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Background: Colonized by France in 1635, the island has subsequently remained a French possession except for three brief periods of foreign occupation.
Dependency status: overseas department of France
Capital: Fort-de-France
Currency: euro (EUR)

Geography of Martinique 

Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates: 14 40 N, 61 00 W
total: 1,100 sq km
land: 1,060 sq km
water: 40 sq km
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)
Geography – note: the island is dominated by Mount Pelee, which on 8 May 1902 erupted and completely destroyed the city of Saint Pierre, killing 30,000 inhabitants.

People of Martinique 

Population: 432,900 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  23.1% 
15-64 years:  66.77%
65 years and over:  10.13% 
Population growth rate: 0.93% 
Birth rate: 15.76 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 6.39 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 7.8 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  78.41 years
male:  79.11 years
female:  77.69 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.8 children born/woman 
noun: Martiniquais (singular and plural)
adjective: Martiniquais
Ethnic groups: African and African-white-Indian mixture 90%, white 5%, East Indian, 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.)

Martinique Economy

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 – $4.39 billion (1997 est.)
GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $11,000 (1997 est.)
GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 11%
services: 83% (1997 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (1990)
Labor force: 170,000 (1997)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture 10%, industry 17%, services 73% (1997)
Unemployment rate: 27.2% (1998)
revenues: $900 million
expenditures: $2.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $140 million (1996)
Industries: construction, rum, cement, oil refining, sugar, tourism
Electricity – production: 1.1 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity – production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
Electricity – consumption: 1.023 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture – products: pineapples, avocados, bananas, flowers, vegetables, sugarcane
Exports: $250 million (f.o.b., 1997)
Exports – commodities: refined petroleum products, bananas, rum, pineapples
Exports – partners: France 45%, Guadeloupe 28% (1997)
Imports: $2 billion (c.i.f., 1997)
Imports – commodities: petroleum products, crude oil, foodstuffs, construction materials, vehicles, clothing and other consumer goods
Imports – partners: France 62%, Venezuela 6%, Germany 4%, Italy 4%, US 3% (1997)
Debt – external: $180 million (1994)
Economic aid – recipient: substantial annual aid from France
Currency: euro (EUR)

Map of Martinique