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Montserrat

Facts & Figures

Status: Overseas territory

Governor: Deborah Barnes Jones (2004)

Chief Minister: Lowell Lewis (2006)

Land area: 39 sq mi (100 sq km)

Population (2008 est.): 9,638 (growth rate: 1.0%); birth rate: 17.3/1000; infant mortality rate: 6.8/1000; life expectancy: 79.1; density per sq mi: 94

Capital (2003 est.): Plymouth. The city was abandoned in 1997 due to volcanic activity. Interim government buildings have been built at Brades Estate, in the Carr's Bay/Little Bay vicinity at the northwest end of Montserrat

Monetary unit: East Caribbean dollar

More Facts & Figures

The island of Montserrat is in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies. Until 1956, it was a division of the Leeward Islands. In 1958 Montserrat joined the Federation of the West Indies, remaining a member until that organization's dissolution in 1962. Unlike most other British West Indies possessions, Montserrat, with its weak economy, has not vigorously sought independence. The Soufrière Hills volcano began erupting in 1995, and the situation continued to worsen through 1998, with the capital, Plymouth, destroyed and the southern and central parts of the British colony having been evacuated. Thousands had moved to nearby Antigua, Britain, or other parts of the Caribbean. In 2005, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security revoked the “temporary protected status” of its 292 Montserrat refugees, a number of whom have lived in the U.S. for years and rebuilt their lives there. A Washington Post editorial called the decision “absurd and cruel.”

See also Encyclopedia: Montserrat .


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