Info & Resources

Montserrat

Written by Staff Writer

Country Overview:
English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island’s sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid 19th century. Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995. Montserrat has endured volcanic activity since, with the last eruption occurring in July 2003.

Location:
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Ric

Geographic coordinates:
16 45 N, 62 12 W

Area:
Total: 102 sq km, land: 102 sq km, water: 0 sq km

Area – Comparative:
About 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
40 km

Climate:
Tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation

Terrain:
Volcanic Island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Highest Point:
Highest point: lava dome in English’s Crater (in the Soufriere Hills volcanic complex) estimated at over 930 m (2006)

Natural Resources:
NEGL

Population:
5,079

Nationality:
Montserratian(s)

Nationality:
Montserratian

Ethnic groups:
Black, white

Religions:
Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Christian denominations

Languages:
English

Country Name:
Montserrat

Government Type:
N/A overseas territory of the UK

Capital Name:
Plymouth

Independence:
None (overseas territory of the UK)

National Holiday:
Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)

Constitution:
Effective 19 December 1989

Legal System:
English common law and statutory law

Executive Branch:
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Peter A. WATERWORTH (since 27 July 2007)

Head of Government:
Chief Minister Lowell LEWIS (since 2 June 2006)

Cabinet:
Executive Council consists of the governor, the chief minister, three other ministers, the attorney general, and the finance secretary

Elections:
the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually becomes chief minister

About the author

Staff Writer