Title: The Collectivity of Saint-Barthélemy
Population Change: 0.3
National Average Age:
Urban Percentage: 0
Christian Population: 0
Introduction: Saint Barthelemy a French-speaking Caribbean island commonly known as St. Barts is known for its white-sand beaches and designer shops. The capital Gustavia encircling a yacht-filled harbor has high-end restaurants and historical attractions like the Wall House whose exhibits highlight the island’s Swedish colonial era. Perched above town is 17th-century Fort Karl looking out over popular Shell Beach.
Overview: Discovered in 1493 by Christopher COLUMBUS who named it for his brother Bartolomeo Saint Barthelemy was first settled by the French in 1648. In 1784 the French sold the island to Sweden who renamed the largest town Gustavia after the Swedish King GUSTAV III and made it a free port; the island prospered as a trade and supply center during the colonial wars of the 18th century. France repurchased the island in 1877 and took control the following year. It was placed under the administration of Guadeloupe. Saint Barthelemy retained its free port status along with various Swedish appellations such as Swedish street and town names and the three-crown symbol on the coat of arms. In 2003 the populace of the island voted to secede from Guadeloupe and in 2007 the island became a French overseas collectivity.