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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


Vincentians, East Indians, Caribbean islands, literacy rate, population density

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has a total population of 118,432 (2008 estimate), giving a population density of 305 persons per sq km (789 persons per sq mi), one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere. About a quarter of the country’s people live in Kingstown and the surrounding area. Kingstown has a population of 29,000 (2003 estimate).

Blacks make up the great majority of the population. They are descended primarily from Africans who were brought to the islands in the 18th and 19th centuries to work as slaves. Almost 14 percent of the people are of mixed ethnic origins, with small minorities of whites and East Indians. About 2 percent are black Caribs, whose ancestry is African and Carib Indian. Many Vincentians have emigrated to the United Kingdom, the United States, and the other Caribbean islands in search of greater economic opportunities.

English is the official language, but an English-based Creole is the first language of most of the people. Anglicans and Methodists are the two major religious groups, but there are also congregations of Roman Catholics, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Hindus.

Education is compulsory in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from the ages of 5 to 15, and government-run primary and secondary schools are free. There are few state-run secondary schools, however, and most students pay fees to attend private secondary schools. The literacy rate is about 96 percent.

Article key phrases:

Vincentians, East Indians, Caribbean islands, literacy rate, population density, Anglicans, Methodists, Kingstown, Western Hemisphere, Hindus, Africans, official language, total population, ancestry, Blacks, slaves, Saint Vincent, people, surrounding area, United Kingdom, centuries, population, Grenadines, United States, quarter, country, Education, estimate, percent, ages, students, persons, fees

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