The population of St Lucia is evenly divided between the urban and the rural areas. One-third of the population of St Lucia resides in its capital city ‘Castries’. The island is ringed by number of settlements, many of which had their origins as fishing or plantations. Over the last decade, the population growth has slowed down due to the outward migration by the people for job opportunities. The area of most rapid growth over the years is ‘Gros-Islet’ region in the north as it is the centre of tourist development.
The main religious group in St Lucia is the Roman Catholic community, accounting for over eighty-five percent of its population. Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, the Salvation Army are the various other Christian denominations that are followed and represented on the islands of St Lucia. An approximate of eighty-five percent of all St Lucians are Africans, with a lesser percentage of mixed African, British, French, East Indian and Carib.
Agricultural production has been export oriented since the ancient history. Over the years, the focus on commercial-export production has meant that agriculture for local consumption has suffered a lot. A lot of trading activities, largely in foodstuffs is done at the local level. The growth of industrial sector over the years is majorly in the field of export processing plants that produce garments, electronics assembly, paper products and leather goods. For these jobs local labour is employed on the basis of skill and education. Whereas the local small scale industries involve in food processing and craft production. These goods are available in the capital city market for the people as well as for the tourists. Over the years, tourism has taken over the banana production, as it is the most important revenue generator of foreign exchange. This helps in generating employment opportunities for about more than twelve thousand people.
St Lucia has a primary health care system for its people that include health care system throughout the island, each having a resident nurse and a weekly visit by the doctor. Hospitals are situated at ‘Vieux-Fort’ and ‘Castries’. Private medical health care facilities are available for the people who can afford it and is mostly located in the capital city ‘Castries’. Besides medical facilities, there are many who practice and believe in traditional therapies that include the use of locally grown plants and herbs which are combined in variety of tinctures, poultices and remedies. People believe that these therapies not only treat medical ailments but also spells, mental sickness or troubles of supernatural origin.
In St Lucia, the Education Act provides for free and compulsory education for the children from the age group of five to fifteen. Schools here offer great education along with variety of extracurricular activities to the children. Education system is basically divided into four segments: Infant, primary, secondary and tertiary. ‘Charterhouse’ high school is among the famous schools of St Lucia. Colleges in St Lucia are meant for higher education, which comes after schooling. The colleges take care of the tertiary education of the students. Over the years, number of colleges in St Lucia has increased due to the inclusion of many different types of courses and institutions. The most popular colleges are ‘St. Leos College’ and ‘Arthur Lewis Community college’.
Though having a very less area, the Caribbean island of St Lucia is exceptionally rich in animals and plants. More than two hundred species are found here including the resident birds and reptiles. Its best-known species is the gorgeous but endangered ‘Amazon parrot’. The other species includes pencil cedar, staghorn coral and St Lucia Racer. ‘Leatherback’ turtles are found along the coastline.