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Flag of Martinique
Map of Martinique
Introduction Martinique
Colonized by France in 1635, the island has subsequently remained a French possession except for three brief periods of foreign occupation.
Geography Martinique
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates:
14 40 N, 61 00 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 1,100 sq km
water: 40 sq km
land: 1,060 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than six times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
350 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
tropical; moderated by trade winds; rainy season (June to October); vulnerable to devastating cyclones (hurricanes) every eight years on average; average temperature 17.3 degrees C; humid
mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcano
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Montagne Pelee 1,397 m
Natural resources:
coastal scenery and beaches, cultivable land
Land use:
arable land: 9.43%
permanent crops: 11.32%
other: 79.25% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
30 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
hurricanes, flooding, and volcanic activity (an average of one major natural disaster every five years)
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
the island is dominated by Mount Pelee, which on 8 May 1902 erupted and completely destroyed the city of Saint Pierre, killing 30,000 inhabitants
People Martinique
422,277 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 23% (male 49,261; female 47,843)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 140,616; female 141,460)
65 years and over: 10.2% (male 19,274; female 23,823) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.89% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
15.37 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
6.4 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
7.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.56 years
female: 77.92 years (2002 est.)
male: 79.19 years
Total fertility rate:
1.79 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Martiniquais (singular and plural)
adjective: Martiniquais
Ethnic groups:
African and African-white-Indian mixture 90%, white 5%, East Indian, Chinese less than 5%
Roman Catholic 95%, Hindu and pagan African 5%
French, Creole patois
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93%
male: 92%
female: 93% (1982 est.)
Government Martinique
Country name:
conventional long form: Department of Martinique
conventional short form: Martinique
local short form: Martinique
local long form: Departement de la Martinique
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); Prefect Michel CADOT (since 21 June 2000)
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 Claude LISE (since 22 March 1992); President of the Regional Council Alfred MARIE-JEANNE (since NA March 1998)
cabinet: NA
Legislative branch:
unicameral General Council or Conseil General (45 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and a unicameral Regional Assembly or Conseil Regional (41 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
elections: General Council - last held NA March 2000 (next to be held NA 2006); Regional Assembly - last held on 15 March 1998 (next to be held by March 2004)
election results: General Council - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - left-wing candidates 13, PPM 11, RPR 6, right-wing candidates 5, PCM 3, UDF 3, PMS 2, independents 2; note - the PPM won a plurality; Regional Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RPR-UDF 14, MIM 13, PPM 7, left parties 4, PMS 3
note: Martinique elects 2 seats to the French Senate; elections last held NA September 2001 (next to be held September 2004); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PPM 2; Martinique also elects 4 seats to the French National Assembly; elections last held, first round - 9 June 2002, second round - 16 June 2002 (next to be held June 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - UMP-RPR 1, PMS 1, MIM 1, left-wing candidate 1
Judicial branch:
Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel
Political parties and leaders:
Martinique Communist Party or PCM [Pierre SUEDILLE]; Martinique Independence Movement or MIM [Alfred MARIE-JEANNE]; Martinique Progressive Party or PPM [Camille DARSIERES]; note - may no longer be in existence; Martinique Socialist Party or PMS [Ernest WAN-AJOUHU]; Movement of Democrats and Ecologists for a Sovereign Martinique or Modemas [Garcin MALSA]; Rally for the Republic or RPR [Michel CHARLONE]; Socialist Revolution Group or GRS [Philippe PIERRE-CHARLES]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Jean MAREN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC; Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM [Marc PULVAR]; Frantz Fanon Circle; League of Workers and Peasants; Proletarian Action Group or GAP
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:
a light blue background is divided into four quadrants by a white cross; in the center of each rectangle is a white snake; the flag of France is used for official occasions
Economy Martinique
Economy - overview:
The economy is based on sugarcane, bananas, tourism, and light industry. Agriculture accounts for about 6% of GDP and the small industrial sector for 11%. Sugar production has declined, with most of the sugarcane now used for the production of rum. Banana exports are increasing, going mostly to France. The bulk of meat, vegetable, and grain requirements must be imported, contributing to a chronic trade deficit that requires large annual transfers of aid from France. Tourism, which employs more than 11,000 people, has become more important than agricultural exports as a source of foreign exchange. The majority of the work force is employed in the service sector and in administration.
purchasing power parity - $4.39 billion (1997 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $11,000 (1997 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 11%
services: 83% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.9% (1990) (1990)
Labor force:
170,000 (1997) (1997)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 10%, industry 17%, services 73% (1997) (1997)
Unemployment rate:
27.2% (1998) (1998)
revenues: $900 million
expenditures: $2.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $140 million (1996) (1996)
construction, rum, cement, oil refining, sugar, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
1.125 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
1.046 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
pineapples, avocados, bananas, flowers, vegetables, sugarcane
$250 million f.o.b. (1997)
Exports - commodities:
refined petroleum products, bananas, rum, pineapples
Exports - partners:
France 45%, Guadeloupe 28% (1997)
$2 billion c.i.f. (1997)
Imports - commodities:
petroleum products, crude oil, foodstuffs, construction materials, vehicles, clothing and other consumer goods
Imports - partners:
France 62%, Venezuela 6%, Germany 4%, Italy 4%, US 3% (1997)
Debt - external:
$180 million (1994) (1994)
Economic aid - recipient:
$NA; note - substantial annual aid from France
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 Martinique
Telephones - main lines in use:
170,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
15,000 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: domestic facilities are adequate
domestic: NA
international: microwave radio relay to Guadeloupe, Dominica, and Saint Lucia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 14, shortwave 0 (1998)
82,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
11 (plus nine repeaters) (1997)
66,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)
Internet users:
5,000 (2000)
Transportation Martinique
0 km (2002)
total: 2,105 km (2000)
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km
Ports and harbors:
Fort-de-France, La Trinite
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
2 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Military Martinique
Military branches:
no regular indigenous military forces; French Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force), Gendarmerie
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of France
Transnational Issues Martinique
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for the US and Europe

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003