title
macrohistory & world report

Saint Lucia

Location of the island St. Lucia

The Island St. Lucia in the Caribbean Sea

Map of the island St. Lucia

Saint Lucia (capital Castries)

World Factbook as of November 2014: "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 foreign exchange earnings. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area. Crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, but St. Lucia's once solid banana industry has been devastated by strong competition. 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 ANTHONY administration's ability to respond to adverse external shocks. 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%, becoming the last country in the Eastern Caribbean to do so. In 2013, the government introduced a National Competitiveness and Productivity Council to address St. Lucia's high public wages and lack of productivity."

Economic growth rate
2011: 2%
2010: 4.4%
2009: minus 1.3%

Labor force in agriculture
2002: 21.7%

Unemployment rate
2003: 20%

Public debt
2010: 77%

Health expenditures
2009: 8.1% of GDP

People

Living in an urban area
2010: 28%

Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 3.54 persons per 1,000 population.

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

Religions
2001 census: Roman Catholic 67.5%, Protestant 18.2% (Seventh-Day Adventist 8.5%, Pentecostal 5.7%, Anglican 2%, Evangelical 2%), other Christian 5.1%, Rastafarian 2.1%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.5%

Geography

Volcanic Island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago. Good natural harbor. Tropical, with forests and sandy beaches. About 12 miles wide and 27 miles long (20 x 43 km). 

Government

Chief of state: Elizabeth II (queen, House of Windsor). Parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm, represented by a governor general.

Capital: Castries.

Recent History

In the 1600s and 1700s the island changed from English to French control 14 times. Britain held exclusive control after 1814 and granted the island self-government in 1967. Independence came in 1979.

SOURCES:
The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.