French Guiana Travel Information

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Biological Diversity of the Guianas
Parc naturel régional de la Guyane

Facts About French Guiana

Background: First settled by the French in 1604, French Guiana was the site of notorious penal settlements until 1951. The European Space Agency launches its communication satellites from Kourou.
Dependency status: overseas department of France
Capital: Cayenne
Currency: French franc (FRF); euro (EUR)

Geography of French Guiana

Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname
Geographic coordinates: 4 00 N, 53 00 W
total: 91,000 sq km
land: 89,150 sq km
water: 1,850 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,183 km
border countries: Brazil 673 km, Suriname 510 km
Coastline: 378 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Bellevue de l'Inini 851 m
Natural resources: bauxite, timber, gold (widely scattered), cinnabar, kaolin, fish
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 90%
other: 10% (1996 est.)
Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: high frequency of heavy showers and severe thunderstorms; flooding
Geography - note: mostly an unsettled wilderness; the only non-independent portion of the South American continent.

People of French Guiana

Population: 195,506 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  30.47% (male 27,669; female 26,428)
15-64 years:  64.05% (male 61,457; female 52,266)
65 years and over:  5.48%
Population growth rate: 2.74% 
Birth rate: 22.02 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 4.77 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 10.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 13.61 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  76.3 years
male:  72.97 years
female:  79.79 
Total fertility rate: 3.17 children born/woman 
noun: French Guianese (singular and plural)
adjective: French Guianese
Ethnic groups: black or mulatto 66%, white 12%, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian 12%, other 10%
Religions: Roman Catholic
Languages: French
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83%
male: 84%
female: 82% (1982 est.)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > French Guiana > Map Economy