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Flag of Guadeloupe
Map of Guadeloupe
Introduction Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe has been a French possession since 1635. The island of Saint Martin is shared with the Netherlands; its southern portion is named Sint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles and its northern portion is named Saint-Martin and is part of Guadeloupe
Geography Guadeloupe
Caribbean, islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates:
16 15 N, 61 35 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 1,780 sq km
note: Guadeloupe is an archipelago of nine inhabited islands, including Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Desirade, Iles des Saintes (2), Saint-Barthelemy, Iles de la Petite Terre, and Saint-Martin (French part of the island of Saint Martin)
water: 74 sq km
land: 1,706 sq km
Area - comparative:
10 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
total: 10.2 km
border countries: Netherlands Antilles (Sint Maarten) 10.2 km
306 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
subtropical tempered by trade winds; moderately high humidity
Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Soufriere 1,484 m
Natural resources:
cultivable land, beaches and climate that foster tourism
Land use:
arable land: 10.65%
permanent crops: 4.14%
other: 85.21% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
20 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
hurricanes (June to October); Soufriere de Guadeloupe is an active volcano
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
a narrow channel, the Riviere Salee, divides Guadeloupe proper into two islands: the larger, western Basse-Terre and the smaller, eastern Grande-Terre
People Guadeloupe
435,739 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 24.9% (male 55,393; female 53,047)
15-64 years: 66.2% (male 142,945; female 145,757)
65 years and over: 8.9% (male 16,168; female 22,429) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.04% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
16.53 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
6.03 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
9.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.35 years
female: 80.66 years (2002 est.)
male: 74.19 years
Total fertility rate:
1.92 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Guadeloupian(s)
adjective: Guadeloupe
Ethnic groups:
black or mulatto 90%, white 5%, East Indian, Lebanese, Chinese less than 5%
Roman Catholic 95%, Hindu and pagan African 4%, Protestant 1%
French (official) 99%, Creole patois
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90%
male: 90%
female: 90% (1982 est.)
Government Guadeloupe
Country name:
conventional long form: Department of Guadeloupe
conventional short form: Guadeloupe
local short form: Guadeloupe
local long form: Departement de la Guadeloupe
Dependency status:
overseas department of France
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
none (overseas department of France)
none (overseas department of France)
National holiday:
Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
28 September 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system:
French legal system
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Dominique VIAN (since 6 August 2002)
election results: NA
elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; the presidents of the General and Regional Councils are elected by the members of those councils
head of government: President of the General Council Jacques GILLOT (since 26 March 2001); President of the Regional Council Lucette MICHAUX-CHEVRY (since 22 March 1992)
cabinet: NA
Legislative branch:
unicameral General Council or Conseil General (42 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the unicameral Regional Council or Conseil Regional (41 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
elections: General Council - last held 22 March 1998 (next to be held by NA 2004); Regional Council - last held 15 March 1998 (next to be held NA 2004)
note: Guadeloupe elects two representatives to the French Senate; elections last held NA September 1995 (next to be held NA September 2004); percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RPR 1, FGPS 1; Guadeloupe elects four representatives to the French National Assembly; elections last held 9 June-16 June 2002 (next to be held NA 2002); percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RPR 1, PS 2, PC 1
election results: General Council - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - left-wing candidates 11, PS 8, RPR 8, PPDG 6, right-wing candidates 5, PCG 3, UDF 1; Regional Council - percent of vote by party - RPR 48.03%, PS/PPDG/diverse left parties 24.49%, PCG 5.29%, diverse right parties 5.73%; seats by party - RPR 25, PS/PPDG/diverse left parties 12, PCG 2, diverse right parties 2
Judicial branch:
Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel with jurisdiction over Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and Martinique
Political parties and leaders:
Communist Party of Guadeloupe or PCG [Christian CELESTE]; FGPS [Dominique LARIFLA]; Progressive Democratic Party or PPDG [Henri BANGOU]; Rally for the Republic or RPR [Aldo BLAISE]; Socialist Party or PS [Georges LOUISOR]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Marcel ESDRAS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or KLPG; General Federation of Guadeloupe Workers or CGT-G; General Union of Guadeloupe Workers or UGTG; Movement for Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas department of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas department of France)
Flag description:
the flag of France is used
Economy Guadeloupe
Economy - overview:
The economy depends on agriculture, tourism, light industry, and services. It also depends on France for large subsidies and imports. Tourism is a key industry, with most tourists from the US; an increasingly large number of cruise ships visit the islands. The traditional sugarcane crop is slowly being replaced by other crops, such as bananas (which now supply about 50% of export earnings), eggplant, and flowers. Other vegetables and root crops are cultivated for local consumption, although Guadeloupe is still dependent on imported food, mainly from France. Light industry features sugar and rum production. Most manufactured goods and fuel are imported. Unemployment is especially high among the young. Hurricanes periodically devastate the economy.
purchasing power parity - $3.7 billion (1997 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $9,000 (1997 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 15%
industry: 17%
services: 68% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Labor force:
125,900 (1997) (1997)
Labor force - by occupation:
Unemployment rate:
27.8% (1998) (1998)
revenues: $225 million
expenditures: $390 million, including capital expenditures of $105 million (1996)
construction, cement, rum, sugar, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
1.39 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
1.293 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
bananas, sugarcane, tropical fruits and vegetables; cattle, pigs, goats
$140 million f.o.b. (1997)
Exports - commodities:
bananas, sugar, rum
Exports - partners:
France 60%, Martinique 18%, US 4% (1997)
$1.7 billion c.i.f. (1997)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, fuels, vehicles, clothing and other consumer goods, construction materials
Imports - partners:
France 63%, Germany 4%, US 3%, Japan 2%, Netherlands Antilles 2% (1997)
Debt - external:
Economic aid - recipient:
$NA; note - substantial annual French subsidies
euro (EUR); French franc (FRF)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); French francs per US dollar - 5.8995 (1998), 5.8367 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Guadeloupe
Telephones - main lines in use:
171,000 (1996)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Telephone system:
general assessment: domestic facilities inadequate
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Martinique
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 17, shortwave 0 (1998)
113,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
5 (plus several low-power repeaters) (1997)
118,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)
Internet users:
4,000 (2000)
Transportation Guadeloupe
total: NA km; privately owned, narrow-gauge plantation lines
total: 2,560 km
paved: 965 km
unpaved: 1,595 km (1996)
Ports and harbors:
Basse-Terre, Gustavia (on Saint Barthelemy), Marigot, Pointe-a-Pitre
Merchant marine:
total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,240 GRT/109 DWT
ships by type: passenger 1
note: includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: France 1 (2002 est.)
9 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 8
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 5 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Military Guadeloupe
Military branches:
no regular indigenous military forces; French Forces, Gendarmerie
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of France
Transnational Issues Guadeloupe
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003