Grenada made the world headlines in 1983 when a split in the governing left-wing party led to the overthrow and execution of the country's charismatic leader, Maurice Bishop, and provided the pretext for a US invasion of the islands.
Set against the background of Grenada's hitherto peaceful post-independence history, the event highlighted the country's contradictory character.
From one angle, Grenada has an "exotic" flavour which appeals especially to Westerners. Known as the "Spice Island", it is the world's second-largest producer of nutmeg and is a significant producer of mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
Kirani James focused attention on Grenada by winning the gold medal in the Men's 400m in the 2012 Olympic Games
It also boasts beautiful scenery, with picturesque and fertile valleys, rainforests, fast-flowing streams, hot springs, mountain lakes, a tropical climate and excellent beaches.
Although Grenada has one of the fastest-growing economies in the Caribbean, poverty is widespread. Growth in investment and tourism, and a construction boom, have helped to reduce unemployment.
The country was dealt a serious blow in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan swept through killing dozens of people, damaging 90% of the island's buildings and devastating the nutmeg crop.
Tourism has generated its own problems, in the form of threats to the rainforest and beach erosion caused by resort projects.
- Full name: Grenada
- Population: 105,000 (UN, 2011)
- Capital: Saint George's
- Area: 344 sq km (133 sq miles)
- Major languages: English (official), French patois
- Major religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 74 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
- Monetary unit: 1 East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents
- Main exports: Nutmeg, bananas, cocoa, fruit and vegetables, clothing, mace
- GNI per capita: US $6,930 (World Bank, 2010)
- Internet domain: .gd
- International dialling code: +1473
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a governor
Prime Minister Tillman Thomas
Prime Minister: Tillman Thomas, whose National Democratic Congress won elections in July 2008 and returned to power after 13 years in opposition.
The 63-year-old lawyer's NDC won 11 of the 15 seats in parliament.
The New National Party of former Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, who had been seeking a fourth term in office, could only win four seats.
Grenada has a free media and this is guaranteed in law. The country has no daily newspapers; its privately-owned weeklies freely criticise the government.
The Grenada Broadcasting Network, jointly owned by the Caribbean Communications Network and the government, runs the main radio and television stations.
There were some 33,000 internet users by March 2011 (via Internetworldstats).
- The Grenada Guardian - weekly, mouthpiece of Grenada United Labour Party
- The Grenada Informer - weekly
- The Grenada Times - weekly
- Grenada Today - weekly
- The Grenadian Voice - weekly
- GBN TV - operated by Grenada Broadcasting Network
- MTV - private station