|THE SAINT LUCIA COAT OF ARMS|
Location of Saint Lucia within the Geographic Region of Central America and the Caribbean
Map of Saint Lucia
Flag Description of Saint Lucia: The flag of St. Lucia was officially adopted on March 1, 1967.
The blue field represents the Caribbean Sea, and the triangles symbolize the island's famous Pitons - the twin volcanic peaks.
Official name Saint Lucia
Form of government constitutional monarchy with a Parliament consisting of two legislative chambers (Senate ; House of Assembly )
Head of state British Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General: Dame Pearlette Louisy
Head of government Prime Minister: Kenny Anthony
Official language English
Official religion none
Monetary unit Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$)
Population (2013 est.) 171,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 238
Total area (sq km) 617
- Urban: (2011) 28.2%
- Rural: (2011) 71.8%
Life expectancy at birth
- Male: (2011) 74.2 years
- Female: (2011) 79.7 years
Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate
- Male: not available
- Female: not available
GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2013) 7,090
1Seats are appointed by Governor-General.
2One seat is reserved for the speaker, who may be elected from outside the House of Assembly.
Background of Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia, island state in the Caribbean Sea. The second largest of the Windward group in the Lesser Antilles, it is located about 24 miles (39 kilometres) south of Martinique and some 21 miles northeast of Saint Vincent. Saint Lucia is 27 miles long and has a maximum width of 14 miles. The capital and major port is Castries. Saint Lucia is a member of the Commonwealth.
Geography of Saint Lucia
- RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
The island is of volcanic origin and is bisected from north to south by a central ridge of wooded mountains, the highest point being Mount Gimie (3,145 feet [958.6 metres]). Many streams flow from the mountains through fertile valleys. In the southwest are the Gros and Petit peaks (2,619 feet and 2,461 feet), two immense pyramids of rock rising sharply from the sea and enclosing a small bay. Near Petit Peak, in the crater of an ancient volcano, are the boiling sulphur springs from which the nearby town of Soufrière takes its name. A choice tourist site, the springs also contain substantial energy potential.
- PLANT AND ANIMAL LIFE
The forest, which has been reduced through lumbering, contains colourful orchids and anthurium. The rich birdlife includes the Saint Lucian parrot (the endangered national bird), the Saint Lucia black finch, and the Saint Lucia oriole. There is also a lizard unique to Saint Lucia, and the agouti is common.
Saint Lucia lies in the path of the northeastern trade winds and has a tropical maritime climate. Rainfall and temperature vary with elevation. Average annual rainfall ranges from 51 inches (1,295 millimetres) on the coast to as much as 150 inches (3,810 millimetres) in the interior. There is a dry season roughly from January to April and a rainy season from May to November. The mean temperature is about 80° F (27° C), with highs sometimes ranging into the upper 80s and lows into the upper 60s.
Demography of Saint Lucia
No Caribs remain on the island; the vast majority of the inhabitants of the island are black and there is a small minority of mulattoes and other mixtures. The remainder are whites or of East Indian extraction. A French patois is spoken by most of the inhabitants but is being gradually supplanted by English, the official language. The main religion is Roman Catholicism, and Seventh-day Adventists and Anglicans are important minorities. The rate of population growth for Saint Lucia is slightly higher than the Caribbean average. The main population centres are Castries and Vieux Fort.
- Age structure > 0-14 years:
The distribution of the population according to age. Information is included by sex and age group (0-14 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over). The age structure of a population affects a nation's key socioeconomic issues. Countries with young populations (high percentage under age 15) need to invest more in schools, while countries with older populations (high percentage ages 65 and over) need to invest more in the health sector. The age structure can also be used to help predict potential political issues. For example, the rapid growth of a young adult population unable to find employment can lead to unrest.
- Age structure > 65 years and over:
The distribution of the population according to age. Information is included by sex and age group (0-14 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over). The age structure of a population affects a nation's key socioeconomic issues. Countries with young populations (high percentage under age 15) need to invest more in schools, while countries with older populations (high percentage ages 65 and over) need to invest more in the health sector. The age structure can also be used to help predict potential political issues. For example, the rapid growth of a young adult population unable to find employment can lead to unrest."
- Birth rate:
The average annual number of births during a year per 1,000 persons in the population at midyear; also known as crude birth rate. The birth rate is usually the dominant factor in determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both the level of fertility and the age structure of the population.
- Ethnic groups:
This entry provides a rank ordering of ethnic groups starting with the largest and normally includes the percent of total population. Marriage, divorce and children > Total divorces per thousand people: Total number of divorces in given year by country. Figures expressed per thousand people for the same year.
Population, total refers to the total population.
- Population > Population growth, past and future:
Population growth rate (percentage).
- Population growth:
Percentage by which country's population either has increased or is estimated to increase. Countries with a decrease in population are signified by a negative percentage. Future estimates are from the UN Population Division.
- Population growth rate:
The average annual percent change in the population, resulting from a surplus (or deficit) of births over deaths and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a country. The rate may be positive or negative. The growth rate is a factor in determining how great a burden would be imposed on a country by the changing needs of its people for infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, housing, roads), resources (e.g., food, water, electricity), and jobs. Rapid population growth can be seen as threatening by neighboring countries.
- Population in 2015: (Thousands) Medium-variant projections.
- Sex ratio > At birth:
The number of males for each female one of five age groups - at birth, under 15 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over, and for the total population. Sex ratio at birth has recently emerged as an indicator of certain kinds of sex discrimination in some countries. For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and infanticide due to a strong preference for sons. This will affect future marriage patterns and fertility patterns. Eventually it could cause unrest among young adult males who are unable to find partners.
- Sex ratio >
Total population: The number of males for each female one of five age groups - at birth, under 15 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over, and for the total population. Sex ratio at birth has recently emerged as an indicator of certain kinds of sex discrimination in some countries. For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and infanticide due to a strong preference for sons. This will affect future marriage patterns and fertility patterns. Eventually it could cause unrest among young adult males who are unable to find partners.
- Total fertility rate:
The average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their child-bearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age. The total fertility rate is a more direct measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since it refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential for population growth in the country. High rates will also place some limits on the labor force participation rates for women. Large numbers of children born to women indicate large family sizes that might limit the ability of the families to feed and educate their children. Urban and rural > Population living in cities proper: City population by sex, city and city type.
- AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, AND FISHERIES
Sugarcane was formerly the chief crop, but production ceased entirely in 1964, when most of the cane fields were converted to banana cultivation. Bananas are now the principal crop. Other crops are coconuts, cacao, citrus and other fruit, spices, cassava, and yams. There is a steady local fishing industry.
Saint Lucia’s manufacturing sector has been a major beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative, a program designed to promote manufacturing in the region. An industrial free zone has been established in the south of the island near Vieux Fort; there factories produce and export electronic goods and toys. Other industries produce cardboard cartons, clothing, rum, tobacco products, coconut products, concrete blocks, and beer. Tourism has developed rapidly since 1970; in 1987 a complex for cruise ships was opened near Castries.
The chief exports are bananas, cardboard cartons, clothing, coconut products, and electronic goods. Almost three-fourths of Saint Lucia’s exports are to the United Kingdom and most of the rest to other Caribbean islands and to the United States. Imports include food, fuels, and manufactured goods.
There is an international airport at Vieux Fort, at the southern tip of the island, and a smaller airport at Vigie for domestic and regional flights. International shipping lines operate from the ports at Castries and Vieux Fort. In addition, there is an oil transshipment terminal near Castries.
Administration and Social Conditions of Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is a constitutional monarchy with the British monarch as head of state, represented by a governor-general. The bicameral parliament consists of the House of Assembly elected by universal adult suffrage and the Senate, with members appointed on the advice of the prime minister, on the advice of the opposition leader in the House, and by the governor-general. The prime minister, leader of the majority party, heads the government.
Saint Lucia has retained its association with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of a court of appeal and a high court.
Primary education is free and compulsory, and there is a branch of the University of the West Indies at Castries. There is also a technical college and a teacher-training college. Many of the primary schools are parochial, principally Roman Catholic.
- HEALTH AND WELFARE
Several general hospitals and many health centres are distributed throughout the island. There is also a private hospital operated by a religious order at Vieux Fort.
Several newspapers are published on the island, and radio and television broadcasts are widely received.
- French and British territorial rivalry
The exact date of the European discovery of Saint Lucia is not known, but it is thought to have been about 1500. The first attempts at colonization were made by the English in 1605 and 1638, but they were frustrated by sickness and the hostility of the native Caribs. A successful settlement was achieved in 1650 by the French from Martinique, who made a treaty with the Caribs in 1660. In 1664 Thomas Warner, son of the governor of Saint Kitts, regained the island, but it was restored to France by the Peace of Breda in 1667. In 1674 it was claimed by the crown of France and made a dependency of Martinique.
Another British settlement under a grant made in 1722 by George I to the Duke of Montague was frustrated by France, which had granted the island to Marshal d’Estrées in 1718, and the island was declared neutral. In 1743 the French resumed possession, retaining the island until the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, in which the two countries again agreed to regard Saint Lucia as neutral. In 1762 it was captured by Admiral George Rodney and General Robert Monckton, only to be given up once more by the Treaty of Paris (1763). In 1778 it again surrendered to the British, who used its harbours as a naval base, but, by the Peace of Versailles, Saint Lucia was once more restored to France. Between 1782 and 1803 the possession of Saint Lucia passed several times between Britain and France, the British having to suppress a vigorous revolutionary party, which was aided by insurgent slaves, before gaining possession in 1803. Saint Lucia was finally ceded to Britain in 1814 by the Treaty of Paris, after which it became a crown colony. During 1838–85, together with the other islands of the Windward group, it was administered by the governor of Barbados.
French influence on the development of Saint Lucia is illustrated by the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church and the survival of a French patois. In the years following 1763, French planters came from Saint Vincent and Grenada and established cotton and sugar plantations. In 1834, when the slaves were emancipated, there were in Saint Lucia more than 13,000 black slaves, 2,600 free blacks, and 2,300 whites. Prosperity was impeded by the decline of the sugarcane industry. Improvement came with the increase of banana and cacao cultivation and the revival of sugarcane.
Representative government was obtained by the constitution of 1924, which introduced an elective element into the legislative council; the constitution of 1936 provided for an unofficial majority in the council.
In 1958 Saint Lucia joined the West Indies Federation, although its colonial status remained unchanged. Under the 1960 constitution the post of governor of the Windward Islands was abolished, and Saint Lucia became an autonomous unit within the federation, also achieving a greater degree of internal self-government. After the federation was dissolved on May 31, 1962, the status question was eventually settled by the West Indies Act of 1967, in which Saint Lucia assumed a status of association with the United Kingdom on March 1, 1967. Independence was finally achieved on February 22, 1979, with Saint Lucia remaining a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth. In the first elections following independence, the left-leaning Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) defeated the more conservative United Workers’ Party (UWP). The SLP governments favoured the socialist regimes of the Caribbean, establishing relations with Cuba and joining the nonaligned movement. They also helped form the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States in 1981.
The SLP’s attempts at a mixed economy proved unable to deal with the staggering problems of the new country, especially after Hurricane Allen wiped out the banana crop in 1980. Rivalry within the party led to the resignation of two prime ministers in two years, and political instability caused the tourist trade to drop to one-half of its pre-independence level. In May 1982 the UWP was voted into power on a platform of inviting foreign investment and decentralizing government administration. The agricultural sector was gradually rebuilt after the hurricane, and the end of a recession in the United States increased tourism. The UWP retained power in elections held in 1987 and 1992.
In 1992 the Castries-born poet and playwright Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize for literature (he was Saint Lucia’s second Nobel Prize winner after Sir Arthur Lewis, who won the prize for economics in 1979). The 1997 general election resulted in a landslide victory for the SLP, and its leader, Kenny Anthony, became prime minister. The Gros and Petit Pitons, two volcanic peaks in the bay near Soufrière, were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The UWP regained power in the 2006 elections. After an electoral victory for the SLP in December 2011, Kenny Anthony once again took office as prime minister. Saint Lucia joined the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America in 2013.
Saint Lucia Area: 617 sq km (238 sq mi) Population (2006 est.): 165,000 Capital: Castries Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy Head of government --->>>>Read More.<<<
Religion of Saint-Lucia
Religious Beliefs. Reflecting early French colonial control, the majority of Saint Lucians are Roman Catholics, although in recent years Protestant sects have converted many. Every village and many rural settlements have Catholic churches. Much of the clergy is now Saint Lucian, a change from colonial times when nearly all churches had French priests. All the Catholic holidays and sacraments are celebrated.
Death and the Afterlife. Along with conventional religious funeral and burial practices, Saint Lucians stage and participate in wakes, the most important of which occurs in the evening of the death. A wake is presumably attended by at least one representative from each household in the village. Preparations include laying out the deceased in their best clothing inside the house for viewing by guests. Attendees are served white rum and strong coffee at intervals throughout the event, which may continue well into the night. Inside the house a group of singers renders hymns by Ira Davis Sankey, the late-nineteenth-century American gospel singer and hymn composer; and the atmosphere is solemn. Outside, the tone is festive and boisterous. Games are played, jokes are told, and vignettes, sometimes of a ribald nature, are performed. The wake, in somewhat subdued terms, may be repeated a week after the death, and a Mass is often said for the deceased on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death.
Saint Lucia Area: 617 sq km (238 sq mi) Population (2006 est.): 165,000 Capital: Castries Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy Head of government ...>>>Read On>>>
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