[Country map of Guadeloupe]


(overseas department of France)


Location: Caribbean, islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 1,780 sq km
land area: 1,706 sq km
comparative area: 10 times the size of Washington, DC
note: Guadeloupe is an archipelago of nine inhabited islands, of which Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, and Marie-Galante are the three largest

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 306 km

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

International disputes: none

Climate: subtropical tempered by trade winds; relatively high humidity

Terrain: Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grand-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin

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

Land use:
arable land: 18%
permanent crops: 5%
meadows and pastures: 13%
forest and woodland: 40%
other: 24%

Irrigated land: 30 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: NA
natural hazards: hurricanes (June to October); La Soufriere is an active volcano
international agreements: NA


Population: 402,815 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 26% (female 51,069; male 52,922)
15-64 years: 66% (female 134,328; male 130,875)
65 years and over: 8% (female 19,318; male 14,303) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.24% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 18.15 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.58 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.2 years
male: 74.16 years
female: 80.38 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.95 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Guadeloupian(s)
adjective: Guadeloupe

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

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

Languages: French, creole patois

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

Labor force: 120,000
by occupation: services, government, and commerce 53.0%, industry 25.8%, agriculture 21.2%


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

Digraph: GP

Type: overseas department of France

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 Francois MITTERRAND (since 21 May 1981)
head of government: Prefect Franck PERRIEZ (since NA 1992); President of the General Council Dominique LARIFLA (since NA); President of the Regional Council Lucette MICHAUX-CHEVRY (since 22 March 1992)
cabinet: Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: unicameral General Council and unicameral Regional Council
General Council: elections last held NA March 1992 (next to be held by NA 1996); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (43 total) FRUI.G 13, RPR/DUD 13, PPDG 8, FGPS 3, PCG 3, UPLG 1, PSG 1, independent 1
Regional Council: elections last held on 31 January 1993 (next to be held by 16 March 1998); results - RPR/DUD 48.30%, FGPS 17.09%, FRUI.G 7.44%, PPDG 8.90%, UPLG 7.75% PCG 6.05%; seats - (41 total) seats by party NA
French Senate: elections last held in September 1986 (next to be held September 1995); Guadeloupe elects two representatives; results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (2 total) PCG 1, FGPS 1
French National Assembly: elections last held on 21 and 28 March 1993 (next to be held March 1998); Guadeloupe elects four representatives; results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (4 total) FGPS 1, RPR 1, PPDG 1, independent 1

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

Political parties and leaders: Rally for the Republic (RPR), Aldo BLAISE; Communist Party of Guadeloupe (PCG), Christian Medard CELESTE; Socialist Party (FGPS), Georges LOUISOR; Popular Union for the Liberation of Guadeloupe (UPLG), Lucien PERATIN; FGPS Dissidents (FRUI.G); Union for French Democracy (UDF), Simon BARLAGNE; Progressive Democratic Party (PPDG), Henri BANGOU

Other political or pressure groups: Popular Union for the Liberation of Guadeloupe (UPLG); Movement for Independent Guadeloupe (MPGI); General Union of Guadeloupe Workers (UGTG); General Federation of Guadeloupe Workers (CGT-G); Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe (KLPG)

Member of: FZ, WCL, WFTU

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

US diplomatic representation: none (overseas department of France)

Flag: the flag of France is used


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. In addition, an increasingly large number of cruise ships visit the islands. The traditionally important 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, which comes mainly from France. Light industry consists mostly of sugar and rum production. Most manufactured goods and fuel are imported. Unemployment is especially high among the young.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $3.8 billion (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $9,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.7% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 31.3% (1990)

revenues: $400 million
expenditures: $671 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1989)

Exports: $130 million (f.o.b., 1992)
commodities: bananas, sugar, rum
partners: France 70%, Martinique 17% (1991)

Imports: $1.5 billion (c.i.f., 1992)
commodities: foodstuffs, fuels, vehicles, clothing and other consumer goods, construction materials
partners: France 60%, EC, US, Japan (1991)

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 320,000 kW
production: 650 million kWh
consumption per capita: 1,421 kWh (1993)

Industries: construction, cement, rum, sugar, tourism

Agriculture: cash crops - bananas, sugarcane; other products include tropical fruits and vegetables; livestock - cattle, pigs, goats; not self-sufficient in food

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $4 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $8.235 billion

Currency: 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1 - 5.9243 (January 1995), 5.5520 (1994), 5.6632 (1993), 5.2938 (1992), 5.6421 (1991), 5.4453 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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

total: 1,940 km
paved: 1,600 km
unpaved: gravel, earth 340 km

Ports: Basse-Terre, Gustavia, Marigot, Pointe-a-Pitre

Merchant marine: none

total: 9
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2
with paved runways under 914 m: 6


Telephone system: 57,300 telephones; domestic facilities inadequate
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station; interisland microwave radio relay to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Martinique

broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 8 (private stations licensed to broadcast FM 30), shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 9
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: French Forces, Gendarmerie

Note: defense is responsibility of France