Population and Language


Martinique has about 400,000 inhabitants. The population is made-up primarily of blacks and mulattos (persons of mixed white and black ancestry), Indians, imported from India in 1853 in order to work in the plantations after the slaves were freed, and of békés, Creoles featuring white complexion and being descendants of the first European settlers, a group which carry a decisive socio-economic weight in the island.
The official language is French. The Creole, spoken almost by everyone, is the language of spontaneity and emotions,an heritage of an era when the Indians of America, Europeans and Africans spoke a simplified French in order to communicate and understand each other in the plantations.