Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Flag of Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Map of Saint Pierre and Miquelon


First settled by the French in the early 17th century, the islands represent the sole remaining vestige of France's once vast North American possessions.


Northern North America, islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland (Canada)

Geographic coordinates:

46 50 N, 56 20 W


total: 242 sq km
note: includes eight small islands in the Saint Pierre and the Miquelon groups
water: 0 sq km
land: 242 sq km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


cold and wet, with much mist and fog; spring and autumn are windy


mostly barren rock

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morne de la Grande Montagne 240 m

Natural resources:

fish, deepwater ports

Land use:

arable land: 13.04%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 86.96% (2001)

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


6,995 (July 2004 est.)

Ethnic groups:

Basques and Bretons (French fishermen)


Roman Catholic 99%


French (official)

Dependency status:

self-governing territorial collectivity of France



Administrative divisions:

none (territorial collectivity of France); note - there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are two communes - Saint Pierre, Miquelon at the second order


28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system:

French law with special adaptations for local conditions, such as housing and taxation

Economy - overview:

The inhabitants have traditionally earned their livelihood by fishing and by servicing fishing fleets operating off the coast of Newfoundland. The economy has been declining, however, because of disputes with Canada over fishing quotas and a steady decline in the number of ships stopping at Saint Pierre. In 1992, an arbitration panel awarded the islands an exclusive economic zone of 12,348 sq km to settle a longstanding territorial dispute with Canada, although it represents only 25% of what France had sought. The islands are heavily subsidized by France to the great betterment of living standards. The government hopes an expansion of tourism will boost economic prospects. Recent test drilling for oil may pave the way for development of the energy sector.

Labor force:

3,261 (1999)

Labor force - by occupation:

fishing 18%, industry (mainly fish-processing) 41%, services 41% (1996 est.)

Agriculture - products:

vegetables; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish


fish processing and supply base for fishing fleets; tourism

Exports - commodities:

fish and fish products, soybeans, animal feed, mollusks and crustaceans, fox and mink pelts

Exports - partners:

Zambia 35.7%, US 24.4%, Ecuador 19.7%, France 7.3%, Canada 5.6% (2003)

Imports - commodities:

meat, clothing, fuel, electrical equipment, machinery, building materials

Imports - partners:

Zambia 61.5%, France 20%, Canada 12.3%, Italy 4.6% (2003 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

approximately $60 million in annual grants from France


euro (EUR)

Telephones - main lines in use:

4,800 (2002)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

0 (1994)

Telephone system:

general assessment: adequate
domestic: NA
international: country code - 508; radiotelephone communication with most countries in the world; 1 earth station in French domestic satellite system


total: 114 km
paved: 69 km
unpaved: 45 km

Ports and harbors:

Saint Pierre

Merchant marine:



2 (2003 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2003 est.)

Military - note:

defence is the responsibility of France