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  • [Country flag of Saint Lucia]

    Saint Lucia

    [Country map of 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