General Information

Montserrat is a Caribbean island—specifically in the Leeward Islands, which is part of the chain known as the Lesser Antilles, in the British West Indies. It is a British Overseas Territory (BOT). Montserrat measures approximately 16 km (10 mi) in length and 11 km (7 mi) in width, with approximately 40 km (25 mi) of coastline. Montserrat is nicknamed The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean both for its resemblance to coastal Ireland and for the Irish ancestry of many of its inhabitants.

Population

Montserrat has a population of over 4900 people

Political Structure

Montserrat is an internally self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The United Nations Committee on Decolonization includes Montserrat on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Executive power is exercised by the government, whereby the Premier is the head of government. The Premier is appointed by the Governor from among the members of the Legislative Assembly which consists of nine elected members. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Legislative Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Military defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom. 

Infrastructure and Economy

From 1979 to 1989, Montserrat was home to a branch of George Martin’s AIR Studios, making the island popular with musicians who often went there to record while taking advantage of the island’s climate and beautiful surroundings; the studio closed as a result of Hurricane Hugo.

Since the devastations of Hurricane Hugo and the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano, the Montserratian economy has been effectively halted. Export businesses based in Montserrat deal primarily in the selling and shipping of aggregate for construction. Imports include virtually everything available for sale on the island.

The island’s operating budget is largely supplied by the British government and administered through the Department for International Development (DFID) amounting to approximately £25 million per year. Additional amounts are secured through income and property taxes, license and other fees as well as customs duties levied on imported goods. 

Languages

The official Language is English. 

Currency

East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Exchange Controls

Montserrat does not have exchange controls

Send this to a friend