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Territory of the French Republic (red)
Overseas territories (circled)
Claimed territory (Adélie Land; hatched)
|Largest settlements||Nouméa, New Caledonia Papeete, French Polynesia|
|Languages||French, Antillean Creole, Guianan Creole, Reunionese Creole, Shimaore, Tahitian, Marquesan, 'Uvean, Futunan, Drehu, Nengone, Paicî, Ajië, Xârâcùù, and 35 other native languages of New Caledonia|
|551,394 km2 (212,894 sq mi)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AD)|
Overseas France (French: France d'outre-mer) consists of all the French-administered territories outside of the European continent. These territories have varying legal status and different levels of autonomy, although all (except those with no permanent inhabitants) have representation in both France's National Assembly and Senate, which together make up the French Parliament. Their citizens have French nationality and vote for the president of France. They have the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament (French citizens living overseas currently vote in the Overseas constituency). Overseas France includes island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, French Guiana on the South American continent, and several periantarctic islands as well as a claim in Antarctica.
Almost all inhabited French administrative divisions outside Europe are classified as either overseas regions or overseas collectivites; these statuses are very different from one another from a legal and administrative standpoint. Overseas regions have exactly the same status as mainland France's regions. The French constitution provides that, in general, French laws and regulations (France's civil code, penal code, administrative law, social laws, tax laws, etc.) apply to French overseas regions the same as in mainland France, but can be adapted as needed to suit the region's particular needs. In the French overseas regions, laws cannot be adapted whereas the overseas collectivities are empowered to make their own laws, except in certain areas (such as defense, international relations, trade and currency, and judicial and administrative law). The overseas collectivities are governed by local elected assemblies and by the French Parliament and French government, with a cabinet member, the Minister of Overseas France, in charge of issues related to the overseas territories. (New Caledonia is neither an overseas region nor an overseas collectivity; it has a sui generis status, in keeping with the Nouméa Accord.)
Overseas France has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 9,821,231 km² (3,791,998 sq. miles), and account for 17.8% of the land territory and 96.7% of the EEZ of the French Republic (excluding the district of Adélie Land, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, where the French sovereignty is effective de jure by French law, but where the French exclusive claim on this part of Antarctica is frozen by a mandatory international cooperation since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959).
|The population of all five overseas departments totaled 2,114,000  in January 2016. The population of the overseas collectivities amounted to 660.000 inhabitants (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon , Saint-Barthélemy , Saint-Martin , Polynésie francaise , Wallis et Futuna , Nouvelle-Calédonie ). The total population of the overseas departments and territories of France is estimated at 2,774,000.|
The category of "overseas collectivity" was created by France's constitutional reform of March 28, 2003. Each overseas collectivity has its own statutory laws.
With 2,691,000 inhabitants in 2013, Overseas France account for 4.1% of the population of the French Republic. They enjoy a corresponding representation in the two chambers of the French Parliament.
In the 13th Legislature (2012-2017), Overseas France is represented by 27 députés (M.P.s) in the French National Assembly, accounting for 4.7% of the 577 députés in the National Assembly:
Since September 2011, Overseas France is represented by 21 senators in the French Senate, accounting for 6.0% of the 343 senators in the Senate:
The 11 French overseas territories are :
|Flag[note 1]||Name||Capital||Population||Land area
(inh. per km2)
|Guiana||Cayenne||250,109 (Jan. 2013)||83,534||3||Overseas department / region||South America|
|French Polynesia||Papeete||268,270 (Aug. 2012)||3,521||76||Overseas collectivity||South Pacific Ocean|
|Guadeloupe||Basse-Terre||405,739 (Jan. 2013)||1,628||249||Overseas department / region||Antilles|
|Martinique||Fort-de-France||386,486 (Jan. 2013)||1,128||343||Overseas department / region||Antilles|
|Mayotte||Mamoudzou||226,915 (Jan. 2015)||374||569||Overseas department / region||Africa
|Voted on March 29, 2009 in favour of attaining overseas department / region status. That status became effective on March 31, 2011.
Also claimed by Comoros
|New Caledonia||Nouméa||268,767 (Aug. 2014)||18,575.5||14||Sui generis collectivity||South Pacific Ocean||Referendum for independence to occur 2018.|
|Réunion||Saint-Denis||840,974 (Jan. 2013)||2,504||336||Overseas department / region||Africa
|Saint Barthélemy||Gustavia||9,035 (Jan. 2011)||25||361||Overseas collectivity||Antilles||Detached from Guadeloupe on February 22, 2007.|
|Saint Martin||Marigot||36,286 (Jan. 2011)||53||685||Overseas collectivity||Antilles||Detached from Guadeloupe on February 22, 2007.|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||Saint-Pierre||6,080 (Jan. 2011)||242||25||Overseas collectivity||Southeast of Canada|
|Wallis and Futuna||Mata-Utu||12,197 (Jul. 2013)||142||86||Overseas collectivity||South Pacific Ocean|
(Lands generally uninhabited, except by researchers in scientific stations)
|Flag||Name||District||Scattered islands||Capital||Land area (km2)||Status||Location||Notes|
|Clipperton||-||-||-||2||French state private property||West of Mexico|
|French Southern and Antarctic Lands||Crozet Islands||-||Alfred Faure||340||TAAF district||South Indian Ocean|
|Kerguelen Islands||-||Port-aux-Français||7,215||TAAF district||South Indian Ocean|
|Saint-Paul Island and
|-||Martin-de-Viviès||66||TAAF district||Indian Ocean|
|Adélie Land||-||Dumont d'Urville Station||432,000||TAAF district||Antarctica||Under terms of Antarctic Treaty System|
|Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean||Banc du Geyser||-||0||TAAF district||Africa
|Claimed by Madagascar and Comoros|
|Bassas da India||-||1||Africa
|Claimed by Madagascar|
|Claimed by Madagascar|
|Glorioso Islands||-||7||Indian Ocean||Claimed by Comoros and Madagascar|
|Juan de Nova||-||5||Africa
|Claimed by Madagascar|
|Tromelin Island||-||1||Indian Ocean||Claimed by Mauritius|
This article is part of the series on
Administrative divisions of France
(incl. overseas regions)
(incl. overseas departments)
Others in Overseas France
Ranked by population in the urban area:
However, voters in the two tiny French dependencies of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin, which have been administratively attached to Guadeloupe, approved the referendum and are set to acquire the new status of "overseas collectivity".
On February 7 of this year, the French Parliament adopted the law granting Saint-Barthélemy the Statute of an Overseas Collectivity.