Population growth French St. Martin slows down

POSTED: 06/4/13 12:10 PM

St. Martin – The population on the French side has multiplied six-fold between 1974 and 2009, a report from the institute for the overseas departments Iedom shows. In 2009, the French-side population stood at 36,824, an increase of 26.5 percent compared to ten years earlier. But from 2008 to 2009 the growth slowed down significantly to just 0.4 percent. In 1974 there were just 6,191 inhabitants across the border.
The report shows a population density of 695 inhabitants per square kilometer. It would rank as the 18th most densely populated country in the world if the Collectivité d’Outre Mer de Saint martin was a country. The density compares to that of Barbados (669), Mauritius (667) and Taiwan (645). The Dutch side has a population density of 573 –raking it as the twentieth most populated country in the world, behind Aruba (598). The Netherlands is ranked 23rd with a density of 448 inhabitants per square kilometer.

The number of foreigners on the French side represents 35.3 percent of the total population. Within this group of 13,013 citizens, Haitians are the largest group (47 percent), followed by Europeans (16 percent of which 7 percent are British), Dutch (5) and North-Americans (4 percent).
The population on the French side is relatively young, with 36.9 percent (13,572) in the 0-19 age category and 55.4 percent (20,388) in the 20-59 age category.

The economy in the Collectivité is turning more and more towards tourism. Agriculture, livestock and fishery have become marginal activities with a negligible effect on the economy. There are 13,107 salary-workers in the territory of which 2,158 have a job on the Dutch side. The majority (79 percent) works on a permanent contract or in public service, while 47 percent of the jobs are held by women.
More than ever, the Iedom report concludes, “the inequalities that have been found on the French side make strengthening the cooperation between the two sides of the island essential.”

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