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Saint Lucia

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Introduction - Saint Lucia:
CountrySaint Lucia

BackgroundThe 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 - Saint Lucia:
LocationCaribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago

Geographic coordinates13 53 N, 60 58 W

Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean

Areatotal: 616 sq km
land: 606 sq km
water: 10 sq km

Area comparative3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries0 km

Coastline158 km

Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

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

Terrainvolcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys

Elevation extremeslowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Gimie 950 m

Natural resourcesforests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential

Land usearable land: 6.45%
permanent crops: 22.58%
other: 70.97% (2005)

Irrigated land30 sq km (2003)

Natural hazardshurricanes and volcanic activity

Environment current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion, particularly in the northern region

Environment international agreementsparty 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 notethe 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:
Population170,649 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure0-14 years: 29.4% (male 25,869/female 24,248)
15-64 years: 65.5% (male 55,115/female 56,641)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 3,200/female 5,576) (2007 est.)

Median agetotal: 25.6 years
male: 24.8 years
female: 26.5 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate1.297% (2007 est.)

Birth rate19.28 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate5.03 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate-1.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratioat birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.067 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.973 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.574 male(s)/female
total population: 0.974 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality ratetotal: 12.81 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.93 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.08 years
male: 70.53 years
female: 77.88 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate2.15 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rateNA

Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsNA

Hiv aids deathsNA

Nationalitynoun: Saint Lucian(s)
adjective: Saint Lucian

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

ReligionsRoman 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)

LanguagesEnglish (official), French patois

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 90.1%
male: 89.5%
female: 90.6% (2001 est.)

Government - Saint Lucia:
Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Lucia

Government typeparliamentary democracy

Capitalname: Castries
geographic coordinates: 14 01 N, 61 00 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions11 quarters; Anse-la-Raye, Castries, Choiseul, Dauphin, Dennery, Gros-Islet, Laborie, Micoud, Praslin, Soufriere, Vieux-Fort

Independence22 February 1979 (from UK)

National holidayIndependence Day, 22 February (1979)

Constitution22 February 1979

Legal systembased on English common law

Suffrage18 years of age; universal

Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Dame Pearlette LOUISY (since September 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Sir John COMPTON (since 15 December 2006); note - since 1 May 2007 Stephenson KING has been acting prime minister while Sir John COMPTON recovers from a series of strokes
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

Legislative branchbicameral 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 are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held 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 branchEastern Caribbean Supreme Court (jurisdiction extends to Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)

Political parties and leadersNational 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 [Sir John COMPTON]

Political pressure groups and leadersNA

International organization participationACCT, ACP, 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, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Sonia Merlyn JOHNNY
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 usthe US does not have an embassy in Saint Lucia; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Lucia

Flag descriptionblue, with a gold isosceles triangle below a black arrowhead; the upper edges of the arrowhead have a white border

Economy - Saint Lucia:
Economy overviewChanges in the EU import preference regime and the increased competition from Latin American bananas have made economic diversification increasingly important in Saint Lucia. The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries. Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange, with more than 700,000 arrivals in 2005. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalize the banana industry. Economic fundamentals remain solid, even though unemployment needs to be cut.

Gdp purchasing power parity $1.179 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate $825 million (2005)

Gdp real growth rate5.1% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp $4,800 (2005 est.)

Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 5%
industry: 15%
services: 80% (2005 est.)

Labor force43,800 (2001 est.)

Labor force by occupationagriculture: 21.7%
industry: 24.7%
services: 53.6% (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate20% (2003 est.)

Population below poverty lineNA%

Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices 2.9% (2005 est.)

Budgetrevenues: $141.2 million
expenditures: $146.7 million; including capital expenditures of $25.1 million (2000 est.)

Agriculture productsbananas, coconuts, vegetables, citrus, root crops, cocoa

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

Industrial production growth rate-8.9% (1997 est.)

Electricity production290 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption269.7 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)

Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption2,800 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exportsNA bbl/day

Oil importsNA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves0 bbl

Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)

Exports$82 million (2004 est.)

Exports commoditiesbananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, coconut oil

Exports partnersFrance 69.1%, US 10.1%, UK 8.7% (2006)

Imports$410 million (2004 est.)

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

Imports partnersUS 19.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.1%, Italy 11.6%, France 11.1%, UK 6.5%, Argentina 6.4%, Netherlands 5.5%, Venezuela 5.1% (2006)

Debt external$257 million (2004)

Economic aid recipient$21.5 million (2004)

Currency code East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Exchange ratesEast Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003), 2.7 (2002)

Communications - Saint Lucia:
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March

Telephones main lines in use51,100 (2002)

Telephones mobile cellular105,700 (2005)

Telephone systemgeneral assessment: adequate system
domestic: system is automatically switched
international: country code - 1-758; direct microwave radio relay link with Martinique and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; tropospheric scatter to Barbados; international calls beyond these countries are carried by Intelsat from Martinique

Radio broadcast stationsAM 2, FM 7, shortwave 0 (2003)

Television broadcast stations2 (1 commercial broadcast station and 1 community antenna television or CATV channel) (2003)

Internet country code.lc

Internet hosts21 (2006)

Internet users55,000 (2004)

Transportation - Saint Lucia:
Airports2 (2006)

Airports with paved runwaystotal: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)

Roadwaystotal: 910 km
paved: 48 km
unpaved: 862 km (2000)

Ports and terminalsCastries, Cul-de-Sac, Vieux-Fort

Military - Saint Lucia:
Military branchesno regular military forces; Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (includes Special Service Unit, Coast Guard) (2007)

Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 42,742 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 33,539 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 1,651 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdpNA

Disputes internationaljoins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuelas 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

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>