[Country map of Martinique]


(overseas department of France)


Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 1,100 sq km
land area: 1,060 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than six times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 290 km

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

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; moderated by trade winds; rainy season (June to October)

Terrain: mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcano

Natural resources: coastal scenery and beaches, cultivable land

Land use:
arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 8%
meadows and pastures: 30%
forest and woodland: 26%
other: 26%

Irrigated land: 60 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: NA
natural hazards: hurricanes, flooding, and volcanic activity (an average of one major natural disaster every five years)
international agreements: NA


Population: 394,787 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 23% (female 44,960; male 46,512)
15-64 years: 67% (female 134,439; male 130,642)
65 years and over: 10% (female 22,058; male 16,176) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.1% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 16.92 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.82 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 7.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.67 years
male: 75.94 years
female: 81.53 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.81 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Martiniquais (singular and plural)
adjective: Martiniquais

Ethnic divisions: African and African-Caucasian-Indian mixture 90%, Caucasian 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: 93%
male: 92%
female: 93%

Labor force: 100,000
by occupation: service industry 31.7%, construction and public works 29.4%, agriculture 13.1%, industry 7.3%, fisheries 2.2%, other 16.3%


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

Digraph: MB

Type: overseas department of France

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 Francois MITTERRAND (since 21 May 1981)
head of government: Prefect Michel MORIN (since NA); President of the General Council Claude LISE (since 22 March 1992); President of the Regional Council Emile CAPGRAS (since 22 March 1992)
cabinet: Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: unicameral General Council and a unicameral Regional Assembly
General Council: elections last held 25 September and 8 October 1988 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (44 total) number of seats by party NA; note - a leftist coalition obtained a one-seat margin
Regional Assembly: elections last held on 22 March 1992 (next to be held by March 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (41 total) RPR-UDF 16, MIM 9, PPM 9, PCM 5, independents 2
French Senate: elections last held 24 September 1989 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (2 total) UDF 1, PPM 1
French National Assembly: elections last held NA June 1993 (next to be held NA June 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (4 total) RPR 3, FSM 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Rally for the Republic (RPR), Stephen BAGOE; Union for a Martinique of Progress (UMP); Martinique Progressive Party (PPM), Aime CESAIRE; Socialist Federation of Martinique (FSM), Michel YOYO; Martinique Communist Party (PCM); Martinique Patriots (PM); Union for French Democracy (UDF), Jean MARAN; Martinique Independence Movement (MIM), Alfred MARIE-JEANNE; Republican Party (PR), Jean BAILLY

Other political or pressure groups: Proletarian Action Group (GAP); Alhed Marie-Jeanne Socialist Revolution Group (GRS); Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance (ARC); Central Union for Martinique Workers (CSTM), Marc PULVAR; Frantz Fanon Circle; League of Workers and Peasants; Parti Martiniquais Socialiste (PMS); Association for the Protection of Martinique's Heritage (ecologist)

Member of: FZ, WCL, WFTU

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

US diplomatic representation: the post closed in August 1993 (overseas department of France)

Flag: the flag of France is used


Overview: The economy is based on sugarcane, bananas, tourism, and light industry. Agriculture accounts for about 10% of GDP and the small industrial sector for 10%. 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. Banana workers launched protests late in 1992 because of falling banana prices and fears of greater competition in the European market from other producers.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $3.9 billion (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $10,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 32.1% (1990)

revenues: $610 million
expenditures: $1.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1991)

Exports: $247 million (f.o.b., 1992)
commodities: refined petroleum products, bananas, rum, pineapples
partners: France 57%, Guadeloupe 31%, French Guiana (1991)

Imports: $1.75 billion (c.i.f., 1992)
commodities: petroleum products, crude oil, foodstuffs, construction materials, vehicles, clothing and other consumer goods
partners: France 62%, UK, Italy, Germany, Japan, US (1991)

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 113,100 kW
production: 700 million kWh
consumption per capita: 1,677 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: including fishing and forestry, accounts for about 10% of GDP; principal crops - pineapples, avocados, bananas, flowers, vegetables, sugarcane for rum; dependent on imported food, particularly meat and vegetables

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

Economic aid:
recipient: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $10.1 billion

Currency: 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1 - 5.2943 (January 1995), 5.5520 (1994), 5.6632 (1993), 5.2938 (1992), 5.6421 (1991), 5.4453 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 0 km

total: 1,680 km
paved: 1,300 km
unpaved: gravel, earth 380 km

Ports: Fort-de-France, La Trinite

Merchant marine: none

total: 2
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1


Telephone system: 68,900 telephones; domestic facilities are adequate
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: interisland microwave radio relay links to Guadeloupe, Dominica, and Saint Lucia; 2 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth stations

broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 6, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 10
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: French forces (Army, Navy, Air Force), Gendarmerie

Note: defense is the responsibility of France