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



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Location: 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
land: 1,060 sq km
water: 40 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly more than six times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 350 km

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

Climate: 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

Terrain: 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: 8%
permanent crops: 8%
permanent pastures: 17%
forests and woodland: 44%
other: 23% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 40 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: hurricanes, flooding, and volcanic activity (an average of one major natural disaster every five years)

Environment—current issues: NA

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


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Population: 407,284 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 23% (male 47,431; female 46,457)
15-64 years: 67% (male 134,738; female 137,818)
65 years and over: 10% (male 17,216; female 23,624) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.05% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 16.52 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 5.91 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 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: 6.89 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.13 years
male: 76.34 years
female: 81.98 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.8 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Martiniquais (singular and plural)
adjective: Martiniquais

Ethnic groups: African and African-white-Indian mixture 90%, white 5%, East Indian, Lebanese, Chinese less than 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Hindu and pagan African 5%

Languages: French, Creole patois

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93%
male: 92%
female: 93% (1982 est.)


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

Data code: MB

Dependency status: overseas department of France

Government type: NA

National capital: Fort-de-France

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); Prefect Jean-Francois CORDET (since NA)
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
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

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 1994 (next to be held NA 2000); Regional Assembly—last held on NA March 1998 (next to be held by March 2004)
election results: General Council—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—NA; note—the PPM won a plurality; Regional Assembly—percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party—NA
note: Martinique elects 2 seats to the French Senate; elections last held 24 September 1995 (next to be held September 1998); results—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PS 2; Martinique also elects 4 seats to the French National Assembly; elections last held 1 June 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); results—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—RPR 2, PS 1, independent 1

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel

Political parties and leaders: Rally for the Republic or RPR [Andre LESUEUR]; Martinique Forces [Maurice LAOUCHEZ]; Martinique Socialist Party or PPM [Ernest WAN-AJOUHU]; Socialist Federation of Martinique or FSM [Jean CRUSOL]; Martinique Communist Party or PCM [George ERICHOT]; Martinique Patriots or PM; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Miguel LAVENTURE]; Martinique Independence Movement or MIM [Alfred MARIE-JEANNE]; Republican Party or PR [Jean BAILLY]; National Council of Popular Committees [Robert SAE]; Rally for Democratic Martinique [Felix HILAIRE-FORTUNE]; Movement for a Liberated Martinique [Philippe PETIT]; Union for the Renewal of Ste. Marie [Guy LORDINOT]; Combat Worker [Gerard BEAUJOUR]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Proletarian Action Group or GAP; Socialist Revolution Group or GRS [Philippe PIERRE-CHARLES]; Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC; Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM [Marc PULVAR]; Frantz Fanon Circle; League of Workers and Peasants; Association for the Protection of Martinique's Heritage (ecologist) [Garcin MALSA]

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: 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


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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 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.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$3.95 billion (1995 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: NA%

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$10,000 (1995 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 11%
services: 83% (1992 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.9% (1990)

Labor force:
total: 160,000
by occupation: agriculture 10%, industry 17%, services 73% (1992)

Unemployment rate: 23.5% (1994)

revenues: $658 million
expenditures: $2.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $164 million (1994)

Industries: construction, rum, cement, oil refining, sugar, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 115,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 900 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 2,280 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: pineapples, avocados, bananas, flowers, vegetables, sugarcane for rum

total value: $220 million (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: refined petroleum products, bananas, rum, pineapples
partners: France 57%, Guadeloupe 31%, French Guiana (1991)

total value: $1.6 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities: petroleum products, crude oil, foodstuffs, construction materials, vehicles, clothing and other consumer goods
partners: France 62%, UK, Italy, Germany, Japan, US (1991)

Debt—external: $180 million (1994)

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

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: 209,672 (1994 est.)

Telephone system: 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 1, FM 6, shortwave 0

Radios: 74,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 10

Televisions: 65,000 (1993 est.)


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Railways: 0 km

total: 2,724 km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km (1994)

Ports and harbors: Fort-de-France, La Trinite

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: French forces (Army, Navy, Air Force), Gendarmerie

Military—note: defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: none

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for the US and Europe