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Gwenad (Grenadian Creole French)
Coat of arms of Grenada
Coat of arms
Motto: "Ever Conscious of God We Aspire, Build and Advance as One People"
Anthem: "Hail Grenada"

Grenada on the globe (Americas centered).svg
and largest city
St. George's
12°03′N 61°45′W / 12.050°N 61.750°W / 12.050; -61.750
Official languages
Recognised regional languages
  • Grenadian Creole English
  • Grenadian Creole French
Ethnic groups
(2011 est.)
  • 82.4% African descent
  • 13.3% Mixed
  • 2.2% East Indian
  • 1.3% Other
  • 0.9% Unspecified
(2011 est.)
Demonym(s) Grenadian
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Charles III
Dame Cécile La Grenade
Dickon Mitchell
Legislature Parliament
House of Representatives
• Associated State
3 March 1967
• Independence from the United Kingdom
7 February 1974
• Grenadian Revolution
13 March 1979
• Constitution Restoration
4 December 1984
• Total
348.5 km2 (134.6 sq mi) (185th)
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
111,454 (179th)
• Density
318.58/km2 (825.1/sq mi) (45th)
GDP (PPP) 2019 estimate
• Total
$1.801 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2019 estimate
• Total
$1.249 billion
• Per capita
HDI (2019) Increase 0.779
high · 74th
Currency East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
Driving side left
Calling code +1-473
ISO 3166 code GD
Internet TLD .gd
  1. Plus trace of Arawak / Carib.

Grenada ( grə-NAY-də; Grenadian Creole French: Gwenad) is an island country in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain. Grenada consists of the island of Grenada itself, two smaller islands, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and several small islands which lie to the north of the main island and are a part of the Grenadines. It is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its size is 348.5 square kilometres (134.6 sq mi), and it had an estimated population of 112,523 in July 2020. Its capital is St. George's. Grenada is also known as the "Island of Spice" due to its production of nutmeg and mace crops.

Before the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, Grenada was inhabited by the indigenous peoples from South America. Christopher Columbus sighted Grenada in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas. Following several unsuccessful attempts by Europeans to colonise the island due to resistance from resident Island Caribs, French settlement and colonisation began in 1649 and continued for the next century. On 10 February 1763, Grenada was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris. British rule continued until 1974 (except for a brief French takeover between 1779 and 1783). However, on 3 March 1967, it was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs as an Associated State, and from 1958 to 1962 Grenada was part of the Federation of the West Indies, a short-lived federation of British West Indian colonies.

Independence was granted on 7 February 1974 under the leadership of Eric Gairy, who became the first prime minister of Grenada of the sovereign state. The new country became a member of the Commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. In March 1979, the Marxist–Leninist New Jewel Movement overthrew Gairy's government in a bloodless coup d'état and established the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop as prime minister. Bishop was later arrested and executed by members of the People's Revolutionary Army (PRA), prompting a U.S.-led invasion in October 1983. Since then, the island has returned to a parliamentary representative democracy and has remained politically stable.


The origin of the name "Grenada" is obscure, but it is likely that Spanish sailors named the island for the Andalusian city of Granada. The name "Granada" was recorded by Spanish maps in the 1520s and referred to the islands to the north as Los Granadillos ("Little Granadas"); although those named islands were deemed the property of the King of Spain, there are no records to suggest the Spanish ever attempted to settle Grenada. The French maintained the name (as "La Grenade" in French) after settlement and colonisation in 1649. On 10 February 1763, the island of La Grenade was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris. The British renamed it "Grenada", one of many place-name anglicisations they made there.

It carried at least two other European names during the Age of Discovery. The island was given its first by Christopher Columbus who sighted it on his third voyage to the region in 1498 and named it "La Concepción" in honour of the Virgin Mary. It is said that he may have actually named it "Assumpción", but it is uncertain, as he is said to have sighted what are now Grenada and Tobago from a distance and named them both at the same time. However, it became accepted that he named Tobago "Assumpción" and Grenada "La Concepción". The year after, Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci travelled through the region with the Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda and mapmaker Juan de la Cosa. Vespucci is reported to have renamed the island "Mayo", although this is the only map where the name appears.

The indigenous Arawak that once lived in the island before the arrival of the Europeans gave the name Camajuya.


Grenada is a Commonwealth realm with Charles III as head of state, represented locally by a governor-general. Executive power lies with the head of government, the prime minister. The governor-general role is largely ceremonial, while the prime minister is usually the leader of the largest party in Parliament.

The Parliament of Grenada consists of a Senate (13 members) and a House of Representatives (15 members). Senators are appointed by the government and the opposition, while the representatives are elected by the population for five-year terms. Grenada operates a multi-party system, with the largest parties being the centre-right New National Party (NNP) and the centre-left National Democratic Congress (NDC).

In February 2013, the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost the election. The opposition New National Party (NNP) won all 15 seats in the general election. Keith Mitchell, leader of NNP, who had served three terms as prime minister between 1995 and 2008, returned to power. Mitchell has led NNP to win all 15 seats in the House of Representatives on three separate occasions. In November 2021, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said that the upcoming general elections which are constitutionally due no later than June 2023, will be the last one for him.


Grenada Product Exports (2019)
A proportional representation of Grenada exports, 2019

Grenada has a small economy in which tourism is the major foreign exchange earner. Major short-term concerns are the rising fiscal deficit and the deterioration in the external account balance. Grenada shares a common central bank and a common currency (the East Caribbean dollar) with seven other members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Grenada has suffered from a heavy external debt problem, with government debt service payments running at about 25% of total revenues in 2017; Grenada was listed as ninth from bottom in a study of 126 developing countries.

Agriculture and exports

Myris fragr Fr 080112-3294 ltn
Opened nutmeg fruit, showing the seed and the red aril used for mace

Grenada is an exporter of several different spices, most notably nutmeg, its top export and depicted on the national flag, and mace. Other major exports include bananas, cocoa, fruit and vegetables, clothing, chocolate and fish.


Tourism is the mainstay of Grenada's economy. Conventional beach and water-sports tourism is largely focused in the southwest region around St George, the airport and the coastal strip. Ecotourism is growing in significance. Most small ecofriendly guesthouses are located in the Saint David and Saint John parishes. The tourism industry is increasing dramatically with the construction of a large cruise ship pier and esplanade.

Grenada has many beaches around its coastline, including the 3 km (1.9 mi) long Grand Anse Beach in St. George's, often hailed as one of the best beaches in the world. Grenada's many waterfalls are also popular with tourists. The nearest to St. George's is the Annandale Waterfalls, but other notable ones like Mt. Carmel, Concord, Seven Sisters and Tufton Hall also being within easy reach.

Grand Anse Beach Grenada
Grand Anse Beach, St. George's

Several festivals also draw in tourists, such as Carriacou Maroon and String Band Music Festival in April, the Annual Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament, the Island Water World Sailing Week, and the Grenada Sailing Festival Work Boat Regatta.


Maurice Bishop International Airport is the country's main airport, connecting the country with other Caribbean islands, the United States, Canada, and Europe. There is also an airport on Carriacou.


Carriacou Scene
A view of Carriacou, with other Grenadine islands visible in the distance

A majority of Grenadians (82%) are descendants of the enslaved Africans. Few of the indigenous Carib and Arawak population survived the French purge at Sauteurs. A small percentage of descendants of indentured workers from India were brought to Grenada between 1857 and 1885, predominantly from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Today, Grenadians of Indian descent constitute 2.2% of the population. There is also a small community of French and English descendants. The rest of the population is of mixed descent (13%).

Grenada, like many of the Caribbean islands, is subject to a large amount of out-migration, with a large number of young people seeking more prospects abroad. Popular migration points for Grenadians include more prosperous islands in the Caribbean (such as Barbados), North American Cities (such as New York City, Toronto and Montreal), the United Kingdom (in particular, London and Yorkshire; see Grenadians in the UK) and Australia.


Circle frame-1.svg

Religion in Grenada (2011 estimate)      Protestant (49.2%)     Roman Catholic (36%)     none (5.7%)     unspecified (1.3%)     Jehovah's Witness (1.2%)     Rastafari (1.2%)     other (5.5%)

Figures are 2011 estimates


English is the country's official language but the main spoken language is either of two creole languages (Grenadian Creole English and, less frequently, Grenadian Creole French) (sometimes called 'patois') which reflects the African, European, and native heritage of the nation. The creoles contain elements from a variety of African languages, French and English. Grenadian Creole French is mainly spoken in smaller rural areas.

Some Hindi/Bhojpuri terms are still spoken amongst the Indo-Grenadian community descendants.

The indigenous languages were Iñeri and Karina (Carib).


A carnival in 1965

Island culture is heavily influenced by the African roots of most of the Grenadians, coupled with the country's long experience of colonial rule under the British. Although French influence on Grenadian culture is much less visible than on some other Caribbean islands, surnames and place names in French remain, and the everyday language is laced with French words and the local Creole, or Patois. Stronger French influence is found in the well seasoned spicy food and styles of cooking similar to those found in New Orleans, and some French architecture has survived from the 1700s. Indian and Carib Amerindian influence is also seen, especially in the island's cuisine.

Oil down, a stew, is considered to be the national dish. The name refers to a dish cooked in coconut milk until all the milk is absorbed, leaving a bit of coconut oil in the bottom of the pot. Early recipes call for a mixture of salted pigtail, pig's feet (trotters), salt beef and chicken, dumplings made from flour, and provision like breadfruit, green banana, yam and potatoes. Callaloo leaves are sometimes used to retain the steam and add extra flavour.

Soca, calypso, and reggae are popular music genres and are played at Grenada's annual Carnival. Over the years rap music became popular amongst Grenadian youths, and there have been numerous young rappers emerging in the island's underground rap scene. Zouk is also being slowly introduced onto the island.

An important aspect of the Grenadian culture is the tradition of storytelling, with folk tales bearing both African and French influences. The character, Anancy, a spider who is a trickster, originated in West Africa and is prevalent on other islands as well. French influence can be seen in La Diablesse, a well-dressed she-devil, and Loogaroo (from "loup-garou"), a werewolf.



Kirani James Daegu 2011
Kirani James, noted Grenadian sprinter

Grenada has competed in every Summer Olympics since the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Kirani James won the first Olympic gold medal for Grenada in the men's 400 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the silver medal in the men's 400 meters at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the bronze medal in the men's 400 meters at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.


As with other islands from the Caribbean, cricket is the national and most popular sport and is an intrinsic part of Grenadian culture. The Grenada national cricket team forms a part of the Windward Islands cricket team in regional domestic cricket, however it plays as a separate entity in minor regional matches, as well as having previously played Twenty20 cricket in the Stanford 20/20.

The Grenada National Cricket Stadium in St. George's hosts domestic and international cricket matches. Devon Smith, West Indies record holder to win the List-A West Indian domestic competition for the second time, was born in the small town of Hermitage.

In April 2007, Grenada jointly hosted (along with several other Caribbean nations) the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The Island's prime minister was the CARICOM representative on cricket and was instrumental in having the World Cup games brought to the region. After Hurricane Ivan, the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) paid for the new $40 million national stadium and provided the aid of over 300 labourers to build and repair it. During the opening ceremony, the anthem of the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) was accidentally played instead of the PRC's anthem, leading to the firing of top officials.


Football is also a very popular sport in Grenada.

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