Saint Lucia

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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

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

13.53° N, 60.58° W

Area 193/257

total: 616 sq km

land: 606 sq km

water: 10 sq km

Area - comparative

three and a half 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 broad, fertile valleys

Elevation

mean elevation:

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

agricultural land: 17.4%

arable land 4.9%; permanent crops 11.5%; permanent pasture 1%

forest: 77%

other: 5.6% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

30 sq km (2012)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 0.02 cu km/yr

per capita: 98.22 cu m/yr (2005)

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 and Society

Nationality

noun: Saint Lucian(s)

adjective: Saint Lucian

Ethnic groups

black/African descent 85.3%, mixed 10.9%, East Indian 2.2%, other 1.6%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)

Languages

English (official), French patois

Religions

Roman Catholic 61.5%, Protestant 25.5% (includes Seventh Day Adventist 10.4%, Pentecostal 8.9%, Baptist 2.2%, Anglican 1.6%, Church of God 1.5%, other Protestant .9%), other Christian 3.4% (includes Evangelical 2.3% and Jehovah's Witness 1.1%), Rastafarian 1.9%, other 0.4%, none 5.9%, unspecified 1.4% (2010 est.)

Population 187/238

163,922 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.75% (male 17,508/female 16,503)

15-24 years: 16.3% (male 13,541/female 13,177)

25-54 years: 42.93% (male 33,812/female 36,565)

55-64 years: 9.18% (male 6,964/female 8,084)

65 years and over: 10.84% (male 8,036/female 9,732) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 47.3%

youth dependency ratio: 34.1%

elderly dependency ratio: 13.3%

potential support ratio: 7.5% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 33.5 years

male: 32.4 years

female: 34.6 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 170/233

0.34% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 143/224

13.7 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 115/225

7.42 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 180/222

-2.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 18.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0.89% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

CASTRIES (capital) 22,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 117/184

48 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 126/224

total: 11.45 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 10.9 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 68/224

total population: 77.6 years

male: 74.87 years

female: 80.47 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 162/224

1.76 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 51/191

8.5% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.11 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density

1.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 99.5% of population

rural: 95.6% of population

total: 96.3% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0.5% of population

rural: 4.4% of population

total: 3.7% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 84.7% of population

rural: 91.9% of population

total: 90.5% of population

unimproved:

urban: 15.3% of population

rural: 8.1% of population

total: 9.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 87/191

27% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 116/138

2.8% (2012)

Education expenditures 107/173

4.7% of GDP (2013)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 12 years

female: 13 years (2007)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 12/134

total: 27.5%

male: 21.5%

female: 35.2% (2007 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Saint Lucia

Government type

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital

name: Castries

geographic coordinates: 14.00° N, 61.00° W

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

Administrative divisions

10 districts; Anse-la-Raye, Canaries, Castries, Choiseul, Dennery, Gros-Islet, Laborie, Micoud, Soufriere, Vieux-Fort

Independence

22 February 1979 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 22 February (1979)

Constitution

previous 1958, 1960 (preindependence); latest presented 20 December 1978, effective 22 February 1979; note - in mid-2015, an amendment was proposed to replace the London-based Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the country's highest appellate court (2015)

Legal system

English common law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent: at least one parent must be a citizen of Saint Lucia

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years

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 Kenny Davis ANTHONY (since 30 November 2011)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by governor general

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (11 seats; 6 members appointed on the advice of the prime minister, 3 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and 2 upon consultation with religious, economic, and social groups; members serve 5-year terms) and the House of Assembly (17 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: House of Assembly - last held on 28 November 2011 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - SLP 49.68%, UWP 45.83%; seats by party - SLP 11, UWP 6

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the member states; 3 High Court judges reside on Saint Lucia; note - Saint Lucia is a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice

judge selection and term of office: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62

subordinate courts: magistrate's court

Political parties and leaders

Lucian People's Movement or LPM [Therold PRUDENT]

Saint Lucia Labor Party or SLP [Kenny ANTHONY]

United Workers Party or UWP [Allen CHASTANET]

Political pressure groups and leaders

NA

International organization participation

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

Flag description

cerulean 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 symbol(s)

twin pitons (volcanic peaks), Saint Lucia parrot; national colors: cerulean blue, gold, black, white

National anthem

name: "Sons and Daughters of St. Lucia"

lyrics/music: Charles JESSE/Leton Felix THOMAS

note: adopted 1967

Economy

Economy - overview

The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries . Tourism is Saint Lucia's main source of jobs and income - accounting for 65% of GDP - and the island's main source of foreign exchange earnings. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area. Crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, but St. Lucia's once solid banana industry has been devastated by strong competition. Saint Lucia is vulnerable to a variety of external shocks, including volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on foreign oil. Furthermore, high public debt - 77% of GDP in 2012 - and high debt servicing obligations constrain the ANTHONY administration's ability to respond to adverse external shocks. St. Lucia has experienced anemic growth since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, largely because of a slowdown in tourism - airlines cut back on their routes to St. Lucia in 2012. Also, St. Lucia introduced a value added tax in 2012 of 15%, becoming the last country in the Eastern Caribbean to do so. In 2013, the government introduced a National Competitiveness and Productivity Council to address St. Lucia's high public wages and lack of productivity.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 195/230

$2.032 billion (2015 est.)

$1.997 billion (2014 est.)

$1.988 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.438 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 151/225

1.8% (2015 est.)

0.5% (2014 est.)

0.1% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 125/230

$12,000 (2015 est.)

$11,800 (2014 est.)

$11,700 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 70/179

21.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

22.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

11.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 52.4%

government consumption: 19.3%

investment in fixed capital: 32.1%

investment in inventories: 0.1%

exports of goods and services: 51.7%

imports of goods and services: -55.6%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.7%

industry: 15.3%

services: 82.1% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

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

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate 69/202

3.5% (2015 est.)

Labor force 184/233

79,700 (2012 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 21.7%

industry: 24.7%

services: 53.6% (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate 169/207

20% (2003 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $185.2 million

expenditures: $222.2 million (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 205/219

12.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 91/220

-2.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt 34/176

77% of GDP (2012 est.)

77% of GDP (2010 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 86/226

1.5% (2015 est.)

3.5% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 50/156

6.5% (31 December 2010)

6.5% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 97/184

9% (31 December 2015 est.)

9% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 175/192

$282.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$277.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 169/193

$1.104 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$1.057 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 150/191

$1.546 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.519 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Current account balance 66/197

-$95 million (2015 est.)

-$94 million (2014 est.)

Exports 185/224

$207 million (2015 est.)

$203.3 million (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, avocados, mangoes, coconut oil (2010 est.)

Exports - partners

Dominican Republic 26.3%, US 11.1%, Suriname 9.5%, Antigua and Barbuda 7.3%, Dominica 7.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 6.9%, Barbados 6.4%, UK 5.7%, Grenada 4.9% (2014)

Imports 192/223

$540.6 million (2015 est.)

$558.8 million (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

food, manufactured goods, machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, fuels

Imports - partners

Brazil 44.1%, US 27.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 10.2%, Colombia 8.8% (2014)

Debt - external 179/206

$497.5 million (31 December 2014 est.)

$485.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -

2.7 (2015 est.)

2.7 (2014 est.)

2.7 (2013 est.)

2.7 (2012)

2.7 (2011)

Energy

Electricity - production 167/220

361.7 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 175/219

336.4 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 198/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 204/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 175/214

89,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 29/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 183/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 204/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 129/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 193/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 191/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 127/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 193/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 133/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 182/212

3,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 134/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 175/213

3,041 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 130/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 195/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 183/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 135/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 196/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 186/212

415,700 Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 171/219

total subscriptions: 32,800

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 181/217

total: 188,400

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 115 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: an adequate system that is automatically switched

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is 25 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 130 per 100 persons

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 (2010)

Broadcast media

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

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 209/232

100 (2012)

Internet users 166/217

total: 142,900

percent of population: 89.2% (2009)

Transportation

Airports 204/236

2 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways 182/223

total: 1,210 km

paved: 847 km

unpaved: 363 km (2011)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Castries, Cul-de-Sac, Vieux-Fort

Military and Security

Military branches

no regular military forces; Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (includes Special Service Unit, Marine Unit) (2012)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary security service; no national army (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its Economic Exclusion Zone/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