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World Factbook (1982) French Guiana.jpg
(See reference map IV)


90,909 km2; 90% forested, 10% wasteland, built on, inland water and other, of which .05% is cultivated and pasture

Land boundaries: 1,183 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (fishing 200 nm; economic zone 200 nm)

Coastline: 378 km


Population: 69,000 (July 1982), annual growth rate 2.5%

Nationality: noun—French Guianese (sing., pl.); adjective—French Guiana

Ethnic divisions: 95% Negro or mulatto, 5% Caucasian, 10,000 East Indian, Chinese

Religion: predominantly Roman Catholic

Language: French

Literacy: 73%

Labor force: 17,012 (1967 census); services 49%, construction 21%, agriculture 18%, industry 8%, transportation 4%; information on unemployment unavailable

Organized labor: 7% of labor force


Official name: Department of French Guiana

Type: overseas department and region of France; represented by one deputy in French National Assembly and one senator in French Senate; Deputy Elie Castor, Senator Raymond Tarcy

Capital: Cayenne

Political subdivisions: 2 arrondissements, 19 communes each with a locally elected municipal council

Legal system: French legal system; highest court is Court of Appeals based in Martinique with jurisdiction over Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana

Branches: executive; prefect appointed by Paris; legislative: popularly elected 16-member General Council and a Regional Council composed of members of the local General Council and of the locally elected deputy and senator to the French parliament; judicial, under jurisdiction of French judicial system

Government leader: Commissioner of the Republic Maxime GONZALVO

Suffrage: universal over age 18

Elections: General Council elections normally are held every five years; last election March 1978

Political parties and leaders: Guyanese Socialist Party (PSG), Raymond Tarcy (senator), Léopold Helder; Union of the Guyanese People (UPG), weak leftist party allied with, but also reported to have been absorbed by, the PSG; Rally for the Republic (RPR), Hector Rivierez

Communists: Communist party membership negligible


GNP: $100 million (at market prices, 1975), $800 per capita

Agriculture: main crops—rice, corn, manioc, cocoa, bananas, sugarcane

Fishing: catch 1,142 metric tons (1977)

Major industries: timber, rum, gold mining, production of rosewood essence, and space center

Electric power: 31,000 kW capacity (1981); 136 million kWh produced (1981), 1,705 kWh per capita

Exports: $7.2 million (1977); shrimp, timber, rum, rosewood essence

Imports: $143.4 million (1977); food (grains, processed meat), other consumer goods, producer goods, and petroleum

Major trade partners: exports—78% US, 11% France, 5% Martinique; imports—49% France, 10% US, 3% Trinidad and Tobago (1969)

Aid: economic—bilateral commitments, ODA and OOF (FY70-79), from Western (non-US) countries, $700 million, no military aid

Monetary conversion rate: 4.21 French francs=US$1 1980

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 32 km private plantation line, 0.600-meter gauge

Highways: 820 km total; 570 km paved, 250 km improved and unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 460 km, navigable by small ocean-going vessels and river and coastal steamers; 3,300 km possibly navigable by native craft

Ports: 1 major (Cayenne), 7 minor

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airfields: 10 total, 10 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m

Telecommunications: limited open-wire and radio-relay system with about 13,700 telephones (22.1 per 100 popl.); 2 AM, 2 FM, and 2 TV stations; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station


Military manpower: males 15-49, 14,000; 9,000 fit for military service