Saint Barth is a French island which was once part of the Department of Guadeloupe.
It became an entirely separate overseas territory of France in June 2007. Once inhabited by Native Americans who named it Ouanlao, it was discovered and made known to Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1493 who christened it Saint Barthelemy after his brother Bartolomeo. Purchased by France in 1674 from the Order of Malta, which had owned the island since 1651, St Barth was later given to Sweden in exchange for access rights enabling French ships to unload and trade goods at the port of Gothenburg. The island was returned to the French at the end of the 19th century, at which point it became part of the Department of Guadeloupe. The island enjoyed increasing growth from the 1980s onwards with tourism activities gradually becoming the driving force behind its economy.