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Background: Much of this island has been devastated and two-thirds of the population has fled abroad due to the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano that began on 18 July 1995.
Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK
Capital: Plymouth (abandoned in 1997 due to volcanic activity; interim government buildings have been built at Brades, in the Carr’s Bay/Little Bay vicinity at the northwest end of Montserrat)
Currency: 1 East Caribbean dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

Geography of Montserrat 

Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates: 16 45 N, 62 12 W
total: 100 sq km
land: 100 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 40 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 3 nm
Climate: tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: volcanic islands, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Chances Peak (in the Soufriere Hills) 914 m
Natural resources: NEGL
Land use:
arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 10%
forests and woodland: 40%
other: 30% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: severe hurricanes (June to November); volcanic eruptions (full-scale eruptions of the Soufriere Hills volcano occurred during 1996-97)
Environment – current issues: land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation.
Geography – note: the island is entirely volcanic in origin and contains seven active volcanoes.

People of Montserrat 

Population: 9,341 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  23.83%
15-64 years:  64.66%
65 years and over:  11.51%
Population growth rate: 13.39% 
Birth rate: 17.43 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 7.53 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 123.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 8.19 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  78.03 years
male:  75.95 years
female:  80.22 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.82 children born/woman 
noun: Montserratian(s)
adjective: Montserratian
Ethnic groups: black, white
Religions: Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Christian denominations
Languages: English
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 97% (1970 est.)

Montserrat Economy

Economy – overview: 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 airports 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 volcano and on public sector construction activity. The United Kingdom committed to a three year $125 million aid program in 1999 to help reconstruct the economy.

GDP: purchasing power parity – $31 million (1999 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: -1.5% (1999 est.)
GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $5,000 (1999 est.)
GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.4%
industry: 13.6%
services: 81% (1996 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (1998)
Labor force: 4,521 (1992); note – recently lowered by flight of people from volcanic activity
Unemployment rate: 20% (1996 est.)
revenues: $31.4 million
expenditures: $31.6 million, including capital expenditures of $8.4 million (1997 est.)
Industries: tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
Electricity – production: 10 million kWh (1999)
Electricity – production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
Electricity – consumption: 9.3 million kWh (1999)
Agriculture – products: cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
Exports: $1.5 million (1998)
Exports – commodities: electronic components, plastic bags, apparel, hot peppers, live plants, cattle
Exports – partners: US, Antigua and Barbuda (1993)
Imports: $26 million (1998)
Imports – commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, foodstuffs, manufactured goods, fuels, lubricants, and related materials
Imports – partners: US, United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada (1993)
Debt – external: $8.9 million (1997)
Economic aid – recipient: $9.8 million (1995); note – about $100 million (1996-98) in reconstruction aid from the United Kingdom; Country Policy Plan (1999) is a three-year program for spending $122.8 million in British budgetary assistance.
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Map of Montserrat