Population: 463,00 (UN est.)
Surface area: 1,705 sq km
Guadeloupe is a Caribbean island located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles. It is the largest island in the French West Indies and has been an overseas region of France since 1946, consisting of a single overseas department. Guadeloupe is an integral part of France and hence is part of the Eurozone thus using the Euro as its currency. The official language is French although many inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole.
The island communes of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy were officially detached from Guadeloupe on 15 July 2007 and became two separate French overseas collectives with their own local administration.
Guadeloupe is one of the more developed islands in the Caribbean. The economy depends on tourism, agriculture, light industry and services. Also, subsidies and imports originate mostly from France. Tourism is a key industry, with visitors mostly arriving from France and the rest of Europe. In 2010 tourist arrivals were 392,000 (excluding Saint-Barthelemy and Saint-Martin) (UN data). Sugar cane and bananas are the major crop grown for export. For the most part, Guadeloupe is still highly reliant on imported food, mainly from France. Light industry include sugar and rum. Most manufactured goods and fuel are imported. Unemployment is especially high among the youth. Cyclones occasionally overwhelm the economy.
Major Industries: sugar, rum
Major Export Commodities: sugar, bananas
Life Expectancy at Birth: 76.1 (males) 83.6 (females) (UN data 2011)
UN Data: http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Guadeloupe (accessed 19/11/2013)
Lonely Planet 2013. Information on Guadeloupe: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/guadeloupe (accessed 20/11/2013)
France.fr 2013. Information on Guadeloupe: http://www.france.fr/en/regions-and-cities/guadeloupe-island-where-nature-rules (accessed 20/11/2013)
Image of flag and map; copyright of Wikimedia Commons
Updated November 2013