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.



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

three and a half times the size of Washington, DC

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 broad, fertile valleys


mean elevation: NA
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

agricultural land: 17.4%
arable land 4.9%; permanent crops 11.5%; permanent pasture 1%
forest: 77%
other: 5.6% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

30 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

hurricanes; 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

People and Society


164,464 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Saint Lucian(s)
adjective: Saint Lucian

Ethnic groups

black/African descent 85.3%, mixed 10.9%, East Indian 2.2%, other 1.6%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)


English (official), French patois


Roman Catholic 61.5%, Protestant 25.5% (includes Seventh Day Adventist 10.4%, Pentecostal 8.9%, Baptist 2.2%, Anglican 1.6%, Church of God 1.5%, other Protestant 0.9%), other Christian 3.4% (includes Evangelical 2.3% and Jehovah's Witness 1.1%), Rastafarian 1.9%, other 0.4%, none 5.9%, unspecified 1.4% (2010 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.35% (male 17,225/female 16,237)
15-24 years: 15.88% (male 13,257/female 12,867)
25-54 years: 42.97% (male 33,974/female 36,697)
55-64 years: 9.58% (male 7,278/female 8,478)
65 years and over: 11.22% (male 8,352/female 10,099) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 47.3%
youth dependency ratio: 34.1%
elderly dependency ratio: 13.3%
potential support ratio: 7.5% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 34.2 years
male: 33 years
female: 35.3 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

0.33% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

13.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

7.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

-2.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

most of the population is found on the periphery of the island, with a larger concentration in the north around the capital of Castries


urban population: 18.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.89% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

CASTRIES (capital) 22,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

48 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.8 years
male: 75 years
female: 80.7 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.75 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Health expenditures

6.7% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

0.11 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density

1.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

urban: 99.5% of population
rural: 95.6% of population
total: 96.3% of population
urban: 0.5% of population
rural: 4.4% of population
total: 3.7% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 84.7% of population
rural: 91.9% of population
total: 90.5% of population
urban: 15.3% of population
rural: 8.1% of population
total: 9.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Major infectious diseases

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

27% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

2.8% (2012)

Education expenditures

4.8% of GDP (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2007)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 27.5%
male: 21.5%
female: 35.2% (2007 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Lucia
etymology: named after Saint LUCY of Syracuse by French sailors who were shipwrecked on the island on 13 December 1502, the saint's feast day

Government type

parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm


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

Administrative divisions

10 districts; Anse-la-Raye, Canaries, Castries, Choiseul, Dennery, Gros-Islet, Laborie, Micoud, Soufriere, Vieux-Fort


22 February 1979 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 22 February (1979)


previous 1958, 1960 (preindependence); latest presented 20 December 1978, effective 22 February 1979; note - in mid-2015, an amendment was proposed to replace the London-based Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the country's highest appellate court (2016)

Legal system

English common law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: at least one parent must be a citizen of Saint Lucia
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years


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 Allen CHASTANET (since 7 June 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by governor general

Legislative branch

description: 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 upon consultation with religious, economic, and social groups; members serve 5-year terms) and the House of Assembly (17 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held on 6 June 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - UWP 54.8%, SLP 44.1%; seats by party - UWP 11, SLP 6

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the member states; 3 High Court judges reside on Saint Lucia; note - Saint Lucia is a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
judge selection and term of office: chief justice of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court appointed by the Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, an independent body of judicial officials; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62
subordinate courts: magistrate's court

Political parties and leaders

Lucian People's Movement or LPM [Therold PRUDENT]
Saint Lucia Labor Party or SLP [Kenny ANTHONY]
United Workers Party or UWP [Allen CHASTANET]

Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Elizabeth Darius CLARKE (since 3 August 2015)
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 364-6792 through 6795
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6723
consulate(s) general: 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

cerulean blue with a gold isosceles triangle below a black arrowhead; the upper edges of the arrowhead have a white border; the blue color represents the sky and sea, gold stands for sunshine and prosperity, and white and black the racial composition of the island (with the latter being dominant); the two major triangles invoke the twin Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton), cone-shaped volcanic plugs that are a symbol of the island

National symbol(s)

twin pitons (volcanic peaks), Saint Lucia parrot; national colors: cerulean blue, gold, black, white

National anthem

name: "Sons and Daughters of St. Lucia"
lyrics/music: Charles JESSE/Leton Felix THOMAS
note: adopted 1967


Unemployment rate

20% (2003 est.)

Economy - overview

The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries. Tourism is Saint Lucia's main source of jobs and income - accounting for 65% of GDP - and the island's main source of fo

Saint Lucia is vulnerable to a variety of external shocks, including volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on foreign oil. Furthermore, high public debt - 77% of GDP in 2012 - and high debt servicing obligations constrain the ANTHON

St. Lucia has experienced anemic growth since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, largely because of a slowdown in tourism - airlines cut back on their routes to St. Lucia in 2012. Also, St. Lucia introduced a value added tax in 2012 of 15%,

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.439 billion (2015 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2.083 billion (2016 est.)
$2.052 billion (2015 est.)
$2.004 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP - real growth rate

1.5% (2016 est.)
2.4% (2015 est.)
0.4% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$12,000 (2016 est.)
$11,900 (2015 est.)
$11,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

13.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
16% of GDP (2015 est.)
12.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 69.9%
government consumption: 15.2%
investment in fixed capital: 18.7%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 39%
imports of goods and services: -42.8% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.9%
industry: 14.1%
services: 83% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

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


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

Industrial production growth rate

4% (2016 est.)

Labor force

79,700 (2012 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

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

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

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


revenues: $185.2 million
expenditures: $222.2 million (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

12.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt

77% of GDP (2012 est.)
77% of GDP (2010 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.1% (2016 est.)
-1% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

6.5% (31 December 2010)
6.5% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

8.8% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.86% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$287.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$284.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$1.165 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.131 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$1.431 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.399 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Current account balance

-$96 million (2016 est.)
-$53 million (2015 est.)


$205.2 million (2016 est.)
$207 million (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, avocados, mangoes, coconut oil (2010 est.)

Exports - partners

Dominican Republic 25.1%, US 15.9%, Suriname 9.1%, Antigua and Barbuda 7%, Dominica 6.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 6.3%, Barbados 6.1%, UK 4.8%, Grenada 4.6% (2015)


$532 million (2016 est.)
$540.6 million (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

food, manufactured goods, machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, fuels

Imports - partners

Brazil 34.9%, US 25.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.4%, Colombia 10.9% (2015)

Debt - external

$523.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$517 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2016 est.)
2.7 (2015 est.)
2.7 (2014 est.)
2.7 (2013 est.)
2.7 (2012)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 16,446
electrification - total population: 91%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 80% (2012)

Electricity - production

400 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

300 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

88,000 kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

3,100 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

3,058 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

400,000 Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 34,874
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 188,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 115 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: an adequate system that is automatically switched
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is 20 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 115 per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-758; the East Caribbean Fiber System and Southern Caribbean Fiber submarine cables, along with Intelsat from Martinique, carry calls internationally; direct microwave radio relay link with Martinique and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; (2015)

Broadcast media

3 privately owned TV stations; 1 public TV station operating on a cable network; multi-channel cable TV service available; a mix of state-owned and privately owned broadcasters operate nearly 25 radio stations including repeater transmission stations (2007)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 86,000
percent of population: 52.4% (July 2015 est.)


Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

J6 (2016)


2 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)


total: 1,210 km
paved: 847 km
unpaved: 363 km (2011)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Castries, Cul-de-Sac, Vieux-Fort


Military branches

no regular military forces; Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (includes Special Service Unit, Marine Unit) (2012)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary security service; no national army (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 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