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. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979.


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

Geographic coordinates:

13 53 N, 60 68 W


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

Land boundaries:

0 km


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


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


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)

Natural hazards:

hurricanes and volcanic activity

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil erosion, particularly in the northern region

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


168,458 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 29.8% (male 25,941/female 24,319)
15-64 years: 65% (male 53,916/female 55,582)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 3,186/female 5,514) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 25.2 years
male: 24.4 years
female: 26.1 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.29% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

19.68 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

5.08 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

-1.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 13.17 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.29 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.84 years
male: 70.29 years
female: 77.65 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.18 children born/woman (2006 est.)


noun: Saint Lucian(s)
adjective: Saint Lucian

Ethnic groups:

black 90%, mixed 6%, East Indian 3%, white 1%


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


English (official), French patois


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

Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Lucia

Government type:

Westminster-style parliamentary democracy



Administrative divisions:

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


22 February 1979 (from UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 22 February (1979)


22 February 1979

Legal system:

based on English common law


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

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 after consultation with religious, economic, and social groups) and the House of Assembly (17 seats; members are elected by popular vote from single-member constituencies to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held 3 December 2001 (next to be held in December 2006)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - SLP 55%, UWP 37%, NA 3.5%; seats by party - SLP 14, UWP 3

Judicial branch:

Eastern 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)

Economy - overview:

Changes 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. 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):

$866 million (2002 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.3% (2002 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$5,400 (2002 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 7%
industry: 20%
services: 73% (2002 est.)

Labor force:

43,800 (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 21.7%
industry: 24.7%
services: 53.6% (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate:

20% (2003 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3% (2001 est.)


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

Agriculture - products:

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


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

Industrial production growth rate:

-8.9% (1997 est.)

Electricity - production:

281 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

261.4 million kWh (2003)

Oil - consumption:

2,520 bbl/day (2003 est.)


$82 million (2004 est.)

Exports - commodities:

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

Exports - partners:

UK 41.4%, US 16.5%, Brazil 11.6%, Barbados 5.8%, Antigua and Barbuda 4.6%, Dominica 4.5% (2004)


$410 million (2004 est.)

Imports - commodities:

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

Imports - partners:

US 27.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 20.4%, UK 8%, Venezuela 7.6%, Finland 7% (2004)

Debt - external:

$214 million (2000)

Economic aid - recipient:

$51.8 million (1995)

Currency (code):

East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March

Telephones - main lines in use:

51,100 (2002)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

93,000 (2004)

Telephone system:

general 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 stations:

AM 2, FM 7, shortwave 0 (2004)

Television broadcast stations:

2 (of which one is a commercial broadcast station and one is a community antenna television or CATV channel) (2004)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

25 (2005)

Internet users:

55,000 (2005)


2 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2005)


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

Ports and terminals:

Castries, Cul-de-Sac, Vieux-Fort

Military branches:

no regular military forces; Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (includes Special Service Unit, Coast Guard) (2003)

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 Caribbean Sea

Illicit drugs:

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