Collectivity of Saint Martin

This article is about the French collectivity. For the island, see Saint Martin. For the Dutch country, see Sint Maarten. For other uses, see Saint Martin (disambiguation).
Collectivity of Saint Martin
Collectivité de Saint-Martin
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: La Marseillaise
Territorial song: O Sweet Saint Martin's Land
Location of the Collectivity of St Martin in the Leeward Islands.
Location of the Collectivity of St Martin in the Leeward Islands.
Status Overseas collectivity
and largest city
Official languages French
Ethnic groups ([1])
Demonym St. Martinois
Sovereign state France
Government Dependent territory
   President of France François Hollande
   Prefect Anne Laubies
   President of the
Territorial Council
Aline Hanson (RRR)
Overseas collectivity of France
   Divided between France and Netherlands 23 March 1648 
   Separate collectivity 15 July 2007 
   Total 53.2 km2 (unranked)
20.5 sq mi
   Water (%) negligible
   Jan. 2011 census 36,286[2] (unranked)
   Density 682/km2 (unranked)
1,767/sq mi
Currency Euro () (EUR)
Time zone (UTC-4)
Calling code +590c
ISO 3166 code MF
Internet TLD
a. French East Asians.
b. Assigned but not in use.
c. Shared with Guadeloupe and Saint Barthélemy.
The official flag of Saint Martin is the flag of France. The unofficial flag, consisting of the island's logo on a white field, is shown below.

Saint Martin (French: Saint-Martin), officially the Collectivity of Saint Martin (Collectivité de Saint-Martin) is an overseas collectivity of France in the Caribbean. With a population of 36,286 (as of Jan. 2011)[2] 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 constitute Sint Maarten, since 2010 a constituent country of the Kingdom of 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.

Politics and government

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.[3] 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.[4] The new status took effect on 15 July 2007, once the local assemblies were elected,[5] with the second leg of the vote ultimately occurring on 15 July 2007.[6] Saint Martin remains part of the European Union.[7]

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.[8] On 7 August, Frantz Gumbs was elected as President of the Territorial Council.[9] 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.[10] Gumbs was reelected on 5 May 2009.[11]

Before 2007, Saint Martin was coded as GP (Guadeloupe) 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).[12]

 Summary of the 1 July and 8 July 2007 Saint Martin Territorial Council election results
Parties 1st round 2nd round Seats
Votes % Votes %
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
Total 7,012 100.00 7,665 100.00 23
Source: RFO1, RFO2

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of the French overseas collectivity Saint-Martin features a ship, a palm and a sun, and reads "Collectivité de Saint Martin".[13] The commune that existed until 22 February 2007, used similar arms but with the legend "Ville de Saint Martin".[14][15]

Reported unofficial flag[16]


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.[17] At the January 2011 French census, the population in the French part of the island was 36,286[2] (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.

Historical population
1885 1954 1961 1967 1974 1982 1990 1999 2006 2011
3,400 3,366 4,502 5,061 6,191 8,072 28,518 29,078 35,263 36,286
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).[18] 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.[18] In comparison, the GDP per capita on the Dutch side of the island, Sint Maarten, was 14,430 euros in 2004.[19]


The collectivity has seven public preschools (maternelles) and seven public elementary schools:[20]

There are three junior high schools (collège) and one senior high school:[21]


Map showing the former constituent parts of the Guadeloupe region/department among the Leeward Islands, including Saint-Martin, before February 2007.
Detailed map showing French Saint-Martin (north), including its territorial waters.
Map showing French Saint-Martin (north) and Dutch Sint Maarten (south).

See also


  1. "The World Factbook".
  2. 1 2 3 INSEE, Government of France. "Populations légales 2011 pour les départements et les collectivités d'outre-mer" (in French). Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  3. Staff reporter (9 December 2003). "French Caribbean voters reject change". Caribbean Net News. Retrieved 9 February 2007. 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".
  4. Staff reporter (9 February 2007). "Saint-Barth To Become An Overseas Collectivity" (PDF). St. Barth Weekly. p. 2. Retrieved 9 February 2007.
  5. NewMedia. "Les élections du futur conseil territorial font débat - Politique - Ixprim News - NewMedia - Newmedia".
  6. See J. P. Thiellay, Droit des outre-mers, Paris:Dalloz, 2007.
  7. "Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Article 355". Official Journal of the European Union. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  8. Staff reporter (28 July 2008). "Louis-Constant Fleming démissionné par le conseil d'Etat" (in French). fxgpariscaraibe. Retrieved 17 August 2008.
  9. Staff reporter (8 August 2008). "Frantz Gumbs elected new president of Collectivité". The Daily Herald. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2008. 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.
  10. "The Daily Herald - New Domain Redirect". Archived from the original on 19 April 2009.
  11. "May 2009".
  12. ISO 3166-1 Newsletter. Assignment of code elements for Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin and update of France and other French Territories
  13. "Yahoo! Groups".
  14. This "local" variant of the flag is listed as "dubious" at the Flags of the World website.
  15. Holm (1989) Pidgins and Creoles, vol. 2
  16. 1 2 INSEE, CEROM. "Estimation du PIB de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved 13 November 2007.
  17. Total 2004 GDP of Sint Maarten () divided by the number of inhabitants in 2004 ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-10-14.), then converted from Netherlands Antillean gulden to euro by using the 2004 exchange rate.
  18. "Maternelle et Elémentaire." Collectivity of Saint Martin. Retrieved on September 13, 2016.
  19. "Collèges et lycée public ." Collectivity of Saint Martin. Retrieved on September 13, 2016.

Coordinates: 18°4′31″N 63°3′36″W / 18.07528°N 63.06000°W / 18.07528; -63.06000

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