St Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles in the southern region of the Windward Islands, which are located at the south end of the east border of where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. The country consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines, which are a chain of smaller islands.
St Vincent and the Grenadines has a population of 111,000, which has remained fairly flat since 1990. The country is densely populated with 307 people per square kilometer (792/sq mi), which ranks 39th in the world. The capital and largest city is Kingstown, with a population estimated at 35,000.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Demographics
Most Vincentians are the descendants of African slaves brought to the region to work plantations, as well as Portuguese and East Indians, who were brought to the island after slavery was abolished by the British living in the region. The largest ethnic group was African (66%), followed by those of mixed descent (19%), East Indian (6%), Europeans (mostly Portuguese (4%), and Carib Amerindian (2%). There is a growing community of Chinese people in the country.
St Vincent and the Grenadines History
The island of Saint Vincent was originally inhabited by native Caribs who called themselves Kalina and who were aggressive in preventing European settlements prior to 1719. Before this time, African slaves who were shipwrecked or who had escaped from Saint Lucia, Barbados and Grenada sought refuge here and intermarried with the Caribs, and came to be known as Black Caribs.
After this point, French settlers gained control of St Vincent and began plantations, which were worked by African slaves. The island was later ceded to Britain. The British and Black Caribs eventually clashed and 5,000 Black Caribs were deported to an island off the coast of Honduras. After slavery was abolished, immigration of indentured servants -- most from Portugal and East India -- took place.
St Vincent and the Grenadines went through various stages of colonial status under Britain until it gained independence in 1979.