Definition of Youth

The national youth policy of Saint Kitts and Nevis defines youth as anyone under the age of 35.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 16
  • --
  • XX
  • Female
  • 16
  • --
  • --

  • No data for marriageable age with parental consent. Male homosexual acts illegal. Female homosexual acts legal, however no specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  UN Child Rights Periodic Report

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • -- Male (15-24) %
  • -- Female (15-24) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 83.73%Male %
  • 88.13% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 10.40% Male (13-15) %
  • 7.80% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
draft national youth policy has been developed in 2010. The final version is available online.

A draft national youth policy (2010) was presented in 2010, however an updated, full policy is available on the Department of Youth Empowerment website, though is still described as a draft. The online version details the vision as “one of integrated, holistic and sustainable youth development, cognisant of the significance of youth and their capacity to advance [the] nation.” The policy focuses on ten strategic areas: Patriotism and Social Cohesion; Education; Economic Participation; Environment; Youth Work/Youth Services; Civic/Political Participation; Volunteerism; Health and Well-being; Crime and Violence/ Social Dissension; Youth Excellence. As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Saint Kitts and Nevis is a signatory of The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE) 2006-2015.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Department of Youth Empowerment within the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports, Information Technology, Telecommunications & Posts, is responsible for youth affairs. The Department of Youth Empowerment aims:
to develop and deliver quality programmes, services and activities that foster active participation which leads to the empowerment of young people in areas of employment, entrepreneurship, sports, education, health, community service, volunteerism and decision-making.
It is responsible for youth policy, youth groups and youth participation structures.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The draft national youth policy (2010) notes that no national youth council currently exists, and commits to establishing one. The lack of a youth council was also noted in a speech on 15 May 2013 by the Commonwealth Secretary General. The St Kitts National Youth Parliament Association, in partnership with the Department of Youth Empowerment, holds an annual mock-parliamentary debate and is listed as the member organisation at the Commonwealth Youth Council. The Department of Youth Empowerment supports Young Ambassadors as part of the CARICOM Young Ambassadors programme.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
XCD 719,000
USD 266,296
According to the 2014 Government Expenditure and Revenue plans (2013), the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports, Information Technology, Telecommunications & Posts was allocated XCD 13.9 million (USD 5.1 million). From this, “Support for Youth Development” was allocated XCD 719,000 (USD 266,296). According to the World Bank, Saint Kitts and Nevis spent 10.73 % of its government expenditure and 4.22% of its GDP on education provision in 2007.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

The online national youth policy provides a situation analysis for youth in Saint Kitts and Nevis: Distribution
The last Population Census 2011 reports a population of 46,204 persons in St. Kitts-Nevis with 34,789 living on St Kitts, and 11,415 living on Nevis. Persons within the age of range of 0-35, number at 26,220, which is 64.9% of the entire population which is a total youth population of 13,830 between the ages of 16-35.
In both St. Kitts and Nevis, the majority of the youth are between the ages of 0- 19 years. In St. Kitts, there seems to be more males in this age group than females. In Nevis, the distribution is the converse.
Family Structures
The basic family structures that exist in St. Kitts-Nevis are the single parent, nuclear and extended family units. However, the majority of our youth live in single-parent households. This contributes to the social conditions that presently exist.
The non-nuclear family structures have resulted in single parent homes that bring pressure on state institutions such as the Children’s Home. The Government of St. Kitts-Nevis and local civil society partners have sought to educate the population on child abandonment, its impact on our children and the burden it places on society and the state. Numerous intervention and training initiatives have been pursued through our schools, and Government Social Services Departments to sensitize and assist parents with proper parenting skills and good practices in child development. Similarly, Government has and continues to work with various other stakeholders to facilitate varied programming toward enhancing the capacities of parents to nurture and guide our youth.
The BBC News provides historical context about the two islands:
The former British colony of St Kitts and Nevis is inhabited mostly by the descendants of West African slaves.
Its beaches, scenery and a warm, sunny climate give it great tourist potential. It is also vulnerable to hurricanes.
The islands of St Kitts - also known as St Christopher - and Nevis have been in an uneasy federation since independence from Britain in 1983, with some politicians in Nevis saying the federal government in St Kitts - home to a majority of the population - had ignored the needs of Nevisians.
But a referendum on secession held in Nevis in 1998 failed to gain the two-thirds majority needed to break away.
Tourism, offshore finance and service industries are important sources of income - more so since a centuries-old but loss-making sugar industry was wound down in 2005 with the loss of hundreds of jobs.
By 2003, Nevis was home to around 17,000 offshore businesses operating under strict secrecy laws, making the islands a target for drugs traffickers and money launderers. Laws have been introduced to crack down on the problem.