St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Lesser Antilles chain of the Caribbean Sea. It consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines, which are a chain of smaller islands. Its total land area is 389 square kilometres (150 sq mi), and its capital is Kingstown.
The islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were inhabited by the Ciboney, Carib, and Arawak peoples. Christopher Columbus sighted the island on 22 January 1498 and named it after the Christian saint, Vincent of Saragossa. The British took control of the island from the French in 1763 and it was ceded to them by the Treaty of Paris.
The Grenadines were annexed to Saint Vincent in 1779. The British controlled the island until the early 1980s when it was granted independence. Since then, the island has been a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth of Nations.
The economy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is based on agriculture, tourism, fishing, and light manufacturing. The island nation is also a financial centre and has one of the highest per capita incomes in the Caribbean.
The geography of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is diverse. The main island of Saint Vincent is volcanic and mountainous. The Grenadines are a chain of 32 small islands and cays, many of which are uninhabited. The climate is tropical and the islands experience a wet season from June to November.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a popular tourist destination. The islands are known for their sandy beaches, lush vegetation, and clear waters. Sailing, diving, and fishing are popular activities.
The people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are of African, Carib, European, and East Indian descent. English is the official language, but Vincentian Creole is also widely spoken. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion.
The culture of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a blend of African, Carib, European, and East Indian influences. Music, dance, and food are important aspects of the culture. Carnival is the most important festival and is celebrated in February.