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Saint Lucia (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::Saint Lucia

Background:

The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814. Even after the abolition of slavery on its plantations in 1834, Saint Lucia remained an agricultural island, dedicated to producing tropical commodity crops. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979.

Geography ::Saint Lucia


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Location:

Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic
Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago

Geographic coordinates:
13 53 N, 60 58 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

Area:

total: 616 sq km country comparison to the world: 192 land: 606 sq km

water: 10 sq km

Area - comparative:

3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

158 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:

tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season May to August

Terrain:

volcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Mount Gimie 950 m

Natural resources:

forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential

Land use:

arable land: 6.45%

permanent crops: 22.58%

other: 70.97% (2005)

Irrigated land:

30 sq km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.01

per capita: 81 cu m/yr (1997)

Natural hazards:

hurricanes; volcanic activity

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil erosion, particularly in the northern region

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

the twin Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton), striking cone-shaped peaks south of Soufriere, are one of the scenic natural highlights of the Caribbean

People ::Saint Lucia

Population:

160,922 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 186

Age structure:

0-14 years: 24.4% (male 20,035/female 19,021)

15-64 years: 66.4% (male 51,593/female 54,843)

65 years and over: 9.2% (male 6,668/female 8,107) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 30.3 years

male: 29.3 years

female: 31.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.398% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 161

Birth rate:

14.81 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 139

Death rate:

6.9 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 139

Net migration rate:

-3.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 193

Urbanization:

urban population: 28% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.055 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 13.07 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 133 male: 12.19 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 76.65 years country comparison to the world: 67 male: 73.97 years

female: 79.48 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.82 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 154

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Nationality:

noun: Saint Lucian(s)

adjective: Saint Lucian

Ethnic groups:

black 82.5%, mixed 11.9%, East Indian 2.4%, other or unspecified 3.1% (2001 census)

Religions:

Roman Catholic 67.5%, Seventh Day Adventist 8.5%, Pentecostal 5.7%, Rastafarian 2.1%, Anglican 2%, Evangelical 2%, other Christian 5.1%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.5% (2001 census)

Languages:

English (official), French patois

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school

total population: 90.1%

male: 89.5%

female: 90.6% (2001 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

6.3% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 32

Government ::Saint Lucia

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Saint Lucia

Government type:

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital:

name: Castries

geographic coordinates: 14 01 N, 61 00 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

11 quarters; Anse-la-Raye, Castries, Choiseul, Dauphin, Dennery, Gros-Islet, Laborie, Micoud, Praslin, Soufriere, Vieux-Fort

Independence:

22 February 1979 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 22 February (1979)

Constitution:

22 February 1979

Legal system:

based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Dame Pearlette LOUISY (since September 1997)

head of government: Prime Minister Stephenson KING (since 9 September 2007); note - Sir John COMPTON died in office 7 September 2007

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (11 seats; six members appointed on the advice of the prime minister, three on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and two after consultation with religious, economic, and social groups) and the House of Assembly (17 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: House of Assembly - last held on 11 December 2006 (next to be held in December 2011)

election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - UWP 50%, SLP 46.9%, other 3.1%; seats by party - UWP 11, SLP 6

Judicial branch:

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consists of a High Court and a
Court of Appeals; based on Saint Lucia; three judges of the Supreme
Court reside in Saint Lucia); member of the Caribbean Court of
Justice (CCJ)

Political parties and leaders:

National Alliance or NA [George ODLUM]; Saint Lucia Freedom Party or
SFP [Martinus FRANCOIS]; Saint Lucia Labor Party or SLP [Kenneth
ANTHONY]; Sou Tout Apwe Fete Fini or STAFF [Christopher HUNTE];
United Workers Party or UWP [Stephenson KING]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

International organization participation:

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, ITUC,
MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OIF, OPANAL, OPCW, PetroCaribe, UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael LOUIS

chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

telephone: [1] (202) 364-6792 through 6795
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6723

consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Saint Lucia; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Lucia

Flag description:

blue, with a gold isosceles triangle below a black arrowhead; the upper edges of the arrowhead have a white border; the blue color represents the sky and sea, gold stands for sunshine and prosperity, and white and black the racial composition of the island (with the latter being dominant); the two major triangles invoke the twin Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton), cone-shaped volcanic plugs that are a symbol of the island

National anthem:

name: "Sons and Daughters of St. Lucia"

lyrics/music: Charles JESSE/Leton Felix THOMAS

note: adopted 1967

Economy ::Saint Lucia

Economy - overview:

The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries, with a surge in foreign direct investment in 2006, attributed to the construction of several tourism projects. Although crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, tourism provides Saint Lucia's main source of income and the industry is the island's biggest employer. Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange, although tourism sector revenues declined with the global economic downturn as US and European travel dropped in 2009. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalize the banana industry, although recent hurricanes have caused exports to contract. Saint Lucia is vulnerable to a variety of external shocks including volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on foreign oil. The public debt-to-GDP ratio is about 77% and high debt servicing obligations constrain the KING administration's ability to respond to adverse external shocks. Economic fundamentals remain solid, even though unemployment needs to be reduced.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.789 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 187 $1.769 billion (2009 est.)

$1.866 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

1.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 178 -5.2% (2009 est.)

0.7% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$11,100 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 101 $11,000 (2009 est.)

$11,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 5%

industry: 15%

services: 80% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

79,700 (2007) country comparison to the world: 183

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 21.7%

industry: 24.7%

services: 53.6% (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate:

20% (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.9% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 53

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 63 6.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

10.58% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 89 10.08% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$244.3 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 169 $245 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$1.094 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 160 $1.061 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.378 billion (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 137 $1.217 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:

bananas, coconuts, vegetables, citrus, root crops, cocoa

Industries:

clothing, assembly of electronic components, beverages, corrugated cardboard boxes, tourism; lime processing, coconut processing

Industrial production growth rate:
NA%

Electricity - production:

325 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

Electricity - consumption:

302.2 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 166

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 137

Oil - consumption:

3,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 178

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 180

Oil - imports:

2,747 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 170

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 130

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 137

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 156

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 140

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 141

Current account balance:

-$199 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 88

Exports:

$288 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 175

Exports - commodities:

bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, coconut oil

Exports - partners:

Spain 29.41%, UK 15.28%, South Korea 10.54%, US 9.75%, India 9.52% (2009)

Imports:

$791 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 179

Imports - commodities:

food 23%, manufactured goods 21%, machinery and transportation equipment 19%, chemicals, fuels

Imports - partners:

Brazil 83.44%, US 4.67%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.56% (2009)

Debt - external:

$257 million (2004) country comparison to the world: 172

Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

Communications ::Saint Lucia

Telephones - main lines in use:

41,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 166

Telephones - mobile cellular:

176,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 173

Telephone system:

general assessment: adequate system

domestic: system is automatically switched

international: country code - 1-758; the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables, along with Intelsat from Martinique, carry calls internationally; direct microwave radio relay link with Martinique and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; tropospheric scatter to Barbados

Broadcast media:

3 privately-owned television stations; 1 public television station operating on a cable network; multi-channel cable TV service is obtainable; a mix of state-owned and privately-owned broadcasters operate nearly 25 radio stations including repeater transmission stations (2007)

Internet country code:

.lc

Internet hosts:

106 (2010) country comparison to the world: 201

Internet users:

142,900 (2009) country comparison to the world: 149

Transportation ::Saint Lucia

Airports:

2 (2010) country comparison to the world: 198

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 1,210 km (2002) country comparison to the world: 180

Ports and terminals:

Castries, Cul-de-Sac, Vieux-Fort

Military ::Saint Lucia

Military branches:

no regular military forces; Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (includes Special Service Unit and Coast Guard) (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 41,177 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 32,406

females age 16-49: 36,216 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 1,627

female: 1,521 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
NA

Transnational Issues ::Saint Lucia

Disputes - international:

joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UNCLOS, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea

Illicit drugs:

transit point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe

World

Hellenica World

Index