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The Caribbean region described in this survey is implied in a restricted sense. It does not include the continental countries but only the islands of the region with the exception of Puerto Rico which, as a territory associated with USA, is included in the survey of North America (see ADCP/REP/89/37).

The countries included in the sectoral survey are:

Cayman Islands
Dominican Republic
Netherlands Antilles
St. Christopher and Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
US Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands

The 23 countries can be sub-divided geopolitically in a number of ways.

(1) Seventeen are English-speaking countries which belong to the Commonwealth (with the exception of the US Virgin Islands), and ten of them are members of Caribbean Economic Community (CARICOM), namely, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Six countries are not independent sovereign states, namely Anguila, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, but are British territories, and US Virgin Islands, a territory associated with USA. Two countries are independent Spanish-speaking countries, namely Cuba and Dominican Republic, and are the most important in the region in terms of surface area (70%), population (56%), and gross national product (GNP) (45%).

(2) Three countries are overseas territories or regions of countries of the European Economic Community (EEC), namely Guadeloupe and Martinique (France), and Netherlands Antilles (the Netherlands). These countries have special financial advantages because of this association.

(3) One country, namely Haiti, is a French-speaking country; it was the first independent country of the region in 1804.

The countries can also be divided into two main geographic groups:

(4) The Greater Antilles, namely Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, which together have 88% of the total surface area and 88% of the total population of the region.

(5) The Lesser Antilles, which include the other 19 countries, and of which Trinidad and Tobago has one third of their total population.

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