Central America and Caribbean :: SAINT BARTHELEMY
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  • Introduction :: SAINT BARTHELEMY

  • Discovered in 1493 by Christopher COLUMBUS who named it for his brother Bartolomeo, Saint Barthelemy was first settled by the French in 1648. In 1784, the French sold the island to Sweden, which 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 1877 and took control the following year. It was placed under the administration of Guadeloupe. Saint 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 islanders voted to secede from Guadeloupe, and in 2007 the island became a French overseas collectivity. In 2012, it became an overseas territory of the EU, allowing it to exert local control over the permanent and temporary immigration of foreign workers including non-French European citizens.
  • Geography :: SAINT BARTHELEMY

  • Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean; located in the Leeward Islands (northern) group; Saint Barthelemy lies east of the US Virgin Islands
    17 90 N, 62 85 W
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 25 sq km
    land: 25 sq km
    water: NEGL
    less than one-eighth the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    tropical, with practically no variation in temperature; has two seasons (dry and humid)
    hilly, almost completely surrounded by shallow-water reefs, with plentiful beaches
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Morne du Vitet 286 m
    few natural resources; beaches foster tourism
    most of the populace concentrated in and around the capital of Gustavia, but scattered settlements exist around the island periphery
    with no natural rivers or streams, fresh water is in short supply, especially in summer, and provided by desalination of sea water, collection of rain water, or imported via water tanker
    a 1,200-hectare marine nature reserve, the Reserve Naturelle, is made up of five zones around the island that form a network to protect the island's coral reefs, seagrass, and endangered marine species
  • People and Society :: SAINT BARTHELEMY

  • 7,209 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 227
    white, Creole (mulatto), black, Guadeloupe Mestizo (French-East Asia)
    French (primary), English
    Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah's Witnesses
    0-14 years: 16.9% (male 626/female 592)
    15-24 years: 7.09% (male 268/female 243)
    25-54 years: 44.57% (male 1,748/female 1,465)
    55-64 years: 15.52% (male 607/female 512)
    65 years and over: 15.92% (male 575/female 573) (2016 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total: 43.6 years
    male: 43.5 years
    female: 43.6 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    most of the populace concentrated in and around the capital of Gustavia, but scattered settlements exist around the island periphery
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.19 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.19 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 1 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.13 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
  • Government :: SAINT BARTHELEMY

  • 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
    abbreviation: Saint-Barth (French); St. Barts or St. Barths (English)
    etymology: explorer Christopher COLUMBUS named the island in honor of his brother Bartolomeo's namesake saint in 1493
    overseas collectivity of France
    name: Gustavia
    geographic coordinates: 17 53 N, 62 51 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    none (overseas collectivity of France)
    Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1789); note - local holiday is St. Barthelemy Day, 24 August (1572)
    a4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
    French civil law
    see France
    18 years of age, universal
    chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012), represented by Prefect Philippe CHOPIN (since 16 November 2011)
    head of government: President of Territorial Council Bruno MAGRAS (since 16 July 2007)
    cabinet: Executive Council elected by the Territorial Council; note - there is also an advisory, economic, social, and cultural council
    elections/appointments: French president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of French Ministry of Interior; president of Territorial Council indirectly elected by its members for a 5-year term; election last held in July 2012 (next to be held in 2017)
    election results: Bruno MAGRAS (SBA) reelected president; Territorial Council vote NA
    description: unicameral Territorial Council (19 seats; members elected by absolute majority vote in the first round vote and proportional representation vote in the second round; members serve 5-year terms)
    note: Saint Barthelemy holds 1 seat in the French Senate; elections last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held not later than September 2017); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats by party UMP 1; Saint Barthelemy elects 1 seat to the French National Assembly; elections last held on 17 June 2012 (next to be held by June 2017); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats by party UMP 1
    elections: last held on 18 March 2012 (next to be held in July 2017)
    election results: percent of vote by party - SBA 73.8%, Ensemble pour Saint-Barthelemy 15.9%, Tous Unis pour Saint-Barthelemy 10.3%; seats by party - SBA 16, Ensemble pour Saint-Barthelemy 2, Tous Unis pour Saint-Barthelemy 1
    All for Saint-Barth (Tous pour Saint-Barth) [Benoit CHAUVIN]
    Saint-Barth First! (Saint-Barth d'Abord!) or SBA [Bruno MAGRAS]; affiliated with UMP
    Saint-Barth in Motion (Saint-Barth en Mouvement) [Maxime DESOUCHES]
    none (overseas collectivity of France)
    none (overseas collectivity of France)
    the flag of France is used
    name: "L'Hymne a St. Barthelemy" (Hymn to St. Barthelemy)
    lyrics/music: Isabelle Massart DERAVIN/Michael VALENTI
    note: local anthem in use since 1999; as a collectivity of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)

  • 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.
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.885 (2015 est.)
    0.7525 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 2013 est.)
    0.7752 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
  • Communications :: SAINT BARTHELEMY

  • 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 (2008)
    no local TV broadcasters; 3 FM radio channels (2 via repeater)
    .bl; note - .gp, the Internet country code for Guadeloupe, and .fr, the Internet country code for France, might also be encountered
  • Transportation :: SAINT BARTHELEMY

  • 1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 231
    total: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    major seaport(s): Gustavia
    nearest airport for international flights is Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) located on Sint Maarten
  • Military and Security :: SAINT BARTHELEMY

  • defense is the responsibility of France