Saint Pierre Miquelon
|THE SAINT PIERRE MIGUELON COAT OF ARMS|
Location of Saint Pierre Miquelon within the Geographic Region of North America
Map of Saint Pierre Miquelon
Flag Description of Saint Pierre Miquelon: a yellow three-masted sailing ship facing the hoist side rides on a blue background with scattered, white, wavy lines under the ship; a continuous black-over-white wavy line divides the ship from the white wavy lines; on the hoist side, a vertical band is divided into three parts: the top part (called ikkurina) is red with a green diagonal cross extending to the corners overlaid by a white cross dividing the rectangle into four sections; the middle part has a white background with an ermine pattern; the third part has a red background with two stylized yellow lions outlined in black, one above the other; these three heraldic arms represent settlement by colonists from the Basque Country (top), Brittany, and Normandy; the blue on the main portion of the flag symbolizes the Atlantic Ocean and the stylized ship represents the Grande Hermine in which Jacques Cartier "discovered" the islands in 1536.
note: the flag of France used for official occasions.
Background of Saint Pierre Miquelon
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, officially Territorial Collectivity of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, French Collectivité Territoriale de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, archipelago about 15 miles (25 km) off the southern coast of the island of Newfoundland, Canada, a collectivité of France since 1985. The area of the main islands is 93 square miles (242 square km), 83 square miles (215 square km) of which are in the Miquelons (Miquelon and Langlade, sometimes known as Great and Little Miquelon, connected by the slim, sandy Isthmus of Langlade). But the island of Saint-Pierre, only 10 square miles (26 square km) in area, has almost 90 percent of the total population and is the administrative and commercial centre.
The island of Miquelon has a rocky cape, about 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, that extends to the northeast for about 4 miles (6 km). The Plain of Miquelon, to the south of the cape, is an area of peat bogs and marshes with many small lakes; the southern part of the island is characterized by rugged, barren hills (the Mornes) that rise to Morne de la Grande Montagne (787 feet [240 metres]), the highest point on the archipelago.
The island of Langlade is an ancient peneplain (nearly flat surface produced by erosion) drained by numerous short rivers, including the Belle, the largest, which flows to the northwest. The coast of Langlade is lined with cliffs, except to the north, where it is joined to Miquelon by the Isthmus of Langlade. Saint-Pierre, located to the southeast of Langlade across La Baie, a channel about 3 miles (5 km) wide, comprises a region of rugged hills to the northwest and a rocky lowland to the southeast; both areas of the island have peat bogs and small lakes and ponds. Saint-Pierre’s coast is varied, with cliffs to the north and irregular capes and points to the south. The archipelago includes a number of rocky islets; the only one that is inhabited is Marins (123 acres [50 hectares]) off the eastern coast of Saint-Pierre.
Despite a mild, humid climate, the archipelago is stark in appearance, the forest cover of the hills, except in parts of Langlade, having been removed for fuel long ago. Mean monthly temperatures range from 14 °F (−10 °C) in the winter months to 68 °F (20 °C) in the summer, and the average annual precipitation is about 59 inches (1,500 mm). Seabirds are the most common fauna.
The archipelago was first settled by immigrant seafarers from western France (mainly Basques, Normans, and Bretons) early in the 17th century. The inhabitants speak French and adhere to French customs and traditions; the majority of the population is Roman Catholic.
The importance attached to this last foothold in North America has led France to subsidize the islands, since the meagre local resources cannot support the population; about 70 percent of the islands’ supplies are imported from Canada or from France via Nova Scotia. Cod fishing is still virtually the only occupation; frozen and dried fish, as well as fish flour, are the main exports.
The islands are presided over by a French-appointed prefect, who is assisted by a privy council and an elected general council. The inhabitants possess French citizenship and suffrage. Primary education is free and mostly parochial. Saint-Pierre, the territorial capital, is the seat of the law courts and the apostolic prefecture.
The first explorer to visit the archipelago was a Portuguese, José Alvarez Faguendez, who landed there in 1520. The first permanent French fishing settlement was established in 1604. The islands were subsequently exchanged between the French and British several times until restored permanently to France in 1816 under the Treaty of Paris (1814). The islands became a French overseas territory in 1946 and then, in 1976, an overseas département, on a presumed par with the départements of metropolitan France. In May 1985 the islands were given a new status with a new name, collectivité, because the former departmental arrangement conflicted with the tariff structure of the European Community (now European Union), to which France belongs. A long-standing border dispute with Newfoundland was resolved in 1992, granting Saint-Pierre and Miquelon an economic zone of 3,607 square nautical miles (6,680 km). Pop. (2006 est.) 6,125.
Geography of Saint Pierre Miquelon
Location: Northern North America, islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland (Canada)
Geographic coordinates: 46 50 N, 56 20 W
Map references: North America
Area:total: 242 sq km
country comparison to the world: 214
land: 242 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes eight small islands in the Saint Pierre and the Miquelon groups
Area - comparative: one and half times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:0 km Coastline:120 km
territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: cold and wet, with considerable mist and fog; spring and autumn are often windy
Terrain: mostly barren rock
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Morne de la Grande Montagne 240 m
Natural resources:fish, deepwater ports
arable land: 8.7% permanent crops: 0% other: 91.3% (2011)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: persistent fog throughout the year can be a maritime hazard
Environment - current issues: recent test drilling for oil in waters around Saint Pierre and Miquelon may bring future development that would impact the environment
Geography - note:vegetation scanty
Demography of Saint Pierre Miquelon
Ethnic groups: Basques and Bretons (French fishermen)
Languages: French (official)
Religions: Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%
Population: 5,716 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 230
- 0-14 years: 16.3% (male 481/female 450)
- 15-24 years: 8.5% (male 249/female 235)
- 25-54 years: 43.5% (male 1,234/female 1,252)
- 55-64 years: 13.9% (male 416/female 378)
- 65 years and over: 17.1% (male 421/female 600) (2014 est.)
- Median age: total: 44.6 years
- male: 44.2 years
- female: 45 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:-1.02% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 230
- 7.7 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 223
- 9.27 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 62
Net migration rate:
- -8.57 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 209
- urban population: 90.7% of total population (2011)
- rate of urbanization: 0.14% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
- Major urban areas - population:
SAINT-PIERRE (capital) 5,000 (2011)
- at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
- 0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
- 15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
- 25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
- 55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
- total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
- total: 6.95 deaths/1,000 live births
- country comparison to the world: 162
- male: 8.07 deaths/1,000 live births
- female: 5.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
- total population: 80.26 years
- country comparison to the world: 31
- male: 77.95 years
- female: 82.7 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
- 1.56 children born/woman (2014 est.)
- country comparison to the world: 184
- HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:NA
- HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:NA
- HIV/AIDS - deaths:NA
- definition: age 15 and over can read and write
- total population: 99%
- male: 99%
- female: 99% (1982 est.)
Economy of Saint Pierre Miquelon
Government of Saint Pierre Miquelon
Government Overseas collectivity
- President of France Nicolas Sarkozy
- Prefect Jean-Régis Borius
- President of the Territorial Council Stéphane Artano
The politics of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon take place within a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic, French overseas collectivity, whereby the President of the Territorial Council is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. France is responsible for the defense of the islands. Saint-Pierre and Miquelon sends one deputy member of Parliament to the French National Assembly and one senator to the French Senate.
Though the islands belong to France and the European Union, due to special immigration procedures European Union nationals who are not French citizens are not allowed to exercise free movement and business establishment in the archipelago. 
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is administratively divided into two municipalities. They are: Miquelon-Langlade and Saint-Pierre. In 1992, a maritime boundary dispute with Canada over the delineation of the Exclusive Economic Zone belonging to France was settled by the International Court of Arbitration. In the decision, France kept the 12 nautical mile territorial sea surrounding the islands and was given an additional 12 nautical miles of contiguous zone as well as a 10.5 nautical mile wide corridor stretching 200 nautical miles towards the south. The total area in the award was only 18 percent of what France had requested. The boundary dispute had been a flash point for Franco-Canadian relations. New claims have since been made under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by France over the continental shelf.
Culture Life of Saint Pierre Miquelon
History of Saint Pierre Miquelon
Probably first settled by Basques, the islands were colonized by France in 1604. They were taken by the British (1713) but returned to France in 1763; twice retaken by the British, they were restored to France in 1814, with the provision that they be unfortified. They were granted local autonomy in 1935, became an overseas department in 1976, and reclassified as a territorial collectivity in 1985 to comply with European Community (now European Union) trade regulations.
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