St Lucia IFC

St. Lucia Factbook


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

Geographic coordinates: 13 53 N, 60 58 W

Map references:  Central America and the Caribbean

total: 616 sq km
land: 606 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: 

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

Climate:  tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season 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: 6.45%
permanent crops: 22.58%
other: 70.97% (2005)

Irrigated land:  30 sq km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): 

total: 0.01
per capita: 81 cu m/yr (1997)

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, 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 - 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


Population:  172,884 (July 2008 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 28.9% (male 25,786/female 24,169)
15-64 years: 66% (male 56,346/female 57,725)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 3,212/female 5,646) (2008 est.)

Median age:

total: 26 years
male: 25.2 years
female: 26.9 years (2008 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.305% (2008 est.)

Birth rate:  18.89 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Death rate:  4.99 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Net migration rate:  -0.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.57 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 12.46 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.56 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.32 years
male: 70.77 years
female: 78.12 years (2008 est.)

Total fertility rate:  2.11 children born/woman (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA


noun: Saint Lucian(s)
adjective: Saint Lucian

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


Roman 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)

Languages:  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:   parliamentary democracy


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

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 Dame Pearlette LOUISY (since September 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Stephenson KING (since 9 September 2007); note - Sir John COMPTON died in office Friday, 7 September 2007
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: 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 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 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 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 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 [Stephenson KING]

Political pressure groups and leaders:   NA

International organization participation:


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) 364-6723
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York

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

The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries, with a surge in foreign direct investment in 2006, attributed to the construction of several tourism projects. Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange, with almost 900,000 arrivals in 2007. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalize the banana industry. Saint Lucia is vulnerable to a variety of external shocks including declines in European Union banana preferences, volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on foreign oil. High debt servicing obligations constrain the KING administration's ability to respond to adverse external shocks. Economic fundamentals remain solid, even though unemployment needs to be reduced.

DP (purchasing power parity):   $1.179 billion (2006 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):  $958 million (2007 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:   5.1% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):  $4,800 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 5%
industry: 15%
services: 80% (2005 est.)

Labor force:  43,800 (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

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

Unemployment rate:  0% (2003 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  2.9% (2005 est.)


revenues: $141.2 million
expenditures: $146.7 million (2000 est.)

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

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:  304.2 million kWh (2005)

Electricity - consumption:  282.9 million kWh (2005)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2005)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2005)

Oil - production:  0 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:  2,700 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - exports:  0 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - imports:  2,678 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - proved reserves:  0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Natural gas - production:  0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:  0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas - exports:  0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas - imports:  0 cu m (2005)

Natural gas - proved reserves:  0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Exports:  $288 million (2006)

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

Exports - partners:  France 69.7%, US 10.2%, UK 8.8% (2006)

Imports:  $791 million (2006)

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

Imports - partners:  US 21.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.9%, Italy 12.3%, France 11.8%, Venezuela 7.2%, UK 6.9%, Netherlands 5.8% (2006)

Economic aid - recipient:  $11.06 million (2005)

Debt - external:  $257 million (2004)

Currency (code):  East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Exchange rates:  East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

Fiscal year:  1 April - 31 March


Telephones - main lines in use:  51,100 (2002)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  105,700 (2005)

Telephone system:

general assessment: adequate system
domestic: system is automatically switched
international: country code - 1-758;

the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables, along with Intelsat from Martinique, carry calls internationally; direct microwave radio relay link with Martinique and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; tropospheric scatter to Barbados

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 2, FM 7, shortwave 0 (2003)

Television broadcast stations:  2 (1 commercial broadcast station and 1 community antenna television or CATV channel) (2003)

Internet country code:   .lc

Internet hosts:  15 (2007)

Internet users:  55,000 (2004)


Airports:  2 (2007)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)


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) (2007)

Manpower available for military service:  males age 16-49: 48,358 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:  males age 16-49: 38,660 (2008 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually:  males age 16-49: 1,706 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  N/A

Transnational Issues

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 eastern Caribbean Sea

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

From the CIA World Factbook - this page was last updated on 15 May 2008