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.


Location: Northern North America, islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland (Canada)
Geographic coordinates: 46 50 N, 56 20 W
Population: 5,831 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.1% (male 518/female 487)

15-64 years: 67.1% (male 2,004/female 1,949)

65 years and over: 15.8% (male 379/female 551) (2011 est.)

Country name: conventional long form: Territorial Collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon

conventional short form: Saint Pierre and Miquelon

local long form: Department de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

local short form: Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

Dependency status: self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France
Telephones – main lines in use: 4,800 (2009)
Telephone system: general assessment: adequate

domestic: NA

international: country code – 508; radiotelephone communication with most countries in the world; satellite earth station – 1 in French domestic satellite system

Airports: 2 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)

Defence is the responsibility of France


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. France heavily subsidizes the islands to the great betterment of living standards. The government hopes an expansion of tourism will boost economic prospects. Fish farming, crab fishing, and agriculture are being developed to diversify the local economy. Recent test drilling for oil may pave the way for development of the energy sector.