French Guiana Country Profile
Dense equatorial forests, colonial towns and a major space centre are among the faces of French Guiana, a region of France on the north-east coast of South America. The forests provide the raw material for a timber industry, but many of French Guiana's natural resources defy easy exploitation. Much of the sparsely-inhabited interior is accessible only by river. The ethnically-diverse population enjoys one of the higher standards of living on the South American continent. The French social security system is in force, and subsidies from Paris prop up the economy.
Territory: French Guiana
Status: French overseas territory
Population: 187,200 (via UN, 2006)
Area: 83,534 sq km (32,253 sq miles)
Major languages: French (official), Creole
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 72 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: euro
Main exports: Timber, fish, gold
Internet domain: .gf
International dialling code: +594
Head of state: (French) President Nicolas Sarkozy
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