French Guiana 2002French%20Guiana

 French Guiana | | | | | |
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French Guiana
French Guiana 

World Nomads

French Guiana - Introduction 2002
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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.

French Guiana - Geography 2002
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Location: Northern South America bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between Brazil and Suriname

Geographic coordinates: 4 00 N 53 00 W

Map referenceSouth America

Total: 91,000 km²
Water: 1,850 km²
Land: 89,150 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Indiana

Land boundaries
Total: 1,183 km
Border countries: (2) 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

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Bellevue de l'Inini 851 m

Natural resources: bauxite timber gold (widely scattered) cinnabar kaolin fish
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 0.11% NEGL
Permanent crops: 0.03%
Other: 99.86% (90% forest, 10% other) (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 km² (1998 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: high frequency of heavy showers and severe thunderstorms; flooding

Note: mostly an unsettled wilderness; the only non-independent portion of the South American continent

French Guiana - People 2002
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Population: 182,333 (July 2002 est.)
Growth rate: 2.57% (2002 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: French Guianese (singular and plural)
Adjective: French Guianese

Ethnic groups: black or mulatto 66% white 12% East Indian Chinese Amerindian 12% other 10%

Languages: French

Religions: Roman Catholic

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 30.2% (male 28,140; female 26,876)
15-64 years: 64.2% (male 63,183; female 53,902)
65 years and over: 5.6% (male 5,192; female 5,040) (2002 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.57% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 21.66 births/1000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 4.78 deaths/1000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 8.78 migrant(s)/1000 population (2002 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male/female
15-64 years: 1.17 male/female
65 years and over: 1.03 male/female
Total population: 1.13 male/female (2002 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 13.22 deaths/1000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 76.49 years
Female: 79.99 years (2002 est.)
Male: 73.16 years

Total fertility rate: 3.13 children born/woman (2002 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: NA%
People living with hivaids: NA
Deaths: NA

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 83%
Male: 84%
Female: 82% (1982 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

French Guiana - Government 2002
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Country name
Conventional long form: Department of Guiana
Conventional short form: French Guiana
Local short form: Guyane
Local long form: none

Government type: NA

Capital: Cayenne

Administrative divisions: none (overseas department of France)

Dependent areas

Independence: none (overseas department of France)

National holiday: Bastille Day 14 July (1789)

Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system: French legal system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Ange MANCINI (since 31 July 2002)
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
Head of government: President of the General Council Joseph HO-TEN-YOU (since 26 March 2001); President of the Regional Council Antoine KARAM (since 22 March 1992)
Cabinet: NA

Legislative branch
Elections: General Council - last held NA March 2000 (next to be held NA 2006); Regional Council - last held 15 March 1998 (next to be held NA 2004)
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 - percent of vote by party - PS 28.28%, various left parties 22.56%, RPR 15.91%, independents 8.6%, Walwari Committee 6%; seats by party - PS 11, various left parties 9, RPR 6, independents 3, Walwari Committee 2
Note: one seat was elected to the French Senate on 27 September 1998 (next to be held NA 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 NA 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - UMP/RPR 1, Walwari Committee 1

Judicial branch: 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: Guyanese Democratic Action or ADG [Andre LECANTE]; Guyanese Socialist Party or PSG [Marie-Claude VERDAN]; Guyana Democratic Forces or FDG [Georges OTHILY]; Popular National Guyanese Party or PNPG [Jose DORCY]; Rally for the Republic or RPR [Roland HO-WEN-SZE]; Socialist Party or PS [Pierre RIBARDIERE]; Walwari Committee [Christine TAUBIRA-DELANON]

International organization participation: FZ WCL WFTU

Diplomatic representation
In the us: none (overseas department of France)
From the us: none (overseas department of France)

Flag descriptionflag of French%20Guiana: the flag of France is used

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

French Guiana - Economy 2002
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Economy overview: The economy is tied closely to the French economy through subsidies and imports. Besides the French space center at Kourou 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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA%

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Agriculture products: corn rice manioc (tapioca) sugar cocoa vegetables bananas; cattle pigs poultry

Industries: construction shrimp processing forestry products rum gold mining

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 58,800 (1997) (1997)
By occupation services government and commerce: 61%
By occupation industry: 21%
By occupation agriculture: 18% (1980)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 21.4% (1998) (1998)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $225 million
Expenditures: $390 million, including capital expenditures of $105 million (1996) (1996)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 2.5% (1992) (1992)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $155 million f.o.b. (1997)
Commodities: shrimp timber gold rum rosewood essence clothing
Partners: France 62% Switzerland 7% US 2% (1997)

Imports: $625 million c.i.f. (1997)
Commodities: food (grains processed meat) machinery and transport equipment fuels and chemicals
Partners: France 52% US 14% Trinidad and Tobago 6% (1997)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1.2 billion (1988) (1988)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002) 1.1175 (2001) 1.0854 (2000) 0.9386 (1999); French francs per US dollar - 5.8995 (1998) 5.8367 (1997)

French Guiana - Energy 2002
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 450 million kWh (2000)
By source fossil fuel: 100%
By source hydro: 0%
By source other: 0% (2000)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 418.5 million kWh (2000)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

French Guiana - Communication 2002
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system
General assessment: NA
Domestic: fair open wire and microwave radio relay system
International: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .gf

Internet users: 2000 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

French Guiana - Military 2002
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

French Guiana - Transportation 2002
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 11 (2001)
With paved runways total: 4
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 2
With paved runways under 914 m: 1 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 7
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 2
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 5 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 4
Over 3047 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 2
Under 914 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 7
914 to 1523 m: 2
Under 914 m: 5 (2002)



Railways: 0 km


Note: 460 km navigable by small oceangoing vessels and coastal and river steamers

Merchant marine: none (2002 est.)

Ports and terminals

French Guiana - Transnational issues 2002
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Disputes international: Suriname claims area between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: small amount of marijuana grown for local consumption; minor transshipment point to Europe


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