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Saint Lucia



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Introduction

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. 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 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
  contiguous zone: 24 nm
  exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
  signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

People

Population: 156,260 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 33% (male 26,087; female 25,159)
  15-64 years: 62% (male 47,420; female 49,290)
  65 years and over: 5% (male 3,113; female 5,191) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.21% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 22.19 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 5.43 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -4.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
  total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 15.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 72.31 years
  male: 68.74 years
  female: 76.14 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.42 children born/woman (2000 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: Westminster-style parliamentary democracy

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 (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Dr. Pearlette LOUISY (since September 1997)
  head of government: Prime Minister Kenneth ANTHONY (since 24 May 1997) and Deputy Prime Minister Mario MICHEL (since 24 May 1997)
  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 leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister 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 are elected by popular vote from single-member constituencies to serve five-year terms)
  elections: House of Assembly - last held 23 May 1997 (next to be held NA 2002)
  election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SLP 16, UWP 1

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: National Freedom Party or NFP [Martinus FRANCOIS]; Saint Lucia Labor Party or SLP [Kenneth ANTHONY]; United Workers Party or UWP [leader NA]

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), ITU, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US
  chief 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) 364-6728
  consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Saint Lucia; the US Ambassador in 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

Economy

Economy - overview: The recent changes in the EU import preference regime and the increased competition from Latin American bananas have made economic diversification increasingly important in Saint Lucia. Improvement in the construction sector and growth of the tourism industry helped expand GDP in 1998-99. The agriculture sector registered its fifth year of decline in 1997 primarily because of a severe decline in banana production. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean, and the government is beginning to develop regulations for the small offshore financial sector.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $656 million (1998 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.9% (1998 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,300 (1998 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 10.7%
  industry: 32.3%
  services: 57% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.7% (1998 est.)

Labor force: 43,800

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

Unemployment rate: 15% (1996 est.)

Budget
  revenues: $141.2 million
  expenditures: $146.7 million, including capital expenditures of $25.1 million (FY97/98 est.)

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

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

Electricity - production: 110 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 100%
  hydro: 0%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 102 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

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

Exports: $75 million (1998)

Exports - commodities: bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, coconut oil

Exports - partners: UK 50%, US 24%, Caricom countries 16% (1995)

Imports: $290 million (1998)

Imports - commodities: food 23%, manufactured goods 21%, machinery and transportation equipment 19%, chemicals, fuels

Imports - partners: US 36%, Caricom countries 22%, UK 11%, Japan 5%, Canada 4% (1995)

Debt - external: $135 million (1998)

Economic aid - recipient: $51.8 million (1995)

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

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 31,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,000 (1995)

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 2, FM 7 (plus 3 repeaters), shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 111,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 3 (of which two are commercial stations and one is a community antenna television or CATV channel) (1997)

Televisions: 32,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways
  total: 1,210 km
  paved: 63 km
  unpaved: 1,147 km (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Castries, Vieux Fort

Merchant marine: none (1999 est.)

Airports: 2 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 2
  2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (includes Special Service Unit), Coast Guard

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $5 million (FY91/92)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2% (FY91/92)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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

 

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