Facts about Grenada

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GrenadaCarib Indians inhabited Grenada when COLUMBUS discovered the island in 1498, but it remained uncolonized for more than a century. The French settled Grenada in the 17th century, established sugar estates, and imported large numbers of African slaves. Britain took the island in 1762 and vigorously expanded sugar production. In the 19th century, cacao eventually surpassed sugar as the main export crop; in the 20th century, nutmeg became the leading export. In 1967, Britain gave Grenada autonomy over its internal affairs. Full independence was attained in 1974, making Grenada one of the smallest independent countries in the Western Hemisphere. Grenada was seized by a Marxist military council on 19 October 1983. Six days later the island was invaded by US forces and those of six other Caribbean nations, which quickly captured the ringleaders and their hundreds of Cuban advisers. Free elections were reinstituted the following year and have continued since that time. Hurricane Ivan struck Grenada in September of 2004 causing severe damage.

Geography of Grenada

Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
12 07 N, 61 40 W
total: 344 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 344 sq km
Area comparative:
twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
121 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
tropical; tempered by northeast trade winds
volcanic in origin with central mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Saint Catherine 840 m
Natural resources:
timber, tropical fruit, deepwater harbors
Natural hazards:
lies on edge of hurricane belt; hurricane season lasts from June to November
Geography - note:
the administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada

Population of Grenada

90,343 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 33.4% (male 15,097/female 14,820)
15-64 years: 63.4% (male 30,106/female 26,764)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 1,394/female 1,522)
Median age:
21.7 years
Growth rate:
Infant mortality:
14.27 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.87 years
male: 63.06 years
female: 66.68 years
Fertility rate:
2.34 children born/woman
noun: Grenadian(s)
adjective: Grenadian
Ethnic groups:
black 82%, mixed black and European 13%, European and East Indian 5% , and trace of Arawak/Carib Amerindian
Roman Catholic 53%, Anglican 13.8%, other Protestant 33.2%
English (official), French patois
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total : 96%


Government type:
constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament
Saint George's
Administrative divisions:
6 parishes and 1 dependency*; Carriacou and Petit Martinique*, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick
7 February 1974 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 7 February (1974)
19 December 1973
Legal system:
based on English common law
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Daniel WILLIAMS (since 9 August 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Tillman THOMAS (since 9 July 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general.
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (a 13-member body, 10 appointed by the government and 3 by the leader of the opposition) and the House of Representatives (15 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Judicial branch:
West Indies Associate States Supreme Court (an associate judge resides in Grenada)


Grenada relies on tourism as its main source of foreign exchange, especially since the construction of an international airport in 1985. Strong performances in construction and manufacturing, together with the development of an offshore financial industry, have also contributed to growth in national output. Grenada has rebounded from the devastating effects of Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Emily (2005), but is now saddled with the debt burden from the rebuilding process. The agricultural sector, particularly nutmeg and cocoa cultivation, has gradually recovered, and the tourism sector has seen substantial increases in foreign direct investment as the regional share of the tourism market increases.

$1.108 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
GDP per capita:
purchasing power parity - $5,000 
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 7.7%
industry: 23.9%
services: 68.4% 
Inflation rate:
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
services 62%, agriculture 24%, industry 14% (1999 est.)
revenues: $85.8 million
expenditures: $102.1 million, including capital expenditures of $28 million 
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% 
food and beverages, textiles, light assembly operations, tourism, construction
bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, mace, citrus, avocados, root crops, sugarcane, corn, vegetables
bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, fruit and vegetables, clothing, mace
Export partners:
Saint Lucia 12.4%, US 11.1%, Antigua and Barbuda 8.4%, Germany 8.2%, Netherlands 7.8%, Saint Kitts & Nevis 7.6%, Dominica 7.5%, UK 6.5%, France 4.1%
food, manufactured goods, machinery, chemicals, fuel
Import partners:
Trinidad and Tobago 28.7%, US 26.6%, UK 5.9% 
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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