 available (2007)
Internet country code: .ms
Internet users: total: 2,860
percent of population: 54.6% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 1 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 1
under 914 m: 1 (2017)

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
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Little Bay, Plymouth
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Defense is the responsibility of the UK
Military branches: no regular military forces; Royal Montserrat Police Force (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for South American narcotics destined for the US and Europe
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook


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