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French Guiana (including Inini)

Facts & Figures

Status: Overseas Department

Prefect: Éric Spitz (2013)

Land area: 34,421 sq mi (89,150 sq km); total area: 35,135 sq mi (91,000 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 203,321 (growth rate: 1.8%); birth rate 20.3/1000; infant mortality rate 11.8/1000; life expectancy: 77.5; density per sq mi: 6

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Cayenne, 60,500

Monetary unit: Franc

More Facts & Figures

Flag of France

French Guiana, lying north of Brazil and east of Suriname on the northeast coast of South America, was variously settled by the Spanish, Dutch, and French. The Treaty of Breda awarded France the territory in 1667. The French used it as a penal colony between 1852 and 1939, which included the infamous Devil's Island. In 1947 it became an overseas department of France. Since then, many indigenous French Guianians have called for increased autonomy, although only around 5% favor independence from France, partly due to the vast subsidies from the French government. The European Space Center at Kourou has brought a corner of French Guiana into the modern world and attracted a sizable expatriate workforce.

In July 2005, France and Brazil signed a treaty to build the Oyapock River Bridge over the Oyapock River. The Oyapock River marked Brazil's border with French Guiana. The bridge would be the first land crossing ever, not only between French Guiana and Brazil, but between French Guiana and any part of the world. The bridge was scheduled to open in 2013.

See also Encyclopedia: French Guiana .

French Overseas Departments Guadeloupe

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