- Welcome to Saint Lucia
- In the Commonwealth
- Facts and Figures
- Saint Lucia has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1979
- Saint Lucia became an independent country on the 22nd of February 1979
- Saint Lucia has been competing in the Commonwealth Games since 1962, and has won one medal during that time
- The country has more Nobel laureates per capita than any other country:
- Saint Lucia has the highest number of medical doctors per capita: 52 for every 10,000 people
- 2008 Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting in Gros Islet
I welcome you, on behalf of the Government and people of Saint Lucia, to the Saint Lucia portal of the Commonwealth of Nations Website.
Saint Lucia is part of the Windward Island chain, a sub-group of islands in the Caribbean Sea, located 21 miles south of its nearest neighbour, the French Department of Martinique, 24 miles north of St Vincent and 100 miles north-west of Barbados. Our 238-square-mile island possesses some of the finest natural harbours in the Caribbean, and is centrally located within easy reach of the rest of the region and North America. It was as a result of our strategic location that the French and British went to war repeatedly for possession of our island between the mid seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries, resulting in the island changing hands 14 times between the two colonial powers. This tug-of-war inspired one British historian to give Saint Lucia the sobriquet “Helen of the West Indies” comparing her to Helen of Troy, a mythical Greek character whose beauty mobilised an entire navy.
Although English is the official language, the struggle for possession between the British and the French has resulted in the uniqueness of our culture, which maintains a strong French influence as evident in the names of the majority of our communities, people and widely spoken French Creole language.
An active and committed member of the Commonwealth, Saint Lucia obtained her independence from the United Kingdom on 22 February 1979 and retains a stable Westminster-based parliamentary system with a lower house of elected members and a Senate made up of government and opposition appointees.
I encourage you to learn more about us from this website and then come and visit us for yourself to explore the tourism delights and investment opportunities available to all in Saint Lucia, the “Helen of the West Indies”.
The above message was provided by the then Prime Minister Stephenson King.
Saint Lucia in the Commonwealth
did you know?
– Poet and playwright Derek Walcott, born in Castries, Saint Lucia, on 23 January 1930, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992
– Sir Arthur Lewis became Nobel Economics Laureate in 1979
Commonwealth meetings hosted
Feasibility Study into the Export of Education Related Services (2007/08)
The aim of this study, which was funded by the Commonwealth, was to determine the competitive advantage of Saint Lucia as a centre of excellence for the export of educational and related services in the health sector, particularly for the provision of medical related services – medical education and health tourism. A World Bank commissioned study had concluded that the Caribbean states have the potential to develop educational services, as these already exist in Dominica and Grenada.
Fiscal Incentives Regime (2005/06)
A review of Saint Lucia’s Fiscal Incentives Regime for Industry examined the regulatory and institutional framework for facilitating investment in industry, particularly within the context of international trading arrangements. In May 2006 a Caribbean Conference on Best Practices was held in Saint Lucia on the implementation of fiscal incentives in accordance with WTO rules.
Building the capacity of the Saint Lucian Presidency of the UNGA (2003/04)
Technical advisors prepared background papers to facilitate the President’s chairmanship of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Through this support to the chair, small states were given a better opportunity to highlight development issues and to bring the UN a new perspective on the problems and vulnerabilities of small states. The UNGA President’s reports and speeches were printed and available on the Commonwealth website.
Consultant, Technical Audit, Government Printing Establishment, Saint Lucia (2002)
An expert was provided by the Commonwealth Secretariat to the Government Printing Establishment to conduct a technical audit and to produce a review report containing findings and recommendations for the restructuring of the Printing Establishment. Issues to be addressed included the adequacy of human resources, training requirements, technological capacity, and physical layout of the facility.
Total area: 616 sq. km
Population in thousands (2010): 174
Population density (2010): 282 per sq. km
Proportion of population under 18 (2010): 31.6%
Proportion of population over 60 (2010): 9.5%
Proportion of population living in urban areas (2010): 28%
GNI in thousands (2010): US$1,141,764
GNI per capita (2010): US$6,560
GDP average annual growth (2006-10): 2.9%
Inflation, average annual (2006-10): 3.1%
Proportion of pupils completing primary school (2009): 92.1%
Net enrolment rate (2010): 88.2%
Adult literacy rate: 94.8%
Gross enrolment ratio all levels (2007-10): 11.3%
Primary pupil-teacher ratio (2007-10): 19
Secondary pupil-teach ratio (2007-10): 16
Public spending on education (2007-10): 4.4%
Gross tertiary enrolment ratio (2007-10): 11.3%
Under 5 mortality per 1,000 live births (2010): 16
Population with access to an improved water source (2008): 98%
Life expectancy (2010): 74
Public spending on health per capita (2009): US$443
Public spending on health as a proportion of total public expenditure (2009): 5%
Medical doctors per 100,000 people (latest data): 47
Nurses and midwives per 100,000 people (latest data): 216
CO2 emissions per capita (2008): 2.3 tonnes
Overall change in annual CO2 emissions (1990-2008): 140.0%
Forest area as a proportion total land area: 77%
Overall deforestation since 1990 (2008): 6.8%
Landline telephones per 1,000 people (2010): 215
Cumulative growth/decline in landline telephones (2005-10): -3.9%
Mobile subscribers per 1,000 people (2010): 1,144
Overall growth in mobile subscribers (2005-10): 88.3%
Internet users per 1,000 (2010): 400