Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, having a land area of 1,128 kmВІ. It is an overseas department of France. As with the other overseas departments, Martinique is also one of the twenty-six regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, and its currency is the euro. Its official language is French, although almost all of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole (Creole Martiniquais). Martinique is pictured on all euro banknotes, on the reverse at the bottom of each note, right of the Greek (EURO) next to the denomination. * Largest urban areas: Fort-de-France (134,727 inhabitants in 1999, 35% of Martinique’s population), Le Lamentin (35,460 in 1999), Sainte-Marie (32,988 in 1999), Le Robert (31,905 in 1999) * Population: 381,427 inhabitants after the census of 1999 (359,572 en 1990), estimated 401,000 in January 2007. * Population density: 338 inhab./kmВІ (1999, estimated 354 in 2006) * Urban population: 42% * Life expectancy: 79 years (men) and 82 (women) (2000) * Official language: French * Principal religion: Roman Catholicism * Principal suppliers: Metropolitan France, European Union, Latin America
The north of the island is mountainous and lushly forested. It features 4 ensembles of dramatic pitons and mornes: the Piton Conil on the extreme North, which dominates the Dominica Channel, the Mount Pelee, an active volcano, the Morne Jacob, and the Pitons du Carbet, an ensemble of 5 beautifully shaped, rainforest covered extinct volcanoes dominating the Bay of Fort de France at 1,196 meters. The most dominating of the island’s many beautiful mountains, with 1397 meters, is the infamous volcano Mount PelГ©e. The volcanic ash has created beautiful grey and black sand beaches in the north (in particular between Anse Ceron and Anse des Gallets), contrasting markedly from the white sands of Les Salines in the south. The south is more easily traversed, though it still features some impressive geographic features. Because it is easier to travel and because of the many beautiful beaches and food throuout this region, the south receives the bulk of the tourist traffic. The beaches from Pointe de Bout, through Diamant (which features right off the coast the beautiful Roche de Diamant), St. Luce, the town of St. Anne all the way down to Les Salines are very popular. See this Caribbean beaches in our Gallery.
Capital - Fort-de-France
Regional President Alfred Marie-Jeanne
(MIM) (since 1998)