Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory located in the Lesser Antilles in the Eastern Caribbean. It has an area of 102 km2. The island is composed almost exclusively of volcanic rock and is primarily mountainous, with a small coastal plain.
Between 1990 and 2015, the population declined by 50.6% to just 5,241 in 2015. Much of the population shrinkage followed the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano in 1995, which destroyed the capital, Plymouth, and forced the evacuation of the population to the northern third of the island, considered safer given the continuing risk posed by the volcano. A significant portion of the population emigrated to Antigua, other parts of the Caribbean, and even beyond.
Most of the population is of African descent (88.4%), followed by people of mixed ethnicity (3.7%) and Hispanics (3.0%). There is no indigenous population, and 73% of residents are native to Montserrat.
Estimated life expectancy has risen steadily, with the most recent estimates at 74.4 years overall (75.64 in men, 72.57 in women).
The persistent risk of volcanic activity has effectively limited the potential for economic growth, since it is difficult to maintain the population and the economy at sustainable levels.
(Source: Health in the Americas+, 2017 Edition)