Politics

List of French Territories

Overseas France, or d'outre-mer in French, refers to territories that are administered by France but geographically fall outside of European territory.

Overseas France refers to areas that, while politically a part of France, are geographically located outside of Europe. They can be remembered by an acronym, DROM-COM, which stands for "Overseas Departments and Regions — Overseas Collectivities". These territories have different legal status and are all represented in the French Parliament except those territories that do not have permanent inhabitants. Aside from the Regions of Metropolitan France, there are five (5) overseas regions, five (5) overseas collectivities, one (1) special status region and one (1) overseas uninhabited territory.


Difference Between Regions, Collectivities, and Other

Overseas Regions

  • French Guiana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Réunion

Overseas regions refer to areas that have powers equal to those held by parts of the metropolitan France in that they have representation in the French Parliament in the ESC, they elect a member of the European Parliament, and their primary currency is the euro.

Overseas Collective

  • French Polynesia
  • Saint-Barthélemy
  • Saint-Martin
  • Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
  • Wallis and Futana

The French overseas collectivities are a first-order administrative division of France known as COM. Since they are integral to France COMs, they have representation in the National Assembly, Senate, and also the Economic and Social Council. They are however not part of the European Union and do not choose the member of the European Parliament (except for Saint Martin). The currency is also different as the COMs from the Pacific use CFP franc whereas those from the Atlantic use the euro.

Special Status

  • New Caledonia

Some territories have a special status in that they are neither overseas regions nor overseas collectivities. An example of this is New Caledonia.

Overseas Territory

  • French Southern and Antarctic Lands

The only overseas territory of France is the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, which have no permanent population.

Conclusion

These overseas territories have enabled France to be in a significant control of more maritime resources hence boosting its economic status. The overseas France accounts for 96.7% the republic’s economic exclusive zone. These territories have also increased the French population as in 2013 census shows that there were 2,691,000 France overseas inhabitants.

Which Overseas Territories Are Administered by France?

RankRegion NameTypePopulation
1Réunion Overseas region840,974
2GuadeloupeOverseas region405,739
3MartiniqueOverseas region386,486
4New CaledoniaOverseas collectivity268,767
5French PolynesiaOverseas collectivity268,270
6French GuianaOverseas region83,534
7MayotteOverseas region226,915
8Saint MartinOverseas collectivity36,286
9Wallis and FutunaOverseas collectivity12,197
10Saint BarthélemyOverseas collectivity9,035
11Saint Pierre and MiquelonOverseas collectivity6,080
12ClippertonSpecial status0
13French Southern and Antarctic LandsOverseas territory0

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