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Saint Lucia

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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.



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: 193
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:
Current Weather
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



Population:
160,922 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187

Age structure:
0-14 years: 23.5% (male 19,422/female 18,465)
15-64 years: 67% (male 52,291/female 55,534)
65 years and over: 9.5% (male 6,870/female 8,340) (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: 160

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: 140

Net migration rate:
-3.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154

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: 152

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: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)

Education expenditures:
6.6% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 29



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 (signatory), 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



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 70% 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):
$1.75 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
$1.795 billion (2008 est.)
$1.782 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.003 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-2.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
0.7% (2008 est.)
1.7% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$10,900 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
$11,200 (2008 est.)
$11,200 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 15%
services: 80% (2005 est.)

Labor force:
79,700 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 184

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: 167

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $141.2 million
expenditures: $146.7 million (2000 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.9% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 61
6.5% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
10.08% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 110
8.34% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$261.3 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 140
$264.7 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$800.1 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 124
$720.9 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$1.378 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 105
$1.217 billion (31 December 2007)

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: 166

Electricity - consumption:
302.2 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167

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: 179

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179

Oil - imports:
2,747 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 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: 157

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 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140

Current account balance:
-$199 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90

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: 178

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: 170

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



Telephones - main lines in use:
40,900 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 168

Telephones - mobile cellular:
169,600 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 174

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

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 11, shortwave 0 (2008)

Television broadcast stations:
2 (1 commercial broadcast station and 1 community antenna television or CATV channel) (2003)

Internet country code:
.lc

Internet hosts:
103 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 198

Internet users:
100,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 155



Airports:
2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 199

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)

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

Ports and terminals:
Castries, Cul-de-Sac, Vieux-Fort



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



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

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

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