Saint Kitts and Nevis

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Saint Kitts and Nevis is a sovereign federated state located in the Lesser Antilles in the east Caribbean. It comprises the islands of Saint Kitts (Saint Christopher) and the smaller Nevis, divided by a strait of water known as 'The Narrows'. The islands were among the first in the Caribbean to be colonized by the British, in 1623. Both islands were originally inhabited by hunter-gatherers from North America dating around 3000 BC, who were gradually displaced by the Saladoid people by 1000 BC, the Igneri (AD 800), and the Kalinago (AD 1300). Christopher Columbus reached the islands in 1493, and French and British colonies were established during the seventeenth century. Following the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Saint Kitts and Nevis were formally ceded to British. Both islands were federated with Anguilla forming the Crown Colony of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla in 1958 and were granted self-governing autonomy in 1967. In 1983, Anguilla separated from the colony and Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence as a dominion with the Commonwealth of Nations. The capital and largest city is Basseterre. Estimated population of Saint Kitts and Nevis in 2005 was 53,000.