Geography

  • Full name: Saint Lucia
  • Location: 13 53 N, 60 68 W
  • Capital: Castries
  • Area: 619 sq. km. (238 sq. mi.).
  • Cities: Capital–Castries (pop. est. 67,000); Micoud; Gros-Islet; Vieux Fort; Soufriere.
  • Terrain: Mountainous.
  • Climate: Tropical.

 People

  • Nationality: Noun and adjective–St. Lucian(s).
  • Population (2008): 170,000.
  • Annual growth rate (2006): 0.74%.
  • Ethnic groups: African descent 90%, mixed 6%, East Indian 3%, European 1%.
  • Religions: Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, various Protestant denominations.
  • Languages: English (official); a French patois is common throughout the country.
  • Education (2004): Adult literacy–94.8%.
  • Health (2006): Infant mortality rate–12/1,000. Life expectancy–men 73 years; women 76 years.
  • Unemployment (2006): 15.7%.

 Government

  • Type: Westminster-style parliamentary democracy.
  • Independence: February 22, 1979.
  • Constitution: 1979.
  • Branches: Executive–governor general (representing Queen Elizabeth II, head of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. Legislative–bicameral parliament. Judicial–district courts, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (High Court and Court of Appeals), final appeal to Privy Council in London.
  • Administrative subdivisions: 11 parishes.
  • Political parties: United Workers Party (incumbent); St. Lucia Labour Party.
  • Suffrage: Universal at 18.

 Economy

  • GDP (2008): $987 million.
  • GDP growth rate (2008): 0.7%.
  • GDP growth rate (1998-2008): 2.0%
  • Per capita GDP (2008): $5,806.
  • Inflation of consumer prices (2008): 7.2%.
  • Natural resources: Forests, minerals (pumice), mineral springs.
  • Agriculture: Bananas, cocoa, coconut, citrus fruits, and livestock.
  • Manufacturing: Garments, electronic components, beverages, corrugated boxes.
  • Services: Tourism and offshore banking.
  • Trade (2005): Exports–$64 million (merchandise) and $389 million (commercial services). Major markets–European Union (28.2%), Trinidad and Tobago (22.5%), United States (14.0%), Barbados (10.1%), and Grenada (5.2%). Imports–$475 million (merchandise) and $159 million (commercial services). Major suppliers–United States (43.9%), Trinidad and Tobago (14.2%), European Union (14.2%), Japan (4.6%), and Barbados (3.0%).
  • Monetary unit: 1 East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents
  • Official exchange rate: EC$2.70 = U.S. $1.

 Principal Government Officials

  • Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II
  • Governor General: Pearlette Louisy
  • Prime Minister: Stephenson King

Description of electoral system

  • Election Type: Parliamentary
  • Parliament name: House of Assembly
  • Structure of parliament: Bicameral
  • Constituencies: 17 single member constituencies
  • Voting system: Majority: Simple majority vote (first past the post).
  • Last Parliamentary election: 28 November 2011
Source: Caribbean Elections Research