Martinique is an island and French overseas department in the Caribbean Sea, about 700 kilometers southeast of the Dominican Republic. It is located south of Dominica and north of Saint Lucia, and belongs to the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. Martinique had 400,535 (2010) inhabitants during the last census.
The total area is 1,101 km², and the population density is 357 inhabitants per km². Martinique is about 60 kilometers long from northwest to southeast. The highest point is the volcano Mont Pelée (1397 meters).
Flora and fauna
Martinique has remnants of tropical rainforest, cloud forest protected in the nature reserve of Martinique with plant species such as Heliconia caribaea and Philodendron giganteum.
The fauna of Martinique is characterized by endemic species such as the bird Martinique Oriole. Reptiles like the green iguana and anoles like Anolis roquet. The lance tip snake is a threat to hikers because of its toxicity. The extinct Martinique amazon was probably comparable to the imperial amazon of Dominica.
Martinique is a French overseas department (département d'outre mer). The board has been led since 2015 by Alfred Marie-Jeanne, president of the executive council of Martinique. Claude Lise has been the president of the Assemblée de Martinique, the parliament of Martinique, since 2015. Since 2015, this parliament has replaced the former general (departmental) council and regional council. Martinique has two representatives in the French Senate and four representatives in the Parliament of France. Within the European Union, Martinique has the status of an outermost region. It is therefore an integral part of the European Union. However, Martinique is not covered by the Schengen Treaties. Other European agreements, for example free roaming, do apply in Martinique.
Martinique is a department (number 972). The capital is Fort-de-France. Martinique forms the French Antilles with Guadeloupe 150 km to the north and a few other smaller islands.
The department is subdivided into 4 arrondissements, 45 cantons and 34 municipalities.
The four arrondissements of Martinique are:
district of Fort-de-France
district of La Trinité
district of Le Marin
arrondissement of Saint-PierreAn overview of the cantons can be found on cantons of Martinique and an overview of municipalities on municipalities of Martinique.
75% of the active population is employed in the service sector. Agriculture generates the main part of the export income. The most important agricultural product and also the main source of income is the banana. This product represents 49.5% of agricultural production and 40% of export income. With employment of more than 11,000 jobs and a gross domestic trade product of more than 7%, tourism is developing strongly.
African (mixed or not Native American): 93.4%
Chinese and other: 1.7%
Other Christians 5.4%
Other beliefs 3%
Initially, Martinique was populated by Indians. Columbus discovered Martinique on June 15, 1502. In 1635, French settlers landed on the island. They exterminated the Indians present, founded the first town (Saint-Pierre) and introduced sugar cane cultivation.
As a result of wars and treaties, Martinique passed from French to British hands several times in the 16th and 17th centuries. Martinique was repeatedly occupied by the English: once during the Seven Years' War and twice during the Napoleonic Wars. In the period 1794–1815, England ruled the island almost continuously, until it was exchanged with France at the end of these wars.
In 1674, the Dutch navigator Michiel de Ruyter