St Lucia

Facts at a glance:

Capital: Castries

Form of Government: Parliamentary Democracy, within the British Commonwealth

Head of State: British Monarch: King Charles III represented by Acting Governor General Errol Charles

Head of Government: Prime Minister, the Honourable Philip J. Pierre

Location: 14EN; 61EW - one of the Windward islands, lying between Martinique (21 miles north) and St Vincent (26 miles south)

Area: 616 sq. km (238 sq. mi)

Population: 180,684 (2024 est.)

Ethnic Make-Up: Mainly African descent (90%), mixed race (6%), East Indian (3%), European (1%)

Adult Literacy: 90.1%

Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD)

Exchange rate: U.S. $1.00 = XCD 2.70

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time +1; GMT -4

Phone Code: Regional code (758) plus (45) plus 5-digit local number

History: European settlement on St Lucia had been a game of musical chairs for centuries. The English attempted unsuccessfully to colonize the island in 1605 and 1638. It was settled by the French in 1650 but then changed hands fourteen times before it became a British Crown Colony in 1814 under the Treaty of Paris.

St Lucia was a member of the Windward Islands Federal System until December 1957 and a member of the West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1961. St Lucia became an independent nation within the Commonwealth on February 22, 1979.

UWI Connections: The UWI Open Campus – St Lucia

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