Saint Martin

Caribbean

Saint Martin is an island in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 300 km east of Puerto Rico. The 87-square-kilometre island is divided roughly 60/40 between the French Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands but the two parts are roughly equal in population.

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Saint Martin is an island in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 300 km east of Puerto Rico. The 87-square-kilometre island is divided roughly 60/40 between the French Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands but the two parts are roughly equal in population. It is the world’s smallest inhabited island divided between two nations. The division dates to 1648. The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The northern French part comprises the Collectivité de Saint-Martin and is an overseas collectivity of France. On 1 January 2009, the population of the whole island was 77,741 inhabitants, with 40,917 living on the Dutch side, and 36,824 on the French side. Saint Martin has a land area of 87 sq km, 53 sq km of which is under the sovereignty of France, and 34 sq km under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.This is the only land border shared by France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands anywhere. The main cities are Philipsburg (Dutch side) and Marigot (French side). The Dutch side is more heavily populated. The largest settlement on the entire island is Lower Prince’s Quarter, on the Dutch side. The highest hilltop is the Pic Paradis 424 metres in the center of a hill chain on the French side. Both sides are hilly with large mountain peaks. This forms a valley where many houses are located. There are no rivers on the island, but many dry gullies.