(overseas department of France)
[Country Flag of Guadeloupe]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Guadeloupe]



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Location: 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
land: 1,706 sq km
water: 74 sq km
note: Guadeloupe is an archipelago of nine inhabited islands, including Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Desirade, Iles des Saintes, Saint Barthelemy, and part of Saint Martin

Area—comparative: 10 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
total: 10.2 km
border countries: Netherlands Antilles (Sint Maarten) 10.2 km

Coastline: 306 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: subtropical tempered by trade winds; moderately high humidity

Terrain: 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 1,467 m

Natural resources: cultivable land, beaches and climate that foster tourism

Land use:
arable land: 14%
permanent crops: 4%
permanent pastures: 14%
forests and woodland: 39%
other: 29% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 30 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: hurricanes (June to October); Soufriere is an active volcano

Environment—current issues: NA

Environment—international agreements:
party to: NA
signed, but not ratified: NA


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Population: 416,439 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 25% (male 53,239; female 51,148)
15-64 years: 66% (male 136,439; female 139,555)
65 years and over: 9% (male 15,243; female 20,815) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.1% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 16.73 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 5.61 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 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: 0.73 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.79 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.8 years
male: 74.78 years
female: 80.97 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.84 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Guadeloupian(s)
adjective: Guadeloupe

Ethnic groups: black or mulatto 90%, white 5%, East Indian, Lebanese, Chinese less than 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Hindu and pagan African 4%, Protestant sects 1%

Languages: French (official) 99%, Creole patois

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90%
male: 90%
female: 90% (1982 est.)


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Country name:
conventional long form: Department of Guadeloupe
conventional short form: Guadeloupe
local long form: Departement de la Guadeloupe
local short form: Guadeloupe

Data code: GP

Dependency status: overseas department of France

Government type: NA

National capital: Basse-Terre

Administrative divisions: none (overseas department of France)

Independence: none (overseas department of France)

National holiday: National Day, Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)

Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system: French legal system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President of France Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Jean FEDINI (since NA)
head of government: President of the General Council Dominique LARIFLA (since NA); President of the Regional Council Lucette MICHAUX-CHEVRY (since 22 March 1992)
cabinet: NA
elections: prefect appointed by the president of France 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
election results: 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 1992 (next to be held by NA 1996); Regional Council—last held 16 March 1998 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: General Council—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—FRUI.G 13, RPR/DUD 13, PPDG 8, FGPS 3, PCG 3, UPLG 1, PSG 1, independent 1; Regional Council—percent of vote by party—RPR 48.03%, PS/PPDG/DVG 24.49%, PCG 5.29%, DVD 5.73%; seats by party—RPR 25, PS/PPDG/DVG 12, PCG 2, DVD 2
note: Guadeloupe elects two representatives to the French Senate; elections last held in 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 on 25 May—1 June 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—FGPS 2, RPR 1, PCG 1

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel with jurisdiction over Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and Martinique

Political parties and leaders: Rally for the Republic or RPR [Lucette MICHAUX-CHEVRY]; Communist Party of Guadeloupe or PCG [Mona CADOCE]; Socialist Party or PS [Georges LOUISOR]; Popular Union for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or UPLG [Claude MAKOUKE]; FGPS Dissidents or FRUI.G [Dominique LARIFLA]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Marcel ESDRAS]; Progressive Democratic Party or PPDG [Henri BANGOU]; Movement for an Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI [Luc REIETTE]; Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or KLPG; DVG [Jacques GILLOT]; DVD [Simon IBO]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Movement for Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI; General Union of Guadeloupe Workers or UGTG; General Federation of Guadeloupe Workers or CGT-G; Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or KLPG

International organization participation: FZ, WCL, WFTU

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas department of France)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas department of France)

Flag description: three horizontal bands, a narrow green band (top), a wide red band, and a narrow green band; the green bands are separated from the red band by two narrow white stripes; a five-pointed gold star is centered in the red band toward the hoist side; the flag of France is used for official occasions


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Economy—overview: The economy depends on agriculture, tourism, light industry, and services. It is also dependent upon 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.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$3.7 billion (1995 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: NA%

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$9,200 (1995 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 9%
services: 85% (1993 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.7% (1990)

Labor force:
total: 128,000
by occupation: agriculture 15%, industry 20%, services 65% (1993)

Unemployment rate: 31.3% (1995)

revenues: $300 million
expenditures: $460 million, including capital expenditures of $90 million (1995)

Industries: construction, cement, rum, sugar, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 388,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 1 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 2,483 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: bananas, sugarcane, tropical fruits and vegetables; cattle, pigs, goats

total value: $145 million (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: bananas, sugar, rum
partners: France 75%, Martinique 13% (1994)

total value: $1.6 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities: foodstuffs, fuels, vehicles, clothing and other consumer goods, construction materials
partners: France 64%, EU 13%, Martinique 4%, US, Japan (1994)

Debt—external: $NA

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA
note: substantial annual French subsidies

Currency: 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1—6.0836 (January 1998), 5.8367 (1997), 5.1155(1996), 4.9915 (1995), 5.5520 (1994), 5.6632 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 64,916 (1984 est.)

Telephone system: 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 2, FM 8 (private stations licensed to broadcast FM 30), shortwave 0

Radios: 100,000 (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 9

Televisions: 150,000 (1993 est.)


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total: NA km; privately owned, narrow-gauge plantation lines

total: 2,082 km (national 329 km, regional 582 km, community/local 1,171 km)
paved: 1,742 km
unpaved: 340 km (1985 est.)
note: in 1996 there were 3,200 km of roads

Ports and harbors: Basse-Terre, Gustavia (on Saint Barthelemy), Marigot, Pointe-a-Pitre

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 9 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 8
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 5 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: French Forces, Gendarmerie

Military—note: defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: none