Martinique General Information

Martinique General Information

General: Colonized by France in 1635, according to Simply Yellow Pages, the island has since remained permanently under French rule, except for three short periods of foreign occupation.


Location: Caribbean region, an island in the Caribbean, north of Trinidad and Tobago.
Geographic coordinates: 14° 40′ N. latitude, 61° 00’W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean.
Area: total: 1,100 square kilometers; land surface area: 1,060 km2; water surface area: 40 km2
Comparative area: somewhat smaller than six times the size of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 350 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; moderated by the trade winds; rainy season from June to October; destructive cyclones (hurricanes) on average every 8 years; average temperature 17.3 °C; wet.
Terrain: mountainous, with indented coastline; dormant volcano.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m; highest point: Montaigne Pele volcano 1,397 m.
Natural resources: coastal scenery and beaches, fertile land.
Land use: arable land: 8%; cultivated land: 8%; pastures: 17%; forests and plantations: 44%; others: 23% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 40 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: hurricanes, floods, volcanic activity (a major natural disaster occurs on average once every 5 years).
Current environmental issues: no data available.
International agreements on environmental protection:
Note to the section “Geography”:


Population: 418,454 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 23.1% (male 49,012; female 47,653); 15 to 64 years old: 66.77% (male 139,106; female 140,291); over 65: 10.13% (male 18,893; female 23,495) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.93% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 15.76 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 6.39 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -0.08 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.99 male/female; over 65: 0.8 male/female; for the general population: 0.98 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 7.8 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 78.41 years; men: 79.11 years; women: 77.69 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.8 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: resident of Martinique; adjective: Martinique.
Ethnic groups: Africans and descendants of Africans, whites and Indians 90%, whites 5%, natives of the East Indies, Lebanese, Chinese – less than 5%.
Believers: Catholics 95%, Hindus and followers of pagan African cults 5%.
Language(s): French, local dialect of Creole.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 93%; men: 92%;. women: 93% (1982 est.).


Conventional long form: Department of Martinique;
Common short form: Martinique; local long form: Departement de la Martinique local short form: Martinique Dependency status: overseas department of France.
State structure: no data.
Capital: Fort-de-France.
Administrative division: none (overseas department of France).
Independence: none (French overseas department).
National holiday: Bastille Day, July 14 (1789).
Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French constitution)
Legal system: French legal system.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: French President Jacques Chirac (since 17 May 1995) prefect Jean-Francois CORDET (since when – no data);
head of government: President of the General Council Claude LISE (since 22 March 1992); Regional Council President Alfred MARIE-JEANNE (since March 1998);
Government: no data; elections: French president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; the prefect is appointed by the President of France on the proposal of the Ministry of the Interior; the presidents of the General and Regional Councils are elected by the members of these councils.
Legislature: unicameral General Council (45 seats; members elected by popular vote for 6 years) and unicameral Regional Council (41 seats; members elected by popular vote for 6 years); elections: for the General Council – last held in March 2000 (next to be held in 2006); to the Regional Council – last held on 15 March 1998 (next to be held in March 2004); election results: General Council, distribution of votes between parties: NA; distribution of seats among parties: no data; note – RPM has a majority; Regional Council, distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: RPR-UDF 14, MIM 13, PPM 7, left parties 4, PMS 3; note: Martinique elects two members of the French Senate; elections last held in September 1998 (next to be held in September 2001) ); distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: PPM 2; Martinique also elects 4 representatives to the French National Assembly; elections last held 1 June 1997 (next to be held in 2002); distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: RPR 2, PS 1, independent 1.
Judiciary: Court of Appeal.
Political parties and leaders: The Independent Movement of Martinique (MIM) (Alfred MARI-JEAN); Progressive Party of Martinique (PPM) (Camille DARSIERES); Socialist Party of Martinique (PMS) (Ernest WAN-AJOUHU); Rally for the Republic (RPR) (Michel CHARLONE); Union for French Democracy (UDF) (Jean MAREN).
Political influence groups and their leaders: Martinique Heritage Protection Association (environmentalists) (Garcin MALSA); Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance (ARC); Central Union of Martinique Workers (CSTM) (Marc PULVAR); Circle of Franz Fanon; League of Workers and Peasants; Proletarian Action Group (GAP); Socialist Revolutionary Group (GRS) (Philippe PIERRE-CHARLES).
Participation in international organizations: FZ, WCL, WFTU.
Diplomatic representation in the United States: none (French overseas department).
US Diplomatic Mission: None (French Overseas Department).
Description of the flag: blue background divided into four parts by a white cross; in the center of each rectangle is a white snake; on official occasions, the flag of France is used.


Economy overview: The economy is based on sugar cane, bananas, tourism and light industry. Agriculture produces about 6% of GDP, while the small industrial sector contributes 11%. Sugar production has declined, with much of the sugarcane grown now being used to make rum. Banana exports increased mainly due to shipments to France. Much of the required meat, vegetables and grains have to be imported, contributing to a chronic trade deficit that requires a large annual bailout from France. Tourism as a source of foreign exchange is becoming increasingly important in comparison with the export of agricultural products. Most of the labor force is employed in the service sector and in the civil service.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $ 4.39 billion (1997 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: no data available.
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $11,000 (1997 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 6%; industry: 11%; services: 83% (1997 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: 10% of the poorest households account for: n/a; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 3.9% (1990).
Labor force: 170,000 people (1997).
Employment structure: agriculture 10%, industry 17%, services 73% (1997).
Unemployment rate: 27.2% (1998)
Budget: revenues: $900 million; expenses: $2.5 billion, including capital investments – $140 million (1996).
Spheres of economy: construction, production of rum, cement, oil refining, sugar production, tourism.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 1.1 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 1.023 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: pineapples, avocados, bananas, flowers, vegetables, sugarcane.
Export: $250 million (free on board, 1997)
Exports: refined products, bananas, rum, pineapples.
Export partners: France 45%, Guadeloupe 28% (1997).
Import: $2 billion (S.I.F., 1997).
Imports: petroleum products, crude oil, foodstuffs, building materials, transport, clothing and other consumer goods.
Import partners: France 62%, Venezuela 6%, Germany 4%, Italy 4%, USA 3% (1997).
External debt: $180 million (1994). Recipient of economic assistance: no data; note – significant annual subsidies from France.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: French franc, euro.
Currency code: FRF; EUR.
Exchange rate: EUR/USD – 1.0659 (January 2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); FRF/USD – 5.65 (January 1999), 5.8995 (1998), 5.8367 (1997), 5.1155 (1996).
Fiscal year: calendar year.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 170,000 (1997).
Mobile cell phones: 15,000 (1997).
Telephone system: satisfactory local service; internal: no data; international: microwave radio relay to Guadeloupe, Dominica, Saint Lucia; ground satellite stations – 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM -0, FM -14, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 82,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 11 (and 9 repeaters) (1997).
TVs: 66,000 (1997).
Internet country code: mq
Internet service providers: 2 (2000).
Number of users: 5,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 2,105 km (2000); coated: no data; uncoated: no data.
Ports and harbours: Trinité, Fort-de-France.
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 2 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 1; over 3,047 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 1; from 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the armed forces: French armed forces (army, navy, air force), gendarmerie. Armed Forces – note: France is responsible for defense.

International Issues

International issues International disputes: no.
Illicit Drugs: A transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for the US and Europe.

Martinique General Information

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