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The original inhabitants of Martinique are the Carib Indians. There are just over 400,000 people living in Martinique (2017). About one-fourth of the population lives in and around the capital Fort-de-France. The majority of the population are descendants of slaves from Africa. There are also French people and a small group descended from the original white inhabitants of the island. The former are called les metropolitains and the latter are called békés or creoles. Only a small percentage of the population is Indian, Chinese, Syrian or Lebanese.


The official spoken and written language is French. The local population also speaks Creole, an African dialect. It is a mixture of French, Portuguese, Spanish, English and various African languages. Creole is spoken on most islands in the region, which makes communication between them easier.


As on neighbouring Dominica, the majority of the population is Roman Catholic. In percentages: Roman Catholics 95%, Hindus and African religions 5%. Carnival is celebrated in Guadeloupe on Ash Wednesday in February. For the inhabitants of Martinque this is the most important celebration of the year. In the capital, people dance until the early hours to reggae and calypso music.


Elmar Landeninformatie

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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