The Collectivity of Saint Martin (French: Collectivité de Saint-Martin), commonly known as simply Saint Martin (Saint-Martin), is an overseas collectivity of France in the West Indies in the Caribbean. With a population of 36,286 (as of January 2011) on an area of 53.2 square kilometres (20.5 sq mi), it encompasses the northern 60% of the divided island of Saint Martin, and some neighbouring islets, the largest of which is Île Tintamarre. The southern 40% of the island of Saint Martin constitutes Sint Maarten, since 2010 a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This marks the only place in the world that France borders the Netherlands.
Before 2007, the French part of Saint Martin formed a part of the French overseas région and département of Guadeloupe. Saint Martin is separated from the island of Anguilla by the Anguilla Channel. Its capital is Marigot.
Hurricane Irma hit the island on 6–7 September 2017 with Category 5 winds causing widespread and significant damage to buildings and infrastructure. As of 10 September, reports indicated that ten deaths were attributed to the storm on this island and on Saint Barthelemy (combined) and that seven people were still missing.
Collectivity of Saint Martin
Collectivité de Saint-Martin (French)
Location of the Collectivity of St Martin in the Leeward Islands
and largest city
|Ethnic groups |
• President of the
|Overseas collectivity of France|
• Divided between France and Netherlands
|23 March 1648|
• Separate collectivity
|15 July 2007|
|53.2 km2 (20.5 sq mi) (unranked)|
• Water (%)
• 2014 census
|682/km2 (1,766.4/sq mi) (unranked)|
|Currency||Euro (€) (EUR)|
|ISO 3166 code||MF|
Saint Martin was for many years a French commune, forming part of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas région and département of France. 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 (separately) the neighbouring Saint Barthélemy. The new status took effect on 15 July 2007, once the local assemblies were elected, with the second leg of the vote ultimately occurring on 15 July 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 (French: Conseil territorial) 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. Gumbs was reelected on 5 May 2009.
|Parties||1st round||2nd round||Seats|
|Union for Progress/UMP (Union pour le Progrès, Louis Constant-Fleming)||2,829||40.35||3,753||48.96||16|
|Rally Responsibility Success (Rassemblement responsabilité réussite, Alain Richardson)||2,237||31.90||3,231||42.15||6|
|Succeed Saint Martin (Réussir Saint-Martin, Jean-Luc Hamlet)||767||10.94||681||8.89||1|
|Alliance (Alliance, Dominique Riboud)||635||9.05||—||—||—|
|Democratic Alliance for Saint Martin (Alliance démocratique pour Saint-Martin, Wendel Cocks)||544||7.76||—||—||—|
|Source: RFO1, RFO2|
The coat of arms features a ship, a palm and a sun, and reads "Collectivité de Saint Martin". The commune that existed until 22 February 2007, used similar arms but with the legend "Ville de Saint Martin".
The French part of the island has a land area of 53.2 square kilometres (20.5 sq mi). A local English-based dialect is spoken in informal situations on both the French and Dutch sides of the island. At the January 2011 French census, the population in the French part of the island was 36,286 (up from only 8,072 inhabitants at the 1982 census), which means a population density of 682 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,770/sq mi) in 2011.
During the 1980s, the population more than tripled; at the time, the collectivity was administered as a part of Guadeloupe.
By 2000 the territory had over 7,000 Haitians, which reinforced the usage of French in Saint Martin.
|Official figures from French censuses.|
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.
The collectivity has the following public preschool, primary, and elementary schools:
There are three junior high schools (collège) and one senior high school:
Hurricane Irma hit Saint Martin on 6 of September, 2017. France's Minister of the Interior said on 8 September that most of the schools were destroyed. In addition to damage caused by high winds, there were reports of serious flood damage to businesses in the village of Marigot. Looting was also a serious problem. France sent aid as well as additional police and emergency personnel to the island. 95% of the structures on the French side had been damaged or destroyed. Looting or "pillaging" was a problem initially; France was sending 240 gendarmes to help control the situation.
On 10 September, France announced that it was sending additional emergency supplies, including water and electrical equipment to help restore the power supply to St. Martin as an early step to helping the residents to survive and, later, to rebuild. By 11 September, President Emmanuel Macron was flying to the area to view the damage and to assure residents of support for relief efforts. At that time, only tourists and visitors from France (mainlanders) had been evacuated from St. Martin, leading to complaints by black and mixed-race residents that whites were being given priority. Macron arrived on 12 September with emergency supplies and said that by the weekend "many things will be reopened". He pledged 50 million euros of aid for the French islands and said the rebuilding will be done quickly but very well.
A status report in March 2018 indicated that daily flights were being accommodated at the airport. Some hotels had reopened and others had filed plans for reopening on specific later dates, approximately ten by year end. Of the 1,200 hotel rooms, 400 were operational. Many restaurants and bars had reopened. Most island residents were getting electricity, water and telecommunications, although cell phone service was not fully reliable yet.
However voters on the two tiny French dependencies of Saint-Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, which have been administratively attached to Guadeloupe, approved the referendum and are set to acquire the new status of "overseas collectivity".
Frantz Gumbs, formerly president of Union Pour le Progrès (UPP) party, swept into power as new president of the Collectivité at an extraordinary meeting of the Territorial Council on Thursday after winning the 23-councillor vote with a clear majority over Marthe Ogoundélé-Tessi.
The 2016 Saint-Martin Senior League was the 45th season of the competition. The championship was won by FC Concordia.Coat of arms of the Collectivity of Saint Martin
The coat of arms of Saint Martin is the official coat of the Collectivity of Saint Martin. It features palm leaves in front of a sun to symbolize the tropical climate, a pelican symbolizing the fauna of the island, a hibiscus symbolizing the flora, a ship symbolizing the tourism-related boating and the words "Collectivité de Saint Martin" on the top. The commune that existed until February 22, 2007, used similar arms but with the legend "Ville de Saint Martin".Economy of Saint Martin
The economy of Saint Martin, divided between the French Collectivity of Saint Martin (north side) and the Dutch Sint Maarten (south side), is primarily driven by tourism. For more than two centuries, exports have generally been salt and locally grown commodities, like sugar.
Tourism accounts for 80% of the economy and about four-fifths of the labor force is engaged in this sector. As an island in the Caribbean Sea, Saint Martin enjoys the kind of weather and natural geography that supports tourism. Its proximity to the rest of the Caribbean has also provided economic benefits with its largest airport, Princess Juliana International Airport on the Sint Maarten side, serving as the main gateway to the Leeward Islands and the larger post-Panamax cruise ships making regular stops to the island. The island offers duty-free shopping and there are few business restrictions to hinder growth. Though the French and Dutch parts differ slightly in terms of their economies and types of tourists, they share the Caribbean's largest lagoon, which is frequented by yachts.
Nearly 1.8 million visitors came to the island by cruise ship and roughly 500,000 visitors arrived through Princess Juliana International Airport in 2013. Cruise ships and yachts also call on Saint Martin's numerous ports and harbors. Limited agriculture and local fishing means that almost all food must be imported. Energy resources and manufactured goods are also imported. The Dutch territory of Sint Maarten has the highest per capita income among the five islands that formerly comprised the Netherlands Antilles.Flag of the Collectivity of Saint Martin
The French tricolore is the official national flag used in the Collectivity of Saint Martin.
An unofficial flag is used by the local government, which depicts a modern logotype. It contains the name "Saint-Martin", with "Caraïbe Française" and "French Caribbean" written in small text below. Also on the flag is a ribbon depicting the letters "S" (in blue) and "M" (in green) for Saint Martin.Another unofficial flag depicts the island's coat of arms on a white field.Football in Saint Martin
The sport of association football in the French half of the island of the Saint Martin is run by the Comité de Football des Îles du Nord. The association administers the national football team, as well as the Saint-Martin Championships.Geology of the Collectivity of Saint Martin
The geology of the Collectivity of Saint Martin consists of andesite tuff and tuff breccia from the middle and late Eocene, intruded by hypabyssal basalt, quartz diorite and younger andesite. Volcanic activity led to metamorphism of many rocks and the tilting and folding of the tuff series. Limestone and marl was later unconformably deposited atop the eroded volcanic rocks as volcanic activity shifted elsewhere. Large boulder ridges and solitary boulders on high cliffs suggest tectonic-related tsunamis.List of airports in Saint Martin
This is a list of airports in Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, an island in the northeast Caribbean.
The southern Dutch half of the island comprises the Sint Maarten and is a constituent country. This portion contains the island's international airport: Princess Juliana International Airport.
The northern French half of the island comprises the Collectivité de Saint-Martin (Collectivity of Saint Martin), which became an overseas collectivity (collectivité d'outre-mer or COM) of France on February 22, 2007. Previously it was a French commune of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas region (région d'outre-mer) and overseas department (département d'outre-mer or DOM) of France. It contains the island's smaller airport which offers flights to the other islands of the French West Indies: Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Barthélemy.List of football clubs in Saint Martin
Following is a list of football clubs located in Saint Martin, sorted geographically.List of lighthouses in the Collectivity of Saint Martin
This is a list of lighthouses in Saint Martin.List of political parties in the Collectivity of Saint Martin
Political parties in Saint-Martin lists political parties in Saint-Martin.List of rivers of the Collectivity of Saint Martin
This is a list of rivers of Saint Martin. Rivers are listed in clockwise order, starting at the north end of the island.
Careta RavineMarigot, Saint Martin
Marigot is the main town and capital in the French Collectivity of Saint Martin.Miss St. Martin
Miss St. Martin is a national beauty pageant that selects queen from St. Martin representative to Miss France pageant.Outline of Saint Martin
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Saint Martin:
The Collectivity of Saint Martin (French: Collectivité de Saint-Martin) is an overseas collectivity of France located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. It came into being on February 22, 2007, encompassing the northern parts of the island of Saint Martin and neighbouring islets, the largest of which is Île Tintamarre. The southern part of the island, Sint Maarten, is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.Politics of the Collectivity of Saint Martin
Saint Martin was a French commune for many years and formed part of Guadeloupe, 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 Barthélemy. The new status took effect once the local assembly was elected on 15 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 (French: Conseil territorial) 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.Saint Martin
Saint Martin (French: Saint-Martin; Dutch: Sint Maarten) is an island in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 300 km (190 mi) east of Puerto Rico. The 87-square-kilometre (34 sq mi) island is divided roughly 60/40 between the French Republic (53 km2, 20 sq mi) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (34 km2, 13 sq mi), but the two parts are roughly equal in population. The division dates to 1648. The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The northern French part comprises the Collectivity of Saint Martin and is an overseas collectivity of France.
On 1 January 2009, the population of the whole island was 77,741 inhabitants, with 40,917 living on the Dutch side, and 36,824 on the French side.Collectively, the two territories are known as "St-Martin / St Maarten", or sometimes "SXM", the IATA identifier for Princess Juliana International Airport, the island's main airport. St. Martin (the French portion) received the ISO 3166-1 code MF in October 2007. The Dutch part changed in status to a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2010 and was given the code SX.Telephone numbers in France
The French telephone numbering plan is not only used for metropolitan France but also for the French overseas departments and some overseas collectivities.
The plan uses a ten-digit closed numbering scheme, where the first two digits denote the area:
02 Northwest France
03 Northeast France
04 Southeast France
05 Southwest France
06 and 07 Mobile phone services
08 Freephone (numéro vert) and shared-cost services.
09 Non-geographic number (used by Voice over IP services, formerly 087 numbers)All geographic numbers are dialed in the ten-digit format, even for local calls. The international access code also changed from 19 to the International Telecommunication Union's recommended 00, bringing France into line with many other countries.
When calling France from abroad, the leading zero should be omitted: for example, to call a number in Southwest France, one would dial +33 5 xx xx xx xx.
French people usually state phone numbers as a sequence of five double-digit numbers, e.g., 0x xx xx xx xx (and not, for example, 0 xxx xxx xxx or 0xxx-xx-xxxx).Vehicle registration plates of the Collectivity of Saint Martin
The Collectivity of Saint Martin requires its residents to register their motor vehicles and display vehicle registration plates. Current plates are European standard 520 mm × 110 mm, and use French stamping dies. The overseas departments and territories of France have three-digit codes based on the numbering system for departments in France, starting with 97, which was originally the single code designating overseas territories.