Basic Data


Official Country Name: Department of Guadeloupe
Region (Map name): Caribbean
Population: 426,493
Language(s): French, Creole patois
Literacy rate: 90%

Guadeloupe, in the lesser Antilles, is an archipelago of nine inhabited islands in the Caribbean Sea. In 1493, Christopher Columbus became its first European visitor, and the French settled the islands in 1635. The country remains an oversees department of France; the French President is Guadeloupe's head of state, represented locally by a Paris-appointed Prefect. The country is headed by the President of the General Council and the President of the Regional Council. Both positions are elected by the membership of their respective councils. The official language is French, but many speak Creole Patois. The population of the islands is approximately 400,000, and the literacy rate is 90 percent. Guadeloupe's economy revolves around tourism, but agriculture and light industry such as sugar and rum production also play important roles. France also provides subsidies and imports much of Guadeloupe's locally consumed food. Sugar cane was once the most important crop, but it is being edged out in importance by bananas, eggplant, and flowers.

As a department of France, Guadeloupe enjoys the European country's press and speech freedoms. Guadeloupe's primary newspaper is its daily, the France-Antilles. Le Progrés Social is a popular weekly. There are two newspapers sponsored by the Communist Party, L'Etincelle, a weekly, and Combat Ouvrier, a bimonthly. Only Combat Ouvrier is available online.

There are 17 FM radio stations and one AM station serving 113,000 radios. Five television stations broadcast to 118,000 televisions. There are three Internet service providers.


"1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: France," U.S. Department of State (n.d.). Available from .

"Benn's Media 1999," Vol. 3, 147th Edition, p. 251.

Combat Ouvrier, (2002) Home Page. Available from .

"Country Profile: Guadeloupe," (2002). Available from .

"Guadeloupe," CIA World Fact Book (2001). Available from .

Jenny B. Davis

Also read article about Guadeloupe from Wikipedia

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