The World Factbook (1990)/Martinique

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Martinique (overseas department of France)

World Factbook (1990) Martinique.jpg

See regional map III


Total area: 1,100 km²; land area: 1,060 km²

Comparative area: slightly more than six times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 290 km

Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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: 10% arable land; 8% permanent crops; 30% meadows and pastures; 26% forest and woodland; 26% other; includes 5% irrigated

Environment: subject to hurricanes, flooding, and volcanic activity that result in an average of one major natural disaster every five years

Note: located 625 km southeast of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea


Population: 340,381 (July 1990), growth rate 0.9% (1990)

Birth rate: 19 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 7 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -3 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 11 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 71 years male, 77 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.1 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Martiniquais (sing. and pl.); adjective—Martiniquais

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

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

Language: French, Creole patois

Literacy: over 70%

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

Organized labor: 11 % of labor force


Long-form name: Department of Martinique

Type: overseas department of France

Capital: Fort-de-France

Administrative divisions: none (overseas department of France)

Independence: none (overseas department of France)

Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system: French legal system

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

Executive branch: government commissioner

Legislative branch: unicameral General Council and unicameral Regional Council

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—President François MITTERRAND (since 21 May 1981);

Head of Government—Government Commissioner Jean Claude ROURE (since 5 May 1989); President of the General Council Emile MAURICE (since NA 1988)

Political parties: Rally for the Republic (RPR), Stephen Bago; Union of the Left composed of the Progressive Party of Martinique (PPM), Aimé Césaire; Socialist Federation of Martinique, Michael Yoyo; and the Communist Party of Martinique (PCM), Armand Nicolas; Union for French Democracy (UDF), Jean Maran

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: General Council—last held on NA October 1988 (next to be held by March 1991); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(44 total) number of seats by party NA;

Regional Assembly—last held on 16 March 1986 (next to be held by March 1992); results—UDF/RPR coalition 49.8%, PPM/FSM/PCM coalition 41.3%, others 8.9%; seats—(41 total) PPM/FSM/PCM coalition 21, UDF/RPR coalition 20;

French Senate—last held 24 September 1989 (next to be held September 1992); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(2 total) UDF 1, PPM 1;

French National Assembly—last held on 5 and 12 June 1988 (next to be held June 1993); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(4 total) PPM 1, FSM 1, RPR 1, UDF 1

Communists: 1,000 (est.)

Other political or pressure groups: Proletarian Action Group (GAP); Alhed Marie-Jeanne Socialist Revolution Group (GRS), Martinique Independence Movement (MIM), Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance (ARC), Central Union for Martinique Workers (CSTM), Marc Pulvar; Frantz Fanon Circle; League of Workers and Peasants

Member of: WFTU

Diplomatic representation: as an overseas department of France, Martiniquais interests are represented in the US by France; US—Consul General Ray ROBINSON; Consulate General at 14 Rue Blenac, Fort-de-France (mailing address is B. P. 561, Fort-de-France); telephone [596] 63-13-03

Flag: the flag of France is used


Overview: The economy is based on sugarcane, bananas, tourism, and light industry. Agriculture accounts for about 7% 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, however, 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. In 1984 the annual per capita income was relatively high at $3,650. During 1985 the unemployment rate was between 25% and 30% and was particularly severe among younger workers.

GDP: $1.3 billion, per capita $3,650; real growth rate NA% (1984)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.4% (1986)

Unemployment rate: 25-30% (1985)

Budget: revenues $223 million; expenditures $223 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1987 est.)

Exports: $209 million (f.o.b., 1986); commodities—refined petroleum products, bananas, rum, pineapples; partners—France 65%, Guadeloupe 26% (1986)

Imports: $879 million (c.i.f., 1986); commodities—petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, vehicles, clothing and other consumer goods; partners—France 64% (1986)

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 108,000 kW capacity; 330 million kWh produced, 990 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Agriculture: accounts for about 7% of GDP; principal crops—pineapples, avocados, bananas, flowers, vegetables, and sugarcane for rum; dependent on imported food, particularly meat and vegetables

Aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $9.8 billion

Currency: French franc (plural—francs); 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1—5.7598 (January 1990), 6.3801 (1989), 5.9569 (1988), 6.0107 (1987), 6.9261 (1986), 8.9852 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Highways: 1,680 km total; 1,300 km paved, 380 km gravel and earth

Ports: Fort-de-France

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airports: 2 total; 2 usable; 1 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 1 with runways less than 2,439 m

Telecommunications: domestic facilities are adequate; 68,900 telephones; interisland radio relay links to Guadeloupe, Dominica, and St. Lucia; stations—1 AM, 6 FM, 10 TV; 2 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth stations

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of France