According to MICROEDU.COM, the island of Martinique is located in the Caribbean Sea and belongs to the Lesser Antilles archipelago. With an area of 1,128 km² and a population of around 450,000 people it is becoming increasingly popular for tourism. This is mainly due to the fact that Martinique is French overseas territory and thus belongs to the European Union. This means that you can pay with the euro there.
The native people from Martinique called the island “Madinina”, which means “flower island”. A fitting name, because Martinique is rich in tropical plants and animal species. But the island’s beaches are also very popular with holidaymakers.
The capital of Martinique is Fort-de-France. The island became particularly famous for the Pelée volcano, which is currently no longer showing any activity.
Most of the residents of Martinique are of African or African-Indian ancestry. These population groups make up about 90 percent of the total population. Only about 5 percent of the population are descended from European immigrants. The east of Martinique is characterized by people of Indian and Chinese descent. But overall these make up less than 5 percent.
In Martinique there is the name Béké, these are white people born in Martinique whose ancestors belonged to the colonial upper class. Overall, people born on the island are called Creoles, regardless of their skin color or origin.
However, there are differences between the religions. Most of the population in Martinique belongs to the Christian faith. Of these, 85 percent are Roman Catholic, 10.5 percent are Protestants and only 0.5 percent each belong to Islam and Hinduism. The official language in Martinique is French, although most people born on the island speak Martinique Creole as their mother tongue.
Key data – important information about Martinique
Area: 1,128 km²
Population: 398,733 residents (2009). Residents with African Ancestors as well as African-White-Indian roots 90%, White 5%, East Indian and Chinese less than 5%.
Population density: 353 people per km²
Population growth: 0.85% per year (2003)
Capital: Fort-de-France (about 100,000 residents, 2006)
Highest point: Montagne Pelee, 1,395 m
Lowest point: Caribbean, 0 m
Form of government: Martinique has been a since 1946 French Départements d’Outre-Mer (overseas department) and is therefore part of the French Motherland. The island is governed by a regional parliament (Conseil général) with 45 members. Martinique sends four representatives to the French National Assembly and two representatives to the French Senate.
Head of Government: Serge Letchimy, President of the General Council since March 26, 2010
Head of State: French President François Hollande (since May 15, 2012), represented by Prefect Laurent Prévost
Language: The official language in Martinique is French; the native language Creole is widespread
Religion: Catholics are dominant with 85% in Martinique, 11% are Protestants, Muslims and Hindus are each 1%
Local time: CET – 5 h
In Martinique there is no summer or winter time changeover.
The time difference to Central Europe is -5 hours in winter and -6 hours in summer.
International phone code: +596
Mains voltage: 110/220 V, 50 Hz. An adapter is not required.
Martinique: Geography and Map
The 1,128 km² Martinique is a French overseas region and overseas department and thus part of the European Union. The island is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. Martinique is the northernmost of the Windward Islands (Leeward Islands). The greatest length of the island is 73 kilometers, the width up to 39 km, the coastline is very irregular and has a total length of about 350 km. Dominica is 25 kilometers south of Martinique, and St. Lucia is 37 kilometers further north. The closest continental coast is that of Venezuela (440 km south).
Martinique is of volcanic origin, the surface is more mountainous and rocky than the Leeward Islands. Foothills of the inland mountains reach up tosea, Lowlands only take up a small proportion of the island’s area. The transition between the center of the island and the southern part is formed by the Lamentin plateau.
The beaches of Martiniques are often made of fine sand. In the north of Martinique you will find tropical rainforest and black sand beaches, in the south of the island you will find light sand beaches around small bays and smaller islands.
At the coast you can often find mangroves, in the hinterland there are plantations of bananas, sugar cane, palm trees and pineapples.
The highest point on the island at 1,395 m (and one of the highest points in the Caribbean) is the Montagne Pelée volcano in the northern part. The volcano had the last phase of activity to date in the years 1932 to 1935. The most momentous eruption took place on May 8, 1902, when the then island capital of Saint-Pierre was completely destroyed. The number of victims was between 28,000 and 40,000 people, making this outbreak the most victim of the 20th century.
A good 9% of the area of Martinique is urbanized, around 11% is used for agriculture. There are several larger rivers, the largest being the Lezarde.
The locals called Martinique Madidina (“Island of Flowers”) before it was renamed by the colonizers in honor of St. Martin.