The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, or the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis (abbreviated to St Kitts and Nevis) is a two-island nation in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies. St Kitts and Nevis has just 261 square kilometers (104 sq mi) of land, which ranks 207th in the world, and a fairly high population density of 164 people per square kilometer (424/sq mi), which is the 64th highest in the world. The largest city and capital is Basseterre, with a population of 15,500. Most of the population lives in St Kitts.
St Kitts and Nevis Demographics
75% of the population of St Kitts and Nevis are of African descent. The next-largest ethnic group is Afro-European (12.3%), followed by mulatto (5.3%), East Indian and Afro-East Indian (5%), South Asian ethnic groups (3%) and other groups (3). Most inhabitants are descendants of West African slaves.
St Kitts and Nevis has a high emigration rate that caused its population to decline for many years.
St Kitts and Nevis History
St Kitts and Nevis was originally settled by Native Americans 5,000 years before the arrival of Europeans. The last wave, the Kalinago, arrived about 300 years before Europeans, who discovered the islands under Christopher Columbus in 1493. An English colony was established, followed by French settlements, and the island was divided. The Kalinago people allowed the colonization of Saint Kitts, although Anglo-French settlers massacred them in 1626 to preempt a plan by the natives to drive foreigners away.
In 1629, the Spanish destroyed the English and French colonies and deported the settlers, although they were allowed to re-establish their colonies later. Saint Kitts eventually became a base for French and English expansion into the Caribbean.
St Kitts and Nevis are separated by just 2 miles of water but they were governed as separate states until the end of the 19th century, when they were united by the British. Relations remain strained between the two islands.