Your guide to being an expatriate in Saint Barthélemy

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Located in the northernmost part of the Lesser Antilles, Saint Barthélemy is an overseas collectivity of France with a unique identity shaped by its Dutch and French heritage. With a population of approximately 8,740 (2021), the island boasts a high standard of living, a thriving tourism industry, and a strong emphasis on preserving its natural beauty and cultural heritage. The island's economy is primarily fueled by its tourism and financial services sectors, making it an attractive destination for expats and businesses alike.

Saint Barthélemy

Expat destinations in Saint Barthélemy

Demographics of Saint Barthélemy:

Ethnic groups

The majority of the population in Saint Barthélemy is of French, Dutch, and Caribbean descent. Creole, French, and Dutch are spoken on the island, with French being the official language.



Religion Overview

The predominant religion on Saint Barthélemy is Roman Catholicism, with the majority of the population identifying as Catholic. The island has several churches and chapels, including the historical Church of the Holy Trinity in Gustavia and the Church of St. Jean-Baptiste in Corossol.

Major Religions


Saint Barthélemy has a tropical savanna climate with relatively low rainfall. The island is susceptible to hurricanes during the hurricane season from June to November but has taken steps to enhance its resilience to natural disasters.

Economy Overview

Saint Barthélemy's economy is primarily driven by tourism, with its idyllic beaches and luxury resorts attracting visitors from around the world. The island's financial services sector has also seen significant growth in recent years, contributing to its prosperous economy. Some of the major companies operating in Saint Barthélemy include Banco Santander and the French company, Engie.

Key Industries

  • Tourism

Major Companies

  • Banco Santander
  • Engie

Culture and Language Overview

Saint Barthélemy's unique cultural heritage is evident in its vibrant festivals and traditions. The island celebrates a range of events throughout the year, including Carnival, which is celebrated in January or February, and the Saint Barth Music Festival, which takes place in April or May. Creole and French cuisine are also prominent on the island, with dishes such as tagine and bouillabaisse being among the most popular.

Cultural Highlights

  • Carnival
  • Saint Barth Music Festival
  • Creole and French cuisine

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Saint Barthélemy is a small volcanic island covering an area of approximately 21 square kilometers. Its coastline is characterized by stunning tropical beaches, with Flamands Beach, Sal tests Beach, and Gouverneur Beach among the island's most picturesque locations. Other notable landmarks on the island include the 18th century Fort Gustave and the St. Jean Chapel.

Notable Landmarks

  • Flamands Beach
  • Sal tests Beach
  • Gouverneur Beach
  • Fort Gustave
  • St. Jean Chapel

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Carnival (January or February)
  • Ascension Day (May)
  • Whit Monday (May or June)
  • Liberation Day (November 1)

Political Stability

Saint Barthélemy enjoys a stable political climate, having attained autonomy within the French territory in 2007. The island is governed by a council, headed by a president, and operates under the French constitution. Tensions between Saint Barthélemy and neighboring islands, such as Anguilla and St. Kitts, have been resolved peacefully through negotiation and close cooperation between the parties involved.

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