St. Lucia

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Saint Lucia
St. Lucia
Saint Lucia flag
Coat of arms of St. Lucia
flag coat of arms
Motto : The Land, the People, the Light
Official language English
Capital Castries
Form of government Parliamentary monarchy
Head of state Queen Elizabeth II

represented by Governor General Neville Cenac

Head of government Prime Minister Allen Chastanet
surface 616.3 km²
population 165,595
Population density 269 ​​inhabitants per km²
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 1,385 million ( 172. )
  • $ 2,055 million ( 174. )
  • 7,940 USD ( 75. )
  • 11,783 USD ( 99. )
Human Development Index 0.714 (97.)
currency East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)
independence February 22, 1979
(from the UK )
National anthem Sons and Daughters of St. Lucia
National holiday February 22nd (Independence Day)
Time zone UTC − 4
License Plate WL
ISO 3166 LC , LCA, 662
Internet TLD .lc
Telephone code +1 (758) see NANP
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Map of Saint Lucia German.svg

St. Lucia or English Saint Lucia (pronunciation in the local language : [ seɪnt ˈluːʃə ]) is an island state in the West Indies in the Caribbean and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations .


According to tradition, the name used today goes back to French sailors who were shipwrecked on December 13, 1502, the feast of the Blessed Virgin and Martyr Lucia of Syracuse , and named the island after Saint Sainte Alousie . The name was later adopted by French chroniclers with slight variations .


The island state consists of several islands , of which the main island of Saint Lucia is by far the largest. The islands are part of the Leeward Islands , which in turn are part of the Lesser Antilles . St. Lucia is north of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and 33.2 km south of Martinique . 146 km to the southeast is Barbados .

The capital and largest city of the country is Castries in the west of the main island. The highest point on the island is Mount Gimie at 950 meters. The coastline is 158 kilometers long. On the island, south of Soufrière , there are two inactive volcanoes, the Gros Piton and the Petit Piton (also known as Twin Pitons ). The area around the volcanoes is on the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage . The main rivers on the island are the Cul de Sac and the Canelles . 27.9% of the area is covered by forests.

See also: List of places in St. Lucia


The majority of today's island population is descended from black Africans who were brought to the island as slaves during the colonial era .

The official language, English, is mainly spoken. In addition, will Antillean Creole (Patois Kwéyòl or called), a French-based creole language spoken. Life expectancy is 76.45 years, the average age 29.8 years. 28% of the population live in cities, the rate of urbanization is 1.4% per year. 82.5% of the population are dark-skinned. Approximately 12% of the population are of mixed and 3% Asian (mainly Indian) ancestry. The rest is made up of whites and other population groups.

The most common religion is Christianity . The Catholic Church belongs to 67.5% of the population. In addition, 8.5% belong to the Seventh-day Adventists , 5.7% belong to the Pentecostal movement , 2.1% Rastafari , 2% are Anglicans , 2% Protestants , 5.1% belong to other Christian denominations and 1.1% to others Religions. 4.5% of the population indicate no religious affiliation.

Population development

year population
1950 82,784
1960 89,897
1970 104.160
1980 117,987
1990 138.185
2000 156,949
2010 172,580
2017 178,844

Source: UN


The natives of St. Lucia called their island Iouanalao , which according to the Amerindian dictionary of the Dominican missionary Raymond Breton (around 1650) means something like There where the Iguana is found (= "where the iguana lives"). In 1663 the island was sold to Barbados .

Colonial times

St. Lucia was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage around 1500. After the first attempts to settle in the early 17th century failed, the French finally settled the island around 1650. After disputes between the United Kingdom and France over ownership of the island, in which the island changed a total of 14 times, the British finally obtained the right to the island through the decision of the Congress of Vienna in 1814.

As in many other colonies, the British brought people from Africa to the island to do slave labor on the sugar cane plantations. Even after the British liberation of slaves in 1834, many former slaves continued to work on the plantations as seasonal workers.

While the crown colony was part of the autocratic administrative association of the Islands from 1938 onwards, a parliament developed through general and equal elections as early as 1922 . Since the elections to the National Assembly in 1951, the principles of universal, equal, secret and direct suffrage, including women's suffrage, have applied . The right was first exercised on October 13, 1951. From 1958 to 1962 St. Lucia was part of the West Indian Federation until 1966 when it was given the status of an autonomous state associated with Great Britain.


In 1979, St. Lucia became a parliamentary monarchy and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations , which gave it independence. The active and passive right to vote for women was confirmed.

After the reign of the socialist Saint Lucia Labor Party from 1979 to 1982, the conservative-liberal United Workers Party ruled since 1982 with Prime Minister John Compton , who held the office for a long time. He campaigned for the country to conform to the West.


The form of government in St. Lucia is a parliamentary monarchy in the Commonwealth. The head of state Queen Elizabeth II is represented by the governor general Neville Cenac . The head of government is Prime Minister Allen Chastanet .

The Parliament consists of the House of Assembly as the lower house and the Senate as the upper house.

New elections for the House of Assembly took place on June 6 , 2016 . The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) emerged victorious with 11 seats compared to 4 of the previous ruling party Saint Lucia Labor Party (SLP). Allen Chastanet is the new Prime Minister.


There is the death penalty in the Saint Lucian legal system . According to official figures, the death penalty was imposed 18 times between 1987 and 2001. The number of reported crimes in 2003 was 13,273, the clearance rate was 29.9% and that for murder 50%.


St. Lucia has no military, but there is the Saint Lucia Police Force , which also includes a Special Service Unit and the Coast Guard.

Foreign policy

St. Lucia is a member of the Caribbean Community , the Organization of East Caribbean States , the United Nations and the Organization of American States . Relations with the People's Republic of China have been strained for a while as St. Lucia recognizes the Republic of China (Taiwan) . When Kenny Anthony came to power , this was reversed. Since 2015, St. Lucia has again had an embassy in Taiwan. The People's Republic of China broke off its diplomatic relations with St. Lucia a short time later. In addition, the government of St. Lucia is trying to get closer to the Bolivarian Alliance for America .

Education / health


According to the law, schooling is free and compulsory from the age of 5 to the age of 15. Illiterate people are in the minority. Public spending on education was 5.8% of GDP over the period 2002-2005. Part of the University of the West Indies is located in St. Lucia.

The Ministry of Education publishes the Kwéyòl Dictionary , which was developed by the teacher Jones Mondesir and has been used since 2001 in a child-friendly version for the preservation and orthographic standardization of Creole .


In 2004, public health spending was 3.3% of GDP , while private spending was 1.8%. In 2004, the average health expenditure was US $ 302 (purchasing power parity) per capita. In 2005 the infant mortality rate was 12 per 100,000 births. There are two public hospitals and one private in St. Lucia.

Administrative division

Administrative Districts of St. Lucia

Administratively, St. Lucia is divided into ten quarters (districts):

  1. Anse la Raye
  2. Canaries
  3. Castries
  4. Choiseul
  5. Dennery
  6. Gros Islet
  7. Laborie
  8. Micoud
  9. Soufrière
  10. Vieux Fort
St. Lucia Department of Statistics districts at the 2010 census

In the last census in 2010, the statistical office of St. Lucia divided the country into eleven districts that were not congruent with the administrative units. The population figures in the table below refer to this census.

No. in the card District Area in km² population Inhabitants per km²
1 Anse la Raye 31 6,247 201.5
2 Canaries 16 2,044 127.8
3 Castries 79.5 65,656 825.9
4th Choiseul 31.3 6,098 194.8
5 Dennery 69.7 12,599 180.8
6th Forest area 78 0 0
7th Gros Islet 101.5 25.210 248.4
8th Laborie 37.8 6,701 177.3
9 Micoud 77.7 16,284 209.6
10 Soufrière 50.5 8,472 167.8
11 Vieux Fort 43.8 16,284 371.8
St. Lucia 617 165,595 268


The island has two airports. The bigger one is Hewanorra International Airport ( IATA airport code: UVF), which is located on the southeastern tip of the island near Vieux Fort. The smaller George FL Charles Airport (formerly: Vigie Airport ; IATA code: SLU) is located north of Castries in the north of the island and serves intra-Caribbean flights. The main road runs from the north of the island to the south.

In 2011, the entire road network covered around 1,210 km, of which 847 km are asphalt.

Marine protection

After fewer and fewer fish were caught in the years after 1990, fishermen, the tourism industry and environmentalists agreed to set up marine protected areas around St. Lucia. About a third of the coral reef around St. Lucia has been under absolute protection since then. Fishing is prohibited in this area. Neither divers nor bathing tourists are allowed to stay here. In some other areas, protection is relaxed. These areas are open to divers and bathers. Since the establishment of these sanctuaries, the number of fish around St. Lucia has multiplied.


Cruise ship in Castries harbor

Tourism and the export of agricultural products have the largest share of the economy . The ruins of the sugar mill in the Roseau Valley are now a tourist destination. This shows that the days when “King Sugar” dominated the island's economy are long gone.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the banana replaced sugar cane as the most widely grown agricultural product.

The main export goods today are bananas , flour and rice . Processed goods, machines and food are imported . In the service sector , most of the population (53.6%) were employed, followed by the industrial sector (24.7%) and agriculture (21.7%). The unemployment rate in 2003 was an estimated 20%. In 2012, St. Lucia became the last country in the Eastern Caribbean to introduce a 15% VAT .

Further economic data:

  • Gross domestic product 2016 (real GDP): 1.308 billion US $
  • Gross domestic product 2016 per inhabitant: 7,940 US $
  • Inflation rate 2016: -4.1%
  • Net exports 2002: −108.83 million EC $
  • Banana export in 2006: 48,160 t (82.25 million EC $)


Aerial view of Castries

The tourism sector is the main industry on the island. It accounts for around half of economic output and is the largest employer. In 2014 the island recorded 338,158 overnight guests and 641,452 cruise guests. In the year 3,622 tourists from Germany visited the island.


Despite the hilly nature of the soil, which appears to be a hindrance to the cultivation of agricultural products, St. Lucia rose to become the largest banana exporter in the northern Antilles . The "Banana Protocol" adopted in the Lomé Convention gave the island a competitive advantage over its competition from Africa . If the agreement were terminated, the island's export economy would be severely affected, as banana exports account for more than half of the economic output of total exports. Lately the cultivation of bananas has been hit hard by increased hurricanes . While 274,543 tons of bananas were exported in 2010, the figure was only 11,343 tons in 2011. St. Lucia's economy is extremely sensitive to natural disasters.


There are nine individual unions in St. Lucia of increasing strength and importance.

State budget

The state budget in 2009 comprised expenditures of the equivalent of 146.7 million US dollars , which was offset by income of the equivalent of 141.2 million US dollars. This results in a budget deficit of 0.5% of GDP .
The national debt in 2003 was $ 470 million or 62.8% of GDP.

In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:


Castries Cathedral
Castries Cathedral, interior view
Legal holidays
date Surname German name Remarks
January 1st New Year's Day New Year
January 2nd New Year's holiday Day after new year
February 22 Independence Day Independence day
Different Good Friday Good Friday
Different Easter Sunday
Different Easter Monday Easter Monday
1st of May Labor Day Labor Day
Different Whit Monday Whit Monday
Different Corpus Christi Corpus Christi
August 1st Emancipation Day Liberation Day
First Monday in October Thanksgiving Day Thanksgiving
13th December National Day Festival of Light and Renewal ( St. Lucia Day )
25 December Christmas Day First christmasday
December 26th Boxing Day Second day of Christmas

Public holidays falling on a Sunday are celebrated on the following Monday.




  • The Voice (edition: approx. 5000)
  • The Star (edition: approx. 2500)


The capital Castries: The city lies in the middle of a bay framed by the Morne Fortune mountain and the promontory of the Vigie peninsula. Several times in the past, fires raged across the city and houses razed to the ground. That is the reason why there are only a few historical buildings left today.

Derek Walcott Square: In 1992, the central square was renamed Derek Walcott Square in honor of the Lucian Nobel Prize for Literature, Derek Walcott . On the east side of the square is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception , built in the 19th century . It has wooden pillars and colorful Caribbean ceiling paintings.

Deux Pitons : The peaks of the Deux Pitons are two old volcanic cores ( Gros Piton 770 m; Petit Piton 743 m). They consist of cooled lava and are the most photographed landmarks on the island. You can climb the peaks with the help of guided hikes.


Famous Lucians

St. Lucia is the birthplace of two Nobel Prize winners. In 1979, Sir received William Arthur Lewis the Nobel Prize and in 1992 the writer Derek Walcott the Nobel Prize for Literature . This means that St. Lucia has the most Nobel Prize winners per inhabitant after the Faroe Islands . The Lucian Julian Hunte was the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2003 .


Web links

Wikimedia Atlas: St. Lucia  - geographical and historical maps
Wiktionary: St. Lucia  - explanations of meanings, origin of words, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: St. Lucia  - Travel Guide
Commons : St. Lucia  - collection of images, videos and audio files

References and footnotes

  1. a b 2010 Population and Housing Census. (PDF; 333 kB) Archived from the original on December 31, 2013 ; Retrieved October 5, 2013 .
  2. [1] (PDF) International Monetary Fund
  3. Human Development Report Office: Saint Lucia - Country Profile: Human Development Indicators, accessed October 25, 2014.
  4. There is no summer / winter time change in St. Lucia. The difference to Central European Time is −5 hours in winter and −6 hours in summer.
  5. See as well as the list of state names and their derivatives in German with appendix: List of names of selected non-independent areas 13th edition (PDF) - as of January 2014, accessed on January 15, 2011.
  6. See official website ( Memento of March 10, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on January 15, 2011.
  7. a b c d e f g h Source: CIA World Factbook 2008, Saint Lucia (accessed June 23, 2009, English)
  8. World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved July 28, 2017 .
  9. ^ Bernd Hillebrands: St. Lucia. In: Dieter Nohlen (Ed.): Handbook of the election data of Latin America and the Caribbean (= political organization and representation in America. Volume 1). Leske + Budrich, Opladen 1993, ISBN 3-8100-1028-6 , pp. 687-693, p. 689.
  10. Dieter Nohlen (Ed.): Handbook of the election data of Latin America and the Caribbean (= political organization and representation in America. Volume 1). Leske + Budrich, Opladen 1993, ISBN 3-8100-1028-6 , p. 689
  11. a b - New Parline: the IPU's Open Data Platform (beta). In: October 13, 1951, accessed September 28, 2018 .
  12. ^ A b Gabriele Intemann, Brigitte Esser, Michael Venhoff: "Saint Lucia". In states of world history. Chronik Verlag, 2001.
  14. English Wikipedia: en: Foreign relations of Saint Lucia
  16. ^ Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor ( Memento of April 17, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  17. a b c d e Human Development Report 2009: St. Lucia ( Memento from January 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  18. Saint Lucia academic institutions Directory - TOP ranked academic institutions in Saint Lucia. Accessed January 31, 2019 .
  19. Sven Less, Michel Marek: The Idiom of Memory - Creole in Saint Lucia, the struggle for the preservation of an oppressed language . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . No. 242 . Zurich October 17, 2011, p. 35 .
  20. St Lucia Airport ( Memento of March 31, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed June 23, 2009).
  21. ( Memento from November 28, 2016 in the web archive ) (accessed on October 24, 2013).
  22. Gabriele Intemann, Brigitte Esser, Michael Venhoff: "Saint Lucia". In states of world history. Chronik Verlag, 2001.
  23. World Economic Outlook Database April 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2017 (American English).
  24. World Economic Outlook Database April 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2017 (American English).
  25. Inflation, GDP deflator (annual%) | Data. Retrieved July 4, 2017 (American English).
  26. Statistical Digest 2011. (PDF; 2.0 MB) Archived from the original on October 6, 2013 ; Retrieved October 5, 2013 .
  27. a b c The World Factbook at
  28. This Business of Public Debt ( Memento of November 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  29. ^ The Fischer World Almanac 2010: Figures Data Facts, Fischer, Frankfurt, September 8, 2009, ISBN 978-3-596-72910-4 .

Coordinates: 13 ° 53 ′  N , 61 ° 0 ′  W