Sint Maarten Population: 39,689


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Although sighted by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 and claimed for Spain, it was the Dutch who occupied the island in 1631 and set about exploiting its salt deposits. The Spanish retook the island in 1633, but continued to be harassed by the Dutch. The Spanish finally relinquished the island of Saint Martin to the French and Dutch, who divided it amongst themselves in 1648. The establishment of cotton, tobacco, and sugar plantations dramatically expanded African slavery on the island in the 18th and 19th centuries; the practice was not abolished in the Dutch half until 1863. The island's economy declined until 1939 when it became a free port; the tourism industry was dramatically expanded beginning in the 1950s. In 1954, Sint Maarten and several other Dutch Caribbean possessions became part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as the Netherlands Antilles. In a 2000 referendum, the citizens of Sint Maarten voted to become a self-governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The change in status became effective in October of 2010 with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.

The northern border is shared with the French overseas collectivity of Saint Martin; together, these two entities make up the smallest landmass in the world shared by two self-governing states
Location: Caribbean, located in the Leeward Islands (northern) group; Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean Sea; Sint Maarten lies east of the US Virgin Islands
Geographic coordinates: 18 4 N, 63 4 W
Area: total: 34 sq km
land: 34 sq km
water: 0 sq km

note: Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin

Size comparison: one-fifth the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: total: 15 km
border countries: Saint Martin (France) 15 km
Coastline: 364 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
Climate: tropical marine climate, ameliorated by northeast trade winds, results in moderate temperatures; average rainfall of 1500 mm/year; hurricane season stretches from July to November
Terrain: low, hilly terrain, volcanic origin
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Flagstaff 386 m
Natural resources: fish, salt
Land use: arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 90% (2011)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: subject to hurricanes from July to November
Current Environment Issues: NA
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Ethnic groups:
Languages: English (official) 67.5%, Spanish 12.9%, Creole 8.2%, Dutch (official) 4.2%, Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 2.2%, French 1.5%, other 3.5% (2001 census)
Religions: Roman Catholic 39%, Protestant 44.8% (Pentecostal 11.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6.2%, other Protestant 27%), none 6.7%, other 5.4%, Jewish 3.4%, not reported 0.7% (2001 census)
Population: 39,689 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 19.7% (male 3,986/female 3,704)
15-24 years: 16.3% (male 3,130/female 3,253)
25-54 years: 45.3% (male 8,626/female 9,077)
55-64 years: 12.9% (male 2,448/female 2,596)
65 years and over: 5.8% (male 1,087/female 1,181) (2013 est.)
Median age: total: 39.7 years
male: 38.9 years
female: 40.4 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.51% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 13 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 4.51 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: 6.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 9.05 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.84 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.61 years
male: 75.34 years
female: 79.99 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.09 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Education expenditures: NA
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Country name: Dutch long form: Land Sint Maarten Dutch short form: Sint Maarten English long form: Country of Sint Maarten English short form: Sint Maarten
former: Netherlands Antilles; Curacao and Dependencies
Government type: parliamentary
Capital: name: Philipsburg
geographic coordinates: 18 1 N, 63 2 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Independence: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
National holiday: Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)
Constitution: Staatsregeling, 10 October 2010; revised Kingdom Charter pending
Legal system: based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Governor General Eugene HOLIDAY (since 10 October 2010)

head of government: Sarah WESCOTT-WILLIAMS (since 10 October 2010)

cabinet: Cabinet (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch for a six-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually elected prime minister by the legislature
Legislative branch: unicameral parliament or Staten (15 seats; members elected by popular vote for four-year term)

elections: last held 17 September 2010 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - National Alliance 45.9%, UPP 36.1%, Democratic Party 17.1%, other .9%; seats by party - National Alliance 7, UPP 6, Democratic Party 2
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatitus, and Saba or "Joint Court of Justice" (consists of the presiding judge, other members, and their substitutes); final appeals heard by the Supreme Court, in The Hague, Netherlands note - prior to 2010, the Joint Court of Justice was the Common Court of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba judge selection and term of office: Joint Court judges appointed by the monarch for life

subordinate courts: Courts in First Instance
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party or DP [Sarah WESCOTT-WILLIAMS] National Alliance or NA [William MARLIN] United People's Party or UPP [Theodore HEYLIGER] Concordia Political Alliance or CPA [Jeffery RICHARDSON]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
National anthem: name: "O Sweet Saint Martin's Land"
lyrics/music: Gerard KEMPS

note: the song, written in 1958, is used as an unofficial anthem for the entire island (both French and Dutch sides); as a collectivity of France, in addition to the local anthem, "La Marseillaise" is official on the French side (see France); as a constituent part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in addition to the local anthem, "Het Wilhelmus" is official on the Dutch side (see Netherlands)
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Sint Maarten; the Consul General to Curacao is accredited to Sint Maarten
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The economy of Sint Maarten centers around tourism with nearly four-fifths of the labor force engaged in this sector. Nearly two million visitors come to the island each year by cruise ship and roughly 500,000 visitors arrived through Princess Juliana International Airport in 2012. Cruise ships and yachts also call on Sint Maarten's numerous ports and harbors. No significant agriculture and limited local fishing means that almost all food must be imported. Energy resources and manufactured goods are also imported. Sint Maarten had the highest per capita income among the five islands that formerly comprised the Netherlands Antilles.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $798.3 million (2010 est.) $794.7 million (2008 est.) $748.9 million (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $794.7 million (2008)
GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2012 est.) 1.6% (2008 est.) 4.5% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $15,400 (2008 est.)
Agriculture - products: sugar
Industries: tourism, light industry, and manufacturing
Labor force: 23,200 (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 15.2%
services: 83.7% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate: 12% (2012 est.) 10.6% (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (2012 est.) 0.7% (2009 est.)
Exports - commodities: sugar
Imports - commodities:
Exchange rates: Netherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) per US dollar - 1.79 (2012) 1.79 (2011) 1.79 (2009) 1.79 (2008) 1.79 (2007) note: The Netherland Antillean guilder was replaced by the newly created Caribbean guilder in 2013
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Electricity - production: 304.3 million kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 169
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Telephone system: general assessment: generally adequate facilities

domestic: extensive interisland microwave radio relay links

international: country code - 1-721; the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) and the Americas-2 submarine cable systems provide connectivity to Central America, parts of South America and the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2010)
Internet country code: .sx; note - IANA has designated .sx for Sint Maarten, but has not yet assigned it to a sponsoring organization
Internet hosts: NA
Internet users: NA
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Airports: 1 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 233
Airports (paved runways): total 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2012)
Roadways: total 53 km
Ports and terminals: Philipsburg
oil terminals: Coles Bay oil terminal
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Defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Military branches: no regular military forces (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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