In the countryside of Saint Christopher, the big estate
still dominates. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of SKN and acronym for St. Kitts and Nevis. Slavery was abolished in 1838, but the farm
workers have largely remained dependent on the sugar
plantation owners for work and housing. The state has bought
some goods and leased them to small farmers. Small farms
have been more common in Nevis, but these have often
struggled with profitability problems. Many landless and
poor small farmers have moved to the cities or emigrated.
During the period 1990-2006, unemployment fell from about 15
to just over 5 per cent.
The state's relatively good finances as a result of very
rapid economic development during the 1980s and 1990s made
it possible to expand the welfare system for all citizens.
There are compulsory insurance for old age pension, illness
and accidents. The state is responsible for health care,
which is fairly well developed. Health conditions have
improved; tropical diseases are no longer present and
serious infectious diseases are uncommon.