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Saint Martin ( ), officially the Collectivity of Saint Martin (French: Collectivité de Saint-Martin) is an overseas collectivity of Francemarker located in the Caribbeanmarker. It came into being on 22 February 2007, encompassing the northern parts of the island of Saint Martinmarker and neighbouring islets, the largest of which is Île Tintamarremarker. The southern part of the island, Sint Maartenmarker, is part of the Netherlands Antillesmarker.

Politics and government

Saint Martin was for many years a French commune forming part of Guadeloupemarker, which is an overseas région and département of France and is therefore in the European Union. In 2003 the population of the French part of the island voted in favour of secession from Guadeloupe in order to form a separate overseas collectivity (COM) of France. On 9 February 2007, the French Parliament passed a bill granting COM status to both the French part of Saint Martin and neighbouring Saint Barthélemymarker. The new status took effect when the law was published in the Official Journal on 22 February 2007.Saint Martin remains part of the European Union.

The new governance structure befitting an overseas collectivity took effect on 15 July 2007 with the first session of the Territorial Council ( ) and the election of Louis-Constant Fleming as president of the Territorial Council. On 25 July 2008 Fleming resigned after being sanctioned by the Conseil d'État for one year over problems with his 2007 election campaign. On 7 August, Frantz Gumbs was elected as President of the Territorial Council. However, his election was declared invalid on 10 April 2009 and Daniel Gibbs appointed as Acting President of the Territorial Council on 14 April 2009. However, Gumbs was reelected on 5 May 2009.

Before 2007, Saint Martin was coded as GP (Guadeloupemarker) in ISO 3166-1. In October 2007, it received the ISO 3166-1 code MF (alpha-2 code), MAF (alpha-3 code), and 663 (numeric code).


The French part of the island has a land area of 53.20 km² (20.5 sq mi). At the January 2006 French census, the population in the French part of the island was 35,263 (up from only 8,072 inhabitants at the 1982 census), which means a population density of 663 inhabitants per km² in 2006.
Historical population
1885 1961 1967 1974 1982 1990 1999 2006
3,400 4,502 5,061 6,191 8,072 28,518 29,078 35,263
Official figures from French censuses.


Flags flying in Marigot harbour, Saint-Martin.
The official currency of Saint Martin is the euro, though the US dollar is also widely accepted. Tourism is the main economic activity.

INSEE estimated that the total GDP of Saint Martin amounted to 421 million euros in 1999 (US$449 million at 1999 exchanges rates; US$599 million at Oct. 2007 exchange rates). In that same year the GDP per capita of Saint Martin was 14,500 euros (US$15,500 at 1999 exchanges rates; US$20,600 at Oct. 2007 exchange rates), which was 39% lower than the average GDP per capita of metropolitan France in 1999. In comparison, the GDP per capita on the Dutch side of the island, Sint Maarten, was 14,430 euros in 2004.


Detailed map showing French Saint-Martin (north), including its territorial waters.
Map showing French Saint-Martin (north) and Dutch Sint Maarten (south).

See also


External links

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