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Saint Lucia

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Saint Lucia
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: " The Land, The People, The Light"
Anthem:  Sons and Daughters of Saint Lucia
and largest city
14°1′N 60°59′W
Official languages English
Saint Lucian French Creole
Ethnic groups
  • 68% Afro-Caribbean
  • 5% European
  • 17% Mixed
  • 2.0% Carib Amerindian
  • 5% Indo-Caribbean
  • 3% others
Demonym Saint Lucian
Government Parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy
 -  Monarch Elizabeth II
 -  Governor-General Pearlette Louisy
 -  Prime Minister Kenny Anthony
Legislature Parliament
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house House of Assembly
 -  from the United Kingdom 22 February 1979 
 -  Total 617 km2 ( 191st)
238.23 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.6
 -  2009 census 173,765
 -  Density 298/km2 ( 41st)
672/sq mi
GDP ( PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $2.101 billion
 -  Per capita $12,607
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $1.239 billion
 -  Per capita $7,435
HDI (2011) Increase 0.723
high · 82th
Currency East Caribbean dollar ( XCD)
Time zone ( UTC−4)
Drives on the left
Calling code +1 758
ISO 3166 code LC
Internet TLD .lc

Saint Lucia / s n t ˈ l ʃ ə / (French: Sainte-Lucie) is a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 617 km2 (238.23 sq mi) and has a population of 174,000 (2010). Its capital is Castries.

One of the Windward Islands, Saint Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse by the French, the island's first European colonizers. They signed a treaty with the native Carib people in 1660. England took control of the island from 1663 to 1667; in ensuing years, it was at war with France 14 times and rule of the island changed frequently (it was seven times each ruled by the French and British). In 1814, the British took definitive control of the island. Because it switched so often between British and French control, Saint Lucia was also known as the "Helen of the West Indies".

Representative government came about in 1924 (with universal suffrage from 1953). From 1958 to 1962, the island was a member of the Federation of the West Indies. On 22 February 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations associated with the United Kingdom. Saint Lucia has a legal system based on English common law.

The island nation celebrates its independence every year with a public holiday. It is also a member of la Francophonie. The financial sector has weathered the global financial crisis, but the recession has hurt tourism.


This section is linked from  Francophonie -->

The French pirate Francois El Clerc (also known as Jambe de Bois, due to his wooden leg) frequented Saint Lucia in the 1550s. It was not until years later, around 1600, that the first European camp was started by the Dutch, at what is now Vieux Fort. In 1605, an English vessel called the Olive Branch was blown off-course on its way to Guyana, and the 67 colonists started a settlement on Saint Lucia. After five weeks, only 19 survived, due to disease and conflict with the Caribs, so they fled the island. The French officially claimed the island in 1635 but it was the English who started the next European settlement in 1639,

French colony

In 1643 a French expedition under the direction of Jacques du Parquet the Governor of Martinique established a permanent settlement on the island under the Governor De Rousselan who took a Carib wife and remained in post until his death in 1654. The Governor De Rousselan signed a treaty with the local Carib people in 1660. Like the English and Dutch on other islands, the French began to develop the land for the cultivation of sugar cane as a commodity crop on large plantations. After the Seven Years' War between Great Britain and the France-Spanish coalition ended in French defeat, the Treaty of Paris on 10 February 1763 confirmed an exchange of colonial territories by the signatories.

British colony

In 1664, Thomas Warner (son of Sir Thomas Warner, the governor of St Kitts) claimed Saint Lucia for England. He brought 1,000 men to defend it from the French, but after two years, only 89 survived, mostly due to disease. In 1666 the French administration returned and resumed control of the island. For years after this, the island was officially traded back and forth between the English and the French in various treaties, as a bargaining chip in negotiations although the French settlements remained and the island was a de facto French Colony well into the eighteenth century.

When the British acquired the island, planters were trying to use the Carib as labourers. The British imported enslaved Africans as workers. Many Carib died because of lack of immunity to Eurasian diseases, such as smallpox and measles. Others died from overwork and maltreatment by the Europeans.

Caribbean conditions were harsh, and many African slaves died as well, requiring continued importation of new captives. The British continued to import slaves until they abolished the trade in 1808. By that time, people of ethnic African and less so Carib descent greatly outnumbered those of ethnic European background.

On 21 February 1795, an army of St. Lucian freedom fighters led by Victor Hugues defeated a battalion of British troops. For the next four months, a united front of recently freed slaves and freedom fighters known as the Brigands (also ex-slaves, who instigated revolt across the region) forced out not only the British army, but every white slave-owner from the island. Just under a year later, the British Army returned, with many more troops than the freedom fighters could manage, and eventually re-imposed slavery until 1807. However by the time the British regained control of the island, many of those freed had escaped into the thick rain forests.

Saint Lucia continued to be contested by France and Great Britain until the British secured it in 1814, following its war with the United States. Saint Lucia was considered part of the British Windward Islands colony.

20th century

In the mid-twentieth century, it joined the West Indies Federation (1958–1962) when the colony was dissolved. In 1967, Saint Lucia became one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States, with internal self-government. In 1979 it gained full independence under Sir John Compton. Compton, of the conservative United Workers party (UWP), served as prime minister from 1982 to 1996, after which he was succeeded by Vaughn Lewis.

Dr. Kenny D. Anthony of the Labour Party was prime minister from 1997 to 2006. In 2006, the UWP, again led by Compton, won control of parliament. In May 2007, after Compton suffered a series of ministrokes, Finance and External Affairs Minister Stephenson King became acting prime minister. He succeeded as prime minister after Compton died in September 2007. In November 2011, the Honorable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony was re-elected as prime minister for a second time.


Saint Lucia is a Commonwealth realm; Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State of Saint Lucia, represented on the island by a Governor-General. Executive power, however, is in the hands of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The prime minister is normally the head of the party commanding the support of the majority of the members of the House of Assembly, which has 17 seats. The other chamber of Parliament, the Senate, has 11 appointed members.

Saint Lucia is a two-party parliamentary democracy. Five political parties participated in the 28 November 2011 General Election. Dr Davis Anthony of the St Lucia Labour Party won eleven of the seventeen seats.

Saint Lucia is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and La Francophonie.


Saint Lucia has 11 quarters, or parishes of the island, under the French colonial government which was continued by the British: No. 1 Anse-la-Raye Quarter 31.0 km², No. 2 Castries Quarter 79.5 km², No. 3 Choiseul Quarter 31.3 km², No. 4 and 6 Gros Islet Quarter 101.5 km², No. 5 Dennery Quarter 69.7 km², No. 7 Laborie Quarter 37.8 km², No. 9 Micoud Quarter 77.7 km², No. 10 Soufrière Quarter 50.5 km², No. 11 Vieux Fort Quarter 43.8 km², No. ??? between 1 and 10 Canaries Quarter 15.9 km², No. ??? between 1 and 5 Forest Reserve Area Quarter 78.3 km²

Saint Lucia has 17 electoral segments for the 17 seats in the House of Assembly (each with title "Parliamentary Representative"):

  • Canaries & Anse-la-Raye
  • Babonneau
  • Castries Central
  • Castries North
  • Castries North East
  • Castries South
  • Castries South East
  • Choiseul
  • Dennery North
  • Dennery South
  • Gros Islet
  • Laborie
  • Micoud North
  • Micoud South
  • Soufriere
  • Vieux Fort North
  • Vieux Fort South

The quarters of Saint Lucia are:

  1. Anse la Raye
  2. Castries
  3. Choiseul
  4. Dauphin
  5. Dennery
  6. Gros Islet
  7. Laborie
  8. Micoud
  9. Praslin
  10. Soufrière
  11. Vieux Fort
Saint Lucia location map.svg
Gros Islet
Anse la Raye


Saint Lucia

The volcanic island of Saint Lucia is more mountainous than many other Caribbean islands, with the highest point being Mount Gimie, at 950 metres (3,120 ft) above sea level. Two other mountains, the Pitons, form the island's most famous landmark. They are located between Soufrière and Choiseul on the western side of the island. Saint Lucia is also one of the few islands in the world that boasts a drive-in volcano.

The capital city of Saint Lucia is Castries (population 60,263), where 32.4% of the population lives. Major towns include Gros Islet, Soufrière and Vieux Fort. The local climate is tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds, with a dry season from 1 December to 31 May, and a wet season from 1 June to 30 November.

View of Soufrière


Graphical depiction of St. Lucia's product exports in 28 colour-coded categories.

An educated workforce and improvements in roads, communications, water supply, sewerage, and port facilities have attracted foreign investment in tourism and in petroleum storage and transshipment. However, with the US, Canada, and Europe in recession, tourism declined by double digits in early 2009. The recent change in the European Union import preference regime and the increased competition from Latin American bananas have made economic diversification increasingly important in Saint Lucia.

The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries, which is the island's main source of revenue. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalise the banana industry. Despite negative growth in 2011, economic fundamentals remain solid, and GDP growth should recover in the future.

Inflation has been relatively low, averaging 5.5 percent between 2006 and 2008. Saint Lucia's currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$), a regional currency shared among members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECU). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCL) issues the EC$, manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in member countries. In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy, including elimination of price controls and privatisation of the state banana company.


Rank Quarter Population
1 Castries 700460263000000000060,263
2 Gros Islet 700422647000000000022,647
3 Vieux Fort 700414632000000000014,632
4 Micoud 700414480000000000014,480
5 Dennery 700411874000000000011,874
6 Soufrière 70037747000000000007,747
7 Laborie 70036507000000000006,507
8 Anse la Raye 70036033000000000006,033
9 Choiseul 70035766000000000005,766
10 Canaries 70031915000000000001,915

The population of 174,000 (in 2010) is evenly divided between urban and rural areas, although the capital, Castries, contains more than one-third of the population. Saint Lucia's population is predominantly of African and mixed African-European descent, with a small Indo-Caribbean minority (3%). Members of other or unspecified ethnicity groups, account for about 2% of the population.

The official language is English; however Saint Lucian Creole French (Kwéyòl), which is a French-based Creole colloquially referred to as "Patwah" ( Patois), is spoken by 95% of the population. This Antillean Creole is used in literature and music, and is gaining official acknowledgement. It is derived chiefly from French and West African languages, with some vocabulary from Carib and other sources. Saint Lucia is a member of La Francophonie.

About 70% of the population is Roman Catholic, influenced from the days of French Catholic rule and evangelisation. Most of the rest belong to other Christian denominations, including Seventh-day Adventism (7%), Pentecostalism (6%), Anglicanism (2%), and other types of Evangelical Christianity (2%); in addition, about 2% of the population adheres to the Rastafari movement.

Public expenditure on health was at 3.3% of the GDP in 2004, whereas private expenditure was at 1.8%. Health expenditure was at US$302 (PPP) per capita in 2004. Infant mortality was at 12 per 100,000 births in 2005. There is one public hospital and one private hospital in St Lucia. There was a second, but it was burnt down in a fire in the early hours of 9 September 2009.

Saint Lucia boasts the highest ratio of Nobel laureates produced with respect to the total population of any sovereign country in the world. Two winners have come from Saint Lucia: Sir Arthur Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979, and Derek Walcott received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. Both were born on the same day in 1915 and 1930, respectively: 23 January.

Despite a high emigration rate, the population is growing rapidly, about 1.2% per year. Migration from Saint Lucia is primarily to Anglophone countries, with the United Kingdom having almost 10,000 Saint Lucian-born citizens, and over 30,000 of Saint Lucian heritage. The second most popular destination for Saint Lucian expatriates is the United States, where combined (foreign and national born Saint Lucians) almost 14,000 reside. Canada is home to a few thousand Saint Lucians. Most other countries in the world have fewer than 50 citizens of Saint Lucian origin (the exceptions being Spain and France with 124 and 117 Saint Lucian expats respectively).


Tourism is vital to Saint Lucia's economy. Its economic importance is expected to continue to increase as the market for bananas becomes more competitive. Tourism tends to be more substantial during the dry season (January to April). Saint Lucia tends to be popular due to its tropical weather and scenery and its numerous beaches and resorts.

Other tourist attractions include a drive-in volcano, Sulphur Springs (in Soufrière), the Botanical Gardens, the Majestic twin Peaks "The Pitons", a world heritage site, the rain forests, and Pigeon Island National Park, which is home to Fort Rodney, an old British military base.

The majority of tourists visit Saint Lucia as part of a cruise. Most of their time tends to be spent in Castries, although Soufriere, Marigot Bay and Gros Islet are popular locations to visit.

A panorama of Marigot Bay


St. Lucia is well known for their large number of all inclusive resorts. Many resorts on island are commonly considered as among the best in the Caribbean. Notable award-winning resorts on island include:

  • The BodyHoliday LeSport
  • Ladera
  • Anse Chastanet
  • Rendezvous Couples Resort
  • Jade Mountain
  • Coconut Bay
  • Morgan Bay
  • Cap Maison
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