St Vincent and The Grenadines: Society
109,000 (2013); 50 percent of people live in urban areas; growth 0.1 percent p.a. 1990–2013, depressed over this period by emigration; birth rate 16 per 1,000 people (40 in 1970); life expectancy 72 years (63 in 1970).
The population is mostly of African or mixed descent, with Indian, European, and Carib minorities.
English is the official language; an English-based Creole is widely spoken.
Mainly Christians (Anglicans 27 percent, Methodists 18 percent, Roman Catholics 13 percent, Spiritual Baptist 30 percent); with a small community of Muslim.
Public spending on health was four percent of GDP in 2012. As well as Kingstown General Hospital, there are district hospitals and health centers. Some 95 percent of the population uses an improved drinking water source (2012). Infant mortality was 17 per 1,000 live births in 2013.
Public spending on education was five percent of GDP in 2010. There are 12 years of school education starting at the age of five. The primary school comprises seven years and secondary five, with cycles of three and two years. The school year starts in September.
Tertiary education is provided at the regional University of the West Indies, which has its main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Herald is a daily paper. Weekly newspapers include The News, Searchlight and The Vincentian.
SVG Television and NBC Radio are the public service providers. There are several private radio stations.
There are 152 personal computers per 1,000 people (2005).
Country code 1 784; internet domain ‘.vc’. There are phonecard booths and internet cafés on most islands. The main post office is located in Kingstown, with branches throughout the country.
For every 1,000 people, there are 174 landlines, 1,146 mobile phone subscriptions and 520 internet users (2013).
New Year’s Day, National Heroes’ Day (14 March), Labour Day (first Monday in May), Carnival (Monday and Tuesday in July), Emancipation Day (first Monday in August), Independence Day (27 October), Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Carnival continues for ten days leading up to Carnival Tuesday.
Religious and other festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday, Easter Monday and Whit Monday.