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Saint Martin

Collectivity of Saint Martin
Collectivité de Saint-Martin
Flag of Saint Martin
Official seal of Saint Martin
Coat of arms
Anthem: "La Marseillaise"
Territorial song: "O Sweet Saint Martin's Land"
Location of Saint Martin in the Leeward Islands
Location of Saint Martin in the Leeward Islands
Location of Saint Martin
Sovereign state France
Partition of island 23 March 1648
Separated from Guadeloupe 15 July 2007
and largest city
Official languages French
Demonym(s) Saint-Martinois
Government Devolved parliamentary dependency
Emmanuel Macron
• Prefect
Anne Laubies
• President of the
Territorial Council
Daniel Gibbs
• Total
53.2 km2 (20.5 sq mi)
• Water (%)
• 2014 census
• Density
682/km2 (1,766.4/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-4:00 (AST)
Driving side right
Calling code +590
ISO 3166 code
  • MF
  • FR-MF
Internet TLD

The Collectivity of 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 (with more recent estimates putting the population at 32,300) 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, which has been a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 2010. This marks the only place in the world where France borders the Netherlands.

Before 2007, the French region 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.


The French part of the island has a land area of 53.20 km² (20.5 sq mi). At the October 2004 supplementary French census, the population in the French part of the island was 33,102 (up from only 8,072 inhabitants at the 1982 census), which means a population density of 622 inhabitants per km² in 2004.

Historical population
1885 1961 1967 1974 1982 1990 1999 2004
3,400 4,502 5,061 6,191 8,072 28,518 29,078 33,102
Official figures from French censuses.

Politics and Government

Map showing the former constituent parts of the Guadeloupe region/department among the Leeward Islands, including Saint-Martin, prior to February 2007.

Saint Martin was for many years a French commune. It was part of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas région and overseas département of France. Because of this, it is in the European Union. In 2003 the population of the French part voted for a split from Guadeloupe. They wanted to make a separate overseas collectivity (COM) of France. On February 9, 2007, the French Parliament passed a bill granting COM status to both the French part of Saint Martin and neighbouring Saint-Barthélemy. The new took effect when the law was published in the Official Journal.

Saint Martin remains part of the European Union.

As a transitional measure, Saint Martin remains governed as it was when a commune within Guadeloupe—by a mayor and a municipal council elected by the European citizens living on the French side of the island. As is the case in metropolitan France since the promulgation of the Maastricht Treaty, nationals of any member state of the European Union are allowed to vote at the municipal elections. Nationals from countries not part of the European Union, which represent a large part of the population on the French side of the island, are not allowed to vote in the elections. A new governance structure befitting an overseas collectivity will take effect later in 2007.

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