The islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines form part of the Windward group in the Caribbean. St. Vincent is mostly volcanic, while the Grenadines are flat, mainly bare, coral reefs.
Geography: St. Vincent is mountainous and forested, with one of two active volcanoes in the Caribbean, La Soufrière. The Grenadines are 32 islands and cays, fringed by beaches
Climate: Tropical, with constant trade winds. Hurricanes are likely during July–November wet season.
People and Society: Population is racially diverse; intermarriage has reduced tensions. Society is informal and relaxed, but family life is strongly influenced by the Christian Church. Locals fear that their traditional lifestyle is being threatened by the expanding tourist industry.
The Economy: Dependent on agriculture and tourism. Bananas are the main cash crop. Tourism, targeted at the jet-set and cruise-ship markets, is concentrated on the Grenadines.
Insight: The islands’ precolonial inhabitants, the Carib, named them “Harioun” – home of the blessed
Official Name: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Date of Formation: 1979
Total Area: 150 sq. miles (389 sq. km)
Density: 834 people per sq. mile
Languages: English*, English Creole
Religions: Anglican 47%, Methodist 28%, Roman Catholic 13%, other 12%
Ethnic Mix: Black 77%, Mixed race 16%, other 3%, Carib 3%, Asian 1%
Government: Parliamentary system
Currency: East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents