Population pyramids: population by age of Overseas Departments and authorities

Statuses of France’s overseas départements (DOMs) and collectivities (COMs)

  • 1. Guadeloupe, 2. Martinique, 3. Guiana, 4. Reunion

These four territories became Départements d’Outre-mer (DOMs) in 1946; in 1982 they acquired the status of overseas region (ROM), while within the European Union they are Outermost Regions (ORs).* In January 2010, Martinique and Guiana decided by referendum to acquire the status of collectivité territoriale unique as determined by Article 73 of the French Constitution, meaning that they hold the same jurisdiction as that devolved to départements and regions.

  • 5. Mayotte

This island became a territorial collectivity with the law of 24 December 1976; in July 2001 it acquired the status of collectivité départementale. Then on 31 March 2011, Mayotte became France’s 101st département and its 5th DOM, with special collectivité territoriale unique status (that of both département and region), pursuant to Article 73 of the Constitution.

  • 6. Saint Barthélemy

Made a part of the département of Guadeloupe in 1946, this island acquired COM status in 2007, in accordance with the terms of Article 74 of the Constitution. On 1 January 2012, the European Council agreed to grant the status of Overseas Country and Territory (OCT)** to Saint Barthélemy, meaning that it is an “associate” of the EU member states.

  • 7. Saint Martin

Made a part of the département of Guadeloupe in 1946, the French part of this island became a COM in 2007 in accordance with the terms of Article 74 of the Constitution (organic law of 21 February 2007). Within the European Union it has the status of OR.

  • 8. Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Designated overseas territory in 1946, then overseas département in July 1976, Saint Pierre and Miquelon acceded to sui generis territorial collectivity status by the law of 11 June 1985. In 2003, the archipelago became a special status overseas collectivity (COM) (organic law of 21 February 2007), pursuant to Article 74 of the French Constitution.

  • 9. French Polynesia

French Polynesia became an overseas territory in 1946 and has enjoyed specific autonomy status since 1996.

  • 10. New Caledonia

New Caledonia was made an overseas territory in 1946; in 1999 it acquired the status of “sui generis collectivity” pursuant to the Matignon Accords, which stipulate a gradual transfer of state jurisdiction.

  • 11. Wallis and Futuna

These islands became an overseas territory by referendum in 1959; they have a special status determined by the law of July 1961.

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* Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ** Though OCT nationals are in principle EU citizens, OCTs are not part of the EU and are not directly subject to European Union legislation. They benefit from specific EU associate agreements in the areas of Trade and Economic Cooperation, Development, and Regional Cooperation and Integration.

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Until recently, the demographic data published by Insee covered metropolitan France only, excluding the overseas départements (départements d’outre-mer, DOM) and territories (térritoires d’outre-mer,TOM). Since 2003, the status of these DOM-TOMs has changed.

The DOMs (Réunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Mayotte) have become DOM-ROMs (départements et régions d’outre mer), French Polynesia and New Caledonia have become overseas countries (pays d’outre-mer, POM). Wallis & Futuna and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon have become overseas collectivities (collectivités d’outre-mer, COM), the French Southern and Antarctic Territories maintain their status as a TOM.

Insee includes the DOMs in its annual demographic report. The detailed annual volume on the French demographic situation includes the DOMs in most of its tables.