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Countries > French Guiana

Languages   2 languages are spoken in French Guiana. We have 1479 products available for those languages.

Capital: Cayenne
Population: 160,000
French Guiana Map

(overseas department of France)


Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname

Geographic coordinates: 4 00 N, 53 00 W

Map references: South America

total: 91,000 sq km
land: 89,150 sq km
water: 1,850 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Indiana

Land boundaries:
total: 1,183 km
border countries : 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

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

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

Land use:
arable land: NEGL
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 90%
other : 10% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1998 est.)

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

Environment - current issues: NA

Environment - international agreements:
party to: NA
signed, but not ratified: NA

Geography - note: mostly an unsettled wilderness


Population: 182,333 (July 2002 est.)

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.)

Population growth rate: 2.57% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 21.66 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 4.78 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 8.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.17 male(s)/female
65 years and over : 1.03 male(s)/female
total population: 1.13 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 13.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 76.49 years
male: 73.16 years
female : 79.99 years (2002 est.)

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

noun: French Guianese (singular and plural)
adjective: French Guianese

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

Religions: Roman Catholic

Languages: French

definition : age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83%
male: 84%
female: 82% (1982 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Department of Guiana
conventional short form: French Guiana
local long form: none
local short form : Guyane

Data code: FG

Dependency status: overseas department of France

Government type: NA

National capital: Cayenne

Administrative divisions: none (overseas department of France)

Independence: none (overseas department of France)

National holiday: National Day, Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)

Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system: French legal system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President of France Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Henri MASSE (since NA July 1999)
head of government: Joseph HO-TEN-YOU (since NA March 2001); 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: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 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 - NA

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)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas department of France)

Flag description: the flag of France is used


Economy - overview: The economy is tied closely to that of France through subsidies and imports. Besides the French space center at Kourou, fishing and forestry are the most important economic activities, with exports of fish and fish products (mostly shrimp) accounting for more than 60% of total revenue in 1992. 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. French Guiana is heavily dependent on imports of food and energy. Unemployment is a serious problem, particularly among younger workers.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1 billion (1998 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,000 (1998 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 2.5% (1992)

Labor force:
total: 58,800 (1997)
by occupation: services, government, and commerce 60.6%, industry 21.2%, agriculture 18.2% (1980)

Unemployment rate: 24.1%(1998)

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

Industries: construction, shrimp processing, forestry products, rum, gold mining

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 228,000 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 450 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 418.5 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: rice, corn, manioc, cocoa, vegetables, bananas, sugar; cattle, pigs, poultry

total value: $155 million (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: shrimp, timber, rum, rosewood essence
partners: France 62%, Switzerland 7%, US 2% (1997)

total value: $610 million (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities : food (grains, processed meat), other consumer goods, producer goods, petroleum
partners: France 62%, Switzerland 7%, US 2% (1997)

Debt - external: $1.2 billion (1988)

Economic aid:
recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes

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)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 47,000 (1997)

Telephone system:
domestic: fair open wire and microwave radio relay system
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 14 (including 6 repeaters), shortwave 6 (including 5 repeaters) (1998)

Radios: 104,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 3 (plus eight low-power repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 30,000 (1997)


Railways: 0 km (1995)

total: 1,817 km (national 432 km, departmental 385 km, community 1,000 km)
paved:817 km
unpaved: 1,000 km (1998)

Waterways: 460 km, navigable by small oceangoing vessels and river and coastal steamers; 3,300 km navigable by native craft

Ports and harbors: Cayenne, Degrad des Cannes, Saint-Laurent du Maroni

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 11 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m:5 (2001)


Military branches: French Forces, Gendarmerie

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49:50,504 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 32,720 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: Suriname claims area between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa)

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