Guadeloupe, Population, Economy, and Government
French Parliament, principal port, chief town, capital of Guadeloupe, mulattoes
The population of Guadeloupe (2002 estimate) was 435,739, yielding an average density of 253 persons per sq km (655 per sq mi). The population is composed mainly of blacks and mulattoes and a small minority of Europeans, primarily descendants of Breton and Norman colonists. Basse-Terre, the capital of Guadeloupe, is located on the island of Basse-Terre and had a population of 14,107 in 1990. The chief town on Grande-Terre, and principal port of the department, is Pointe-a-Pitre (1999, 20,948).
About 11 percent of the total land area is under cultivation. The chief products are sugar, bananas, and rum. About 60 percent of the annual external trade is with France. The French franc is the currency of Guadeloupe (7.12 francs equal U.S.$1; 2000 annual average).
Guadeloupe is administered by a popularly elected general council and regional council; an appointed prefect represents the French government. The islands are represented in the French Parliament by four deputies and two senators.
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