The southernmost of the Windward Islands, Grenada made world headlines in 1983 when the US and Caribbean allies mounted an invasion to sever links with Castro’s Cuba.
Geography: Volcanic in origin, with densely forested central mountains. Its territory also includes the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Climate: Tropical, tempered by trade winds. Hurricanes are a hazard in the July–November wet season.
People and Society: Grenadians are mainly of African origin; their traditions remain strong, especially on Carriacou. Inter-ethnic marriage has reduced tensions between the groups. Extended families, often headed by women, are the norm. Wealth disparities are not marked, but levels of poverty are growing.
The Economy: Severe damage from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 to crops and 90% of buildings; reconstruction will take years. Nutmeg, cocoa, bananas, and mace. Smuggling is a serious problem.
Insight: Known as “the spice island of the Caribbean,” it is the world’s second-largest nutmeg producer
Official Name: Grenada
Date of Formation: 1974
Capital: St. George’s
Total Area: 131 sq. miles (340 sq. km)
Density: 793 people per sq. mile
Languages: English*, English Creole
Religions: Roman Catholic 68%, Anglican 17%, other 15%
Ethnic Mix: Black African 82%, Mixed race 13%, East Indian 3%, other 2%
Government: Parliamentary system
Currency: East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents