Facts at a glance:
Form of Government: Parliamentary Democracy, within the British Commonwealth
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General, Dame Dr Pearlette Louisy
Head of Government: Prime Minister, Dr. The Hon. Kenny D. Anthony
Location: 14EN; 61EW - one of the Windward islands, lying between Martinique (21 miles to the north) and St Vincent (26 miles south)
Area: 616 sq. km (238 sq. mi)
Population: 158,178 (2002)
Ethnic Make-Up: Mainly of African descent (90%), mixed race (6%), East Indian (3%), European (1%)
Adult Literacy: 80%
Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$)
Exchange rate: US$1.00 = EC$ 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: St Lucia is a contributing country to the UWI. Although it does not host one of the campuses, there is a University Centre operating out of Marryshow House in Castries. 238 (2004/2005) St Lucian nationals are registered as students at the UWI.