Caribbean Stats

Saint Barthélemy

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Introduction - Saint Barthelemy
Background
Discovered in 1493 by Christopher COLUMBUS who named it for his brother Bartolomeo, St. Barthelemy was first settled by the French in 1648. In 1784, the French sold the island to Sweden, who renamed the largest town Gustavia, after the Swedish King GUSTAV III, and made it a free port; the island prospered as a trade and supply center during the colonial wars of the 18th century. France repurchased the island in 1878 and placed it under the administration of Guadeloupe. St. Barthelemy retained its free port status along with various Swedish appellations such as Swedish street and town names, and the three-crown symbol on the coat of arms. In 2003, the populace of the island voted to secede from Guadeloupe and in 2007, the island became a French overseas collectivity.
Geography - Saint Barthelemy
Location
located approximately 125 miles northwest of Guadeloupe
Geographic coordinates
17 90 N, 62 85 W
Map references
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
21 sq km
Area - comparative
less than an eighth of the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Climate
tropical, with practically no variation in temperature; has two seasons (dry and humid)
Terrain
hilly, almost completely surrounded by shallow-water reefs, with 20 beaches
Elevation extremes
lowest point: Caribbean Ocean 0 m highest point: Morne du Vitet 286 m
Natural resources
has few natural resources, its beaches being the most important
Environment - current issues
with no natural rivers or streams, fresh water is in short supply, especially in summer, and provided by desalinization of sea water, collection of rain water, or imported via water tanker
People - Saint Barthelemy
Population
7,448 (July 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 226
Age structure
0-14 years: 19.2% (male 734/female 696) 15-64 years: 70.6% (male 2,855/female 2,402) 65 years and over: 10.2% (male 378/female 383) (2009 est.)
Median age
total: 39.1 years male: 39.3 years female: 38.9 years (2009 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.19 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female total population: 1.14 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Ethnic groups
white, Creole (mulatto), black, Guadeloupe Mestizo (French-East Asia)
Religions
Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah's Witness
Languages
French (primary), English
Government - Saint Barthelemy
Country name
conventional long form: Overseas Collectivity of Saint Barthelemy conventional short form: Saint Barthelemy local long form: Collectivite d'outre mer de Saint-Barthelemy local short form: Saint-Barthelemy
Dependency status
overseas collectivity of France
Capital
name: Gustavia geographic coordinates: 17 53 N, 62 51 W time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Independence
none (overseas collectivity of France)
National holiday
Bastille Day, 14 July (1789); note - local holiday is St. Barthelemy Day, 24 August
Constitution
4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system
the laws of France, where applicable, apply
Suffrage
18 years of age, universal
Executive branch
chief of state: President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007), represented by Prefect Dominique LACROIX (since 21 March 2007) head of government: President of the Territorial Council Bruno MAGRAS (since 16 July 2007) cabinet: Executive Council; note - there is also an advisory, economic, social, and cultural council (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) 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; president of the Territorial Council is elected by the members of the Council for a five-year term election results: Bruno MAGRAS unanimously elected president by the Territorial Council on 16 July 2007
Legislative branch
unicameral Territorial Council (19 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) elections: last held 1 and 8 July 2007 (next to be held in July 2012) election results: percent of vote by party - SBA 72.2%, Action-Equilibre-Transparence 9.9%, Ensemble pour Saint-Barthelemy 7.9%, Tous Unis pour Saint-Barthelemy 9.9%; seats by party - SBA 16, Action-Equilibre-Transparence 1, Ensemble pour Saint-Barthelemy 1, Tous Unis pour Saint-Barthelemy 1 note: Saint Barthelemy elects one seat to the French Senate; elections last held 21 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2014); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 1
Political parties and leaders
Action-Equilibre-Transparence [Maxime DESOUCHES]; Ensemble pour Saint-Barthelemy [Benoit CHAUVIN]; Saint-Barth d'Abord! or SBA [Bruno MAGRAS]; Tous Unis pour Saint-Barthelemy [Karine MIOT-RICHARD]
Political pressure groups and leaders
The Marine Reserve (protection of fish); Rotary Club
International organization participation
UPU, WFTU
Diplomatic representation in the US
none (overseas collectivity of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US
none (overseas collectivity of France)
Flag description
the flag of France is used
Economy - Saint Barthelemy
Economy - overview
The economy of Saint Barthelemy is based upon high-end tourism and duty-free luxury commerce, serving visitors primarily from North America. The luxury hotels and villas host 70,000 visitors each year with another 130,000 arriving by boat. The relative isolation and high cost of living inhibits mass tourism. The construction and public sectors also enjoy significant investment in support of tourism. With limited fresh water resources, all food must be imported, as must all energy resources and most manufactured goods. Employment is strong and attracts labor from Brazil and Portugal.
Exchange rates
euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)
Communications - Saint Barthelemy
Telephone system
general assessment: fully integrated access domestic: direct dial capability with both fixed and wireless systems international: country code - 590; undersea fiber-optic cable provides voice and data connectivity to Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe
Internet country code
.bl; note - .gp, the internet country code for Guadeloupe, and .fr, the internet country code for France, might also be encountered
Transportation - Saint Barthelemy
Airports
1 (2009) country comparison to the world: 215
Airports - with paved runways
total: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2009)
Transportation - note
nearest airport for international flights is Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) located in Sint Maarten (Netherlands Antilles)
Military - Saint Barthelemy
Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 1,594 females age 16-49: 1,340 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 21 female: 20 (2009 est.)
Military - note
defense is the responsibility of France