General Information about Saint Lucia

Located in the West Indies. The area is 616.3 km2. The population is 157.8 thousand people. (census 2001). The official language is English. The capital is the city of Castries (64 thousand people). Public holiday – Independence Day November 3 (since 1979). The unit of currency is the East Caribbean dollar.

Member of the UN and its specialized organizations (since 1979), OAS (since 1979), the Commonwealth of Nations, CARICOM, the Non-Aligned Movement, etc.

Geography of Saint Lucia

It is located between 13°42′ and 14°7 north latitude and 60°53 and 6G5′ west longitude. It is washed by the Caribbean Sea in the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east. The length of the coastline is 158 km. An island of volcanic origin, a mountain range stretches from north to south with the highest point – Gimi (959 m). In the south is the crater of the extinct Soufrière volcano. The climate is tropical, the average annual temperature is +26°C, seasonal differences are insignificant. The rainy season lasts from May to October. The annual rainfall is 1100-1700 mm in coastal areas, 2200-3900 mm in the mountains. Tropical hurricanes are frequent. The rivers are mountainous, non-navigable, with a large number of waterfalls. There are sulfur springs in the area of the volcano. Forests have been preserved in the mountains, borrowing 15% of the island’s territory, annually deforesting up to 1.6% of the area covered with trees. The largest mammal is the agouti, a member of the rodent order. Endemic fauna: the rarest Saint Lucia racer snake, the world’s smallest narrow-nosed snake and the blue lizard.

Population of Saint Lucia

According to Countryaah, the population of Saint Lucia in 2002 amounted to 159.1 thousand people. Between the 1991 and 2001 censuses, the population increased from 133.3 to 157.8 thousand people. Birth rate 21.4%, mortality 5.3%, infant mortality 14.8 pers. per 1000 newborns (2002 estimate). Life expectancy 72.8 years, incl. women 76.6, men 69.3. Age structure: 0-14 years old – 31.6%, 15-64 years old – 63.1%, 65 years and older – 5.3%. There are 96 men for every 100 women. The share of the urban population is 38%. Competently 84% of the adult population. 90% of the inhabitants are descendants of African slaves brought in in the 17th-19th centuries, 6% are mulattoes, 3% come from India, and 1% are whites. The majority of the population uses Patois, the local dialect of French. OK. 67.5% of believers are Catholics, 2% are Anglicans, 20% are other Protestant denominations.

History of Saint Lucia

The Arawaks, who inhabited the island from the 2nd c. AD, were driven out by the Caribs in the 8th-10th centuries. It was discovered by the Spanish navigator Juan de Cosa in 1502. The French began to colonize Saint Lucia in 1635, and in 1642 it was proclaimed a colony of France. During the 17th and 18th centuries for possession of it there was a fierce struggle between Great Britain and France. It finally passed to Great Britain in 1815 by decision of the Congress of Vienna. From 1838 to 1956 Saint Lucia was part of the Windward Islands colony, and from 1958 to 1962 it was part of the West Indies Federation. In 1967, it received the status of a “state associated with Great Britain” and internal self-government; independence was proclaimed on February 22, 1979. A government crisis in 1982 led to the creation of an interim coalition government and early parliamentary elections.

Science and culture of Saint Lucia

Compulsory and free education for children aged 5 to 15. There are 66 primary and 18 secondary public schools and 7 and 2 private schools respectively. The number of students in state schools was 39.9 thousand people, in private schools – 1.1 thousand (2002/03). Secondary specialized education is provided at the College. A. Lewis, created in 1985 (2.2 thousand students). 4 weekly newspapers are published, The Star is published 3 times a week. There are 7 radio and 4 television stations.

The largest scientist – A. Lewis (Arthur Lewis), winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979. The main cultural event – the annual carnival dedicated to the abolition of slavery. An international jazz festival has been held since 1992. In music, the calypso style is the most common. The only cinema opened in 1994. St. Lucia-born poet and playwright D. Wolcott (Derek Wolcott), who has lived in the United States since 1981, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.

People of Saint Lucia