Factbook: St. Lucia


Saint Lucia

Geography

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

Geographic coordinates: 13 53 N, 60 68 W

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
total: 620 sq km
land: 610 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: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone : 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season from January to April, rainy season from 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: 8%
permanent crops : 21%
permanent pastures: 5%
forests and woodland: 13%
other: 53% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: hurricanes and volcanic activity

Environment – current issues: deforestation; soil erosion, particularly in the northern region

Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

People

Population: 150,630 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years : 35% (male 26,430; female 26,018)
15-64 years: 60% (male 44,117; female 45,922)
65 years and over: 5% (male 3,091; female 5,052) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.14% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 23.31 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 5.71 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -6.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.61 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 17.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.36 years
male : 67.74 years
female: 75.23 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.44 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun : Saint Lucian(s)
adjective: Saint Lucian

Ethnic groups: black 90%, mixed 6%, East Indian 3%, white 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Protestant 7%, Anglican 3%

Languages: English (official), French patois

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 67%
male: 65%
female : 69% (1980 est.)

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Lucia

Data code: ST

Government type: parliamentary democracy

National capital: Castries

Administrative divisions: 11 quarters; Anse La Raye, Castries, Choiseul, Dauphin, Dennery, Gros Islet, Laborie, Micoud, Praslin, Soufriere, Vieux Fort

Independence: 22 February 1979 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 22 February (1979)

Constitution: 22 February 1979

Legal system: based on English common law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General William George MALLET (since 1 June 1996)
head of government : Prime Minister Vaughn LEWIS (since 31 March 1996)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (an 11-member body, six 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 from single member constituencies to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly – last held 27 April 1992 (next to be held NA May 1997)
election results: House of Assembly – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – UWP 11, SLP 6

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

Political parties and leaders: United Workers’ Party (UWP), Vaughn LEWIS; Saint Lucia Labor Party (SLP), Kenneth ANTHONY; Saint Lucia Freedom Party (SLFP), Martinus FRANCOIS

International organization participation: ACCT (associate), ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), NAM, OAS, OECS, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Joseph Edsel EDMUNDS
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 364-6792 through 6795
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6728
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Saint Lucia; the Ambassador to Saint Lucia resides in Bridgetown (Barbados)

Flag description: blue with a gold isosceles triangle below a black arrowhead; the upper edges of the arrowhead have a white border

Economy

Economy – overview: Though foreign investment in manufacturing and information processing in recent years has increased Saint Lucia’s industrial base, the economy remains vulnerable due to its heavy dependence on banana production, which is subject to periodic droughts and tropical storms. Indeed, the destructive effect of Tropical Storm Iris in mid-1995 caused the loss of 20% of the year’s banana crop. Increased competition from Latin American bananas will probably further reduce market prices, exacerbating Saint Lucia’s need to diversify its economy in coming years, e.g., by further expanding tourism, manufacturing, and construction.

GDP: purchasing power parity – $695 million (1996 est.)

GDP – real growth rate: 4.3% (1996 est.)

GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $4,400 (1996 est.)

GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture : 13.8%
industry: 17.4%
services: 68.8% (1992 est.)

Inflation rate – consumer price index: 3% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 43,800
by occupation: agriculture 43.4%, services 38.9%, industry and commerce 17.7% (1983 est.)

Unemployment rate: 25% (1995 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $361.5 million
expenditures: $311 million, including capital expenditures of $104 million (1995 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA %

Electricity – capacity: 34,000 kW (1995)

Electricity – production: NA kWh

Electricity – consumption per capita: 801 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture – products: bananas, coconuts, vegetables, citrus, root crops, cocoa

Exports:
total value: $104.1 million (f.o.b., 1995)
commodities: bananas 60%, clothing, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, coconut oil
partners: UK 56%, US 22%, Caricom countries 19% (1991)

Imports:
total value: $270.5 million (f.o.b., 1995)
commodities: manufactured goods 21%, machinery and transportation equipment 21%, food and live animals, chemicals, fuels
partners: US 34%, Caricom countries 17%, UK 14%, Japan 7%, Canada 4% (1991)

Debt – external: $115 million (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 EC dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 – 2.7000 (February 1997; fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: 1 April – 31 March

Communications

Telephones: 26,000 (1992 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic: system is automatically switched
international: 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 4, FM 1, shortwave 0

Radios: 104,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 3 ( two commercial stations and one cable)

Televisions: 26,000 (1992 est.)

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 760 km
paved: 500 km
unpaved : 260 km

Ports and harbors: Castries, Vieux Fort

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 3 (1996 est.)

Airports – with paved runways:
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, Coast Guard

Military manpower – availability:
males age 15-49 : NA

Military manpower – fit for military service:
males: NA

Military expenditures – dollar figure: $5 million (1991); note – for police forces

Military expenditures – percent of GDP: 2% (1991)

Transnational Issues

Disputes – international: none

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