Saint Lucia

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON DECEMBER 6, 2011
Flag of Saint Lucia
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Saint Lucia
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Map of Saint Lucia
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Introduction

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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.
 
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Geography

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Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
 
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13 53 N, 60 58 W
 
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total: 616 sq km
country comparison to the world: 193
land: 606 sq km
water: 10 sq km
 
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three and a half times the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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158 km
 
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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
 
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tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season May to August
 
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volcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys
 
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lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Gimie 950 m
 
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forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential
 
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arable land: 6.45%
permanent crops: 22.58%
other: 70.97% (2005)
 
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30 sq km (2008)
 
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total: 0.01
per capita: 81 cu m/yr (1997)
 
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hurricanes; volcanic activity
 
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deforestation; soil erosion, particularly in the northern region
 
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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
 
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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
 
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People and Society

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noun: Saint Lucian(s)
adjective: Saint Lucian
 
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black 82.5%, mixed 11.9%, East Indian 2.4%, other or unspecified 3.1% (2001 census)
 
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English (official), French patois
 
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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% (2001 census)
 
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161,557 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
 
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0-14 years: 22.8% (male 18,925/female 17,945)
15-64 years: 67.5% (male 52,859/female 56,173)
65 years and over: 9.7% (male 7,074/female 8,581) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 31 years
male: 29.9 years
female: 32.1 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.389% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
 
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14.63 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
 
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7 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
 
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-3.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
 
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urban population: 28% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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CASTRIES (capital) 15,000 (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.055 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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total: 12.72 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 130
male: 11.92 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 76.84 years
country comparison to the world: 70
male: 74.15 years
female: 79.68 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.81 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
 
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8.1% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 57
 
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0.473 physicians/1,000 population (2002)
country comparison to the world: 127
 
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1.4 beds/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 124
 
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improved:
urban: 98% of population
rural: 98% of population
total: 98% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2% of population
rural: 2% of population
total: 2% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 89% of population
rural: 89% of population
total: 89% of population
unimproved:
urban: 11% of population
rural: 11% of population
total: 11% of population (2000)
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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4.5% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 85
 
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definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 90.1%
male: 89.5%
female: 90.6% (2001 est.)
 
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total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2009)
 
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total: 40.8%
country comparison to the world: 8
male: 37.1%
female: 45.5% (2004)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Saint Lucia
 
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parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
 
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name: Castries
geographic coordinates: 14 01 N, 61 00 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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11 quarters; Anse-la-Raye, Castries, Choiseul, Dauphin, Dennery, Gros-Islet, Laborie, Micoud, Praslin, Soufriere, Vieux-Fort
 
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22 February 1979 (from the UK)
 
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Independence Day, 22 February (1979)
 
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22 February 1979
 
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English common law
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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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 Kenny ANTHONY (since 30 November 2011)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
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elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
 
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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 elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Assembly - last held on 28 November 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - SLP 51%, UWP 47%; seats by party - SLP 11, UWP 6
 
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Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consists of a High Court and a Court of Appeals; based on Saint Lucia; three judges of the Supreme Court reside in Saint Lucia); member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
 
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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]
 
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NA
 
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ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OIF, OPANAL, OPCW, PetroCaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Michael LOUIS
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
 
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the US does not have an embassy in Saint Lucia; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Lucia
 
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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
 
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twin pitons (volcanic peaks); Saint Lucia parrot
 
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name: "Sons and Daughters of St. Lucia"
lyrics/music: Charles JESSE/Leton Felix THOMAS
note: adopted 1967
 
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Economy

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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. Although crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, tourism provides Saint Lucia's main source of income and the industry is the island's biggest employer. Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange, although tourism sector revenues declined with the global economic downturn as US and European travel dropped in 2009. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalize the banana industry, although recent hurricanes have caused exports to contract. Saint Lucia is vulnerable to a variety of external shocks including volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on foreign oil. The public debt-to-GDP ratio is about 77% and 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.
 
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$1.798 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
$1.783 billion (2009 est.)
$1.849 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$985 million (2010 est.)
 
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0.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
-3.6% (2009 est.)
0.7% (2008 est.)
 
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$11,200 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
$11,100 (2009 est.)
$11,600 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 4.9%
industry: 18.3%
services: 76.7% (2010 est.)
 
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79,700 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 184
 
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agriculture: 21.7%
industry: 24.7%
services: 53.6% (2002 est.)
 
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20% (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
 
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NA%
 
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
 
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21.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
 
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revenues: $320.9 million
expenditures: $222.2 million (2010 est.)
 
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32.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
 
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10% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
 
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1.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
1% (2009 est.)
 
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6.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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10.625% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
10.6% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$263.2 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
$232.1 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.349 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
$1.261 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.676 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
$1.563 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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bananas, coconuts, vegetables, citrus, root crops, cocoa
 
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clothing, assembly of electronic components, beverages, corrugated cardboard boxes, tourism; lime processing, coconut processing
 
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NA%
 
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341.2 million kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
 
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308 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
 
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3,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209
 
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2,692 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
 
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-$327.3 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
-$133.4 million (2009 est.)
 
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$130 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
$191.3 million (2009 est.)
 
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bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, coconut oil
 
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UK 19.4%, US 17.2%, Peru 8.9%, Antigua and Barbuda 8.6%, Dominica 8.3%, Barbados 7.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 7%, Grenada 5.7% (2010)
 
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$550 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
$451.5 million (2009 est.)
 
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food 23%, manufactured goods 21%, machinery and transportation equipment 19%, chemicals, fuels
 
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Brazil 77.8%, US 11.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.8% (2010)
 
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$206.3 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
$174.8 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$366 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
$416.4 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2010)
2.7 (2009)
2.7 (2005)
2.7 (2004)
2.7 (2003)
 
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Communications

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41,100 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 171
 
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179,300 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 179
 
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general assessment: an adequate system that is automatically switched
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is 25 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 110 per 100 persons
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
 
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3 privately-owned television stations; 1 public television station operating on a cable network; multi-channel cable TV service is obtainable; a mix of state-owned and privately-owned broadcasters operate nearly 25 radio stations including repeater transmission stations (2007)
 
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.lc
 
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106 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 201
 
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142,900 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 149
 
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Transportation

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2 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 201
 
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total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 1,210 km (2002)
country comparison to the world: 180
 
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Castries, Cul-de-Sac, Vieux-Fort
 
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Military

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no regular military forces; Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (includes Special Service Unit and Coast Guard) (2010)
 
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males age 16-49: 41,414 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 32,688
females age 16-49: 36,289 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 1,574
female: 1,502 (2010 est.)
 
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NA
 
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Transnational Issues

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