Saint Lucia

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries and burgeoning sugar industry, 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. Saint Lucia joined the West Indies Federation (1958-1962) and in 1967 became one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States. In 1979, Saint Lucia gained full independence.

Geography

Area

total: 616 sq km

land: 606 sq km

water: 10 sq km

Climate

tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season May to August

Natural resources

forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential

People and Society

Population

167,122 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

English (official), Saint Lucian Creole

Religions

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.)

Population growth rate

0.29% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

Capital

name: Castries

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Acting Governor General Errol CHARLES (since 11 November 2021)

head of government: Prime Minister Philip J. PIERRE (since 28 July 2021)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Houses of Parliament consists of:
Senate (11 seats; all members appointed by the governor general; 6 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)
House of Assembly (18 seats; 17 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and the speaker, designated from outside the Parliament; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

upper middle-income, tourism-based Caribbean island economy; environmentally fragile; energy import-dependent; OECS host; major banana producer; well-educated labor force; key infrastructure improvements; investing in communications and IT

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2.25 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$12,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

bananas, coconuts, fruit, tropical fruit, plantains, roots/tubers, cassava, poultry, vegetables, mangoes/guavas

Industries

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

Exports

$1.22 billion (2018 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 29%, Uruguay 16%, Barbados 8%, Trinidad and Tobago 5.5%, United Kingdom 6%, Dominica 6%, Guyana 5%, France 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, beer, jewelry, bananas, refined petroleum, rum (2019)

Imports

$1 billion (2018 est.)

Imports - partners

Colombia 46%, United States 30%, Trinidad and Tobago 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, cars, poultry meats, natural gas (2019)


Page last updated: Monday, May 23, 2022