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French Guiana
(overseas department of France)

 
Flag of French Guiana
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Coordinates:
04.00 N  53.00 W

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of French Guiana

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    French Guiana Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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.
   Geography    French Guiana Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
4 00 N, 53 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 91,000 sq km
land: 89,150 sq km
water: 1,850 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Indiana
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,183 km
border countries: Brazil 673 km, Suriname 510 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
378 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Bellevue de l'Inini 851 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
bauxite, timber, gold (widely scattered), petroleum, kaolin, fish, niobium, tantalum, clay
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0.13%
permanent crops: 0.04%
other: 99.83% (90% forest, 10% other) (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
20 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
high frequency of heavy showers and severe thunderstorms; flooding
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
mostly an unsettled wilderness; the only non-independent portion of the South American continent
   People    French Guiana Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
199,509 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 28.9% (male 29,540/female 28,210)
15-64 years: 64.8% (male 69,302/female 59,980)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 6,350/female 6,127) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 28.6 years
male: 29.6 years
female: 27.4 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.96% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.46 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.88 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.01 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.16 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.04 male(s)/female
total population: 1.12 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 11.76 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.58 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.89 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 77.27 years
male: 73.95 years
female: 80.75 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.98 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: French Guianese (singular and plural)
adjective: French Guianese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
black or mulatto 66%, white 12%, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian 12%, other 10%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
French
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83%
male: 84%
female: 82% (1982 est.)
   Government    French Guiana Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Department of Guiana
conventional short form: French Guiana
local long form: none
local short form: Guyane
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
overseas department of France
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Cayenne
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas department of France)
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas department of France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
French legal system
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Ange MANCINI (since 31 July 2002)
head of government: President of the General Council Pierre DESERT (since 26 March 2004); President of the Regional Council Antoine KARAM (since 22 March 1992)
cabinet: NA
elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; presidents of the General and Regional Councils are appointed by the members of those councils
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral General Council or Conseil General (19 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and a unicameral Regional Council or Conseil Regional (31 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
elections: General Council - last held in March 2000 (next to be held March 2006); Regional Council - last held 21 and 28 March 2004 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: General Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PSG 5, various left-wing parties 5, independents 7, other 2; Regional Council - (second election results) percent of vote by party - PS 37.24%, UMP 31.58%, FDG/Walwari 31.18%; seats by party - PS 17, UMP 7, FDG/Walwari 7
note: one seat was elected to the French Senate on 27 September 1998 (next to be held September 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; 2 seats were elected to the French National Assembly on 9 June-16 June 2002 (next to be held in 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - UMP/RPR 1, Walwari Committee 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel (highest local court based in Martinique with jurisdiction over Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Guyana Democratic Forces or FDG [Georges OTHILY]; Guyanese Democratic Action or ADG [Andre LECANTE]; Guyanese Socialist Party or PSG [Marie-Claude VERDAN]; Popular National Guyanese Party or PNPG [Jose DORCY]; Socialist Party or PS [Alix LABBE]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Georges HABRAN-MERY]; Union for a Popular Movement or UMP (includes RPR) [Remi Louis DUBOC]; Walwari Committee (aligned with the PRG in France) [Christine TAUBIRA-DELANON]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
UPU, WCL, WFTU
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas department of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas department of France)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
the flag of France is used
   Economy    French Guiana Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The economy is tied closely to the much larger French economy through subsidies and imports. Besides the French space center at Kourou (which accounts for 25% of GDP), fishing and forestry are the most important economic activities. Forest and woodland cover 90% of the country. The large reserves of tropical hardwoods, not fully exploited, support an expanding sawmill industry that provides sawn logs for export. Cultivation of crops is limited to the coastal area, where the population is largely concentrated; rice and manioc are the major crops. French Guiana is heavily dependent on imports of food and energy. Unemployment is a serious problem, particularly among younger workers.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.551 billion (2003 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8,300 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
58,800 (1997)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 18.2%
industry: 21.2%
services: 60.6% (1980)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.2% (December 2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2003)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $135.5 million
expenditures: $135.5 million; including capital expenditures of $105 million (1996)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sugar, cocoa, vegetables, bananas; cattle, pigs, poultry
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
construction, shrimp processing, forestry products, rum, gold mining
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
465.2 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
432.6 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,600 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$137.5 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
shrimp, timber, gold, rum, rosewood essence, clothing
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 62%, Switzerland 7%, US 2% (2004)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$625 million c.i.f. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food (grains, processed meat), machinery and transport equipment, fuels and chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 63%, US, Trinidad and Tobago, Italy (2004)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$800.3 million (2003)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
euros per US dollar - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    French Guiana Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
51,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
138,200 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: fair open-wire and microwave radio relay system
international: country code - 594; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 2, FM 14 (including 6 repeaters), shortwave 6 (including 5 repeaters) (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
3 (plus eight low-power repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.gf
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
107 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
38,000 (2005)
   Transportation    French Guiana Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 5 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 817 km (1998)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,760 km
note: 460 km navigable by small oceangoing vessels and coastal and river steamers, 3,300 km by native craft (2003)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Degrad des Cannes
   Military    French Guiana Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces; Gendarmerie
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 47,809 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 38,676 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of France
   Transnational Issues    French Guiana Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Suriname claims area between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa) in French Guiana
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
small amount of marijuana grown for local consumption; minor transshipment point to Europe

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook