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Mauritius, See : Flags, Maps

Mauritius (Africa)

Introduction ::Mauritius

Background:

Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch - who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU - in the 17th century. The French assumed control in 1715, developing the island into an important naval base overseeing Indian Ocean trade, and establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base, and later an air station, playing an important role during World War II for anti-submarine and convoy operations, as well as the collection of signals intelligence. Independence from the UK was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa's highest per capita incomes. Recent poor weather, declining sugar prices, and declining textile and apparel production, have slowed economic growth, leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.

Geography ::Mauritius

Location:

Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates:
20 17 S, 57 33 E

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 2,040 sq km country comparison to the world: 180 land: 2,030 sq km

water: 10 sq km

note: includes Agalega Islands, Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues

Area - comparative:

almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

177 km

Maritime claims:

measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:

tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)

Terrain:

small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mont Piton 828 m

Natural resources:

arable land, fish

Land use:

arable land: 49.02%

permanent crops: 2.94%

other: 48.04% (2005)

Irrigated land:

220 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

2.2 cu km (2001)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.61 cu km/yr (25%/14%/60%)

per capita: 488 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards

Environment - current issues:

water pollution, degradation of coral reefs

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

the main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs; home of the dodo, a large flightless bird related to pigeons, driven to extinction by the end of the 17th century through a combination of hunting and the introduction of predatory species

People ::Mauritius

Population:

1,294,104 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 153

Age structure:

0-14 years: 22.5% (male 147,136/female 142,121)

15-64 years: 70.4% (male 449,176/female 455,057)

65 years and over: 7.1% (male 36,309/female 54,465) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 32.3 years

male: 31.4 years

female: 33.2 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.751% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 140

Birth rate:

14.17 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 148

Death rate:

6.63 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 147

Net migration rate:

-0.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 121

Urbanization:

urban population: 42% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 11.85 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 142 male: 14.09 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.25 years country comparison to the world: 99 male: 70.77 years

female: 77.89 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.8 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 156

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.7% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 36

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

13,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 93

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 136

Nationality:

noun: Mauritian(s)

adjective: Mauritian

Ethnic groups:

Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%

Religions:

Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other Christian 8.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4% (2000 census)

Languages:

Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 84.4%

male: 88.4%

female: 80.5% (2000 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

3.4% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 136

Government ::Mauritius

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Mauritius

conventional short form: Mauritius

local long form: Republic of Mauritius

local short form: Mauritius

Government type:

parliamentary democracy

Capital:

name: Port Louis

geographic coordinates: 20 09 S, 57 29 E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

9 districts and 3 dependencies*; Agalega Islands*, Black River, Cargados Carajos Shoals*, Flacq, Grand Port, Moka, Pamplemousses, Plaines Wilhems, Port Louis, Riviere du Rempart, Rodrigues*, Savanne

Independence:

12 March 1968 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 12 March (1968)

Constitution:

12 March 1968; amended 12 March 1992

Legal system:

based on French civil law system with elements of English common law in certain areas; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH (since 7 October 2003); Vice President Monique OHSAN-BELLEPEAU (since 13 November 2010)

head of government: Prime Minister Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM (since 5 July 2005)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 19 September 2008 (next to be held in 2013); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly

election results: Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH reelected president by unanimous vote; percent of vote by the National Assembly - NA%

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly (70 seats; 62 members elected by popular vote, 8 appointed by the election commission to give representation to various ethnic minorities; members to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 5 May 2010 (next to be held in 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AF 41, MMM 18, MR 2, MSF 1; appointed seats - to be assigned 8

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:

Alliance of the Future or AF [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM] (governing
coalition - includes MLD, MMSM, MR, MSD, PMXD); Mauritian Labor
Party or MLP [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM]; Mauritian Militant Movement
or MMM [Paul BERENGER]; Mauritian Militant Socialist Movement or
MMSM [Pravind JUGNAUTH]; Mauritian Socialist Militant Movement or
MSMM [Madan DULLOO]; Mauritian Solidarity Front [Cehl FAKEERMEEAH];
Mouvement Republicain or MR [Jayarama VALAYDEN]; Parti Mauricien
Xavier Duval or PMXD [Xavier Luc DUVAL]; Rodrigues Movement or MR
[Joseph (Nicholas) Von MALLY]; Rodrigues Peoples Organization or OPR
[Serge CLAIR]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: various labor unions

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, COMESA, CPLP (associate), FAO, G-77, IAEA,
IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO,
IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA,
NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SAARC (observer), SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Joyker NAYECK

chancery: 1709 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 244-1491 through 1492
FAX: [1] (202) 966-0983

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Mary Jo WILLS

embassy: 4th Floor, Rogers House, John Kennedy Street, Port Louis

mailing address: international mail: P. O. Box 544, Port Louis; US mail: American Embassy, Port Louis, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2450

telephone: [230] 202-4400
FAX: [230] 208-9534

Flag description:

four equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, yellow, and green; red represents the blood shed for independence, blue the Indian Ocean surrounding the island, yellow has been interpreted as the new light of independence, golden sunshine, or the bright future, and green can symbolize either agriculture or the lush vegetation of the island

National anthem:

name: "Motherland"

lyrics/music: Jean Georges PROSPER/Philippe GENTIL

note: adopted 1968

Economy ::Mauritius

Economy - overview:

Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. The economy rests on sugar, tourism, textiles and apparel, and financial services, and is expanding into fish processing, information and communications technology, and hospitality and property development. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 15% of export earnings. The government's development strategy centers on creating vertical and horizontal clusters of development in these sectors. Mauritius has attracted more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India, South Africa, and China. Investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Mauritius' sound economic policies and prudent banking practices helped to mitigate negative effects from the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew 3.6% in 2010 and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$17.49 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 130 $16.88 billion (2009 est.)

$16.37 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$9.427 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 94 3.1% (2009 est.)

5.1% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$13,500 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 86 $13,100 (2009 est.)

$12,800 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 4.8%

industry: 24.6%

services: 70.5% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

597,000 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 155

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture and fishing: 9%

construction and industry: 30%

transportation and communication: 7%

trade, restaurants, hotels: 22%

finance: 6%

other services: 25% (2007)

Unemployment rate:

7.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 78 7.3% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

8% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

39 (2006 est.) country comparison to the world: 70 37 (1987 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

23.8% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 49

Public debt:

60.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 32 62.4% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 89 2.5% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

NA% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

19.25% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 13 21.54% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$1.889 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 120 $1.906 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$9.605 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 102 $9.277 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$10.23 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 92 $9.423 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$4.74 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 87 $3.443 billion (31 December 2008)

$5.666 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish

Industries:

food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:

3.3% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

Electricity - production:

2.321 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 129

Electricity - consumption:

2.158 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 133

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 161

Oil - consumption:

23,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 120

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 192

Oil - imports:

22,200 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 107

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 137

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 145

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 136

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 150

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 93

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 146

Current account balance:

-$949 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 134 -$674.6 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$2.041 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 130 $1.942 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses, fish

Exports - partners:

UK 25.55%, France 16.89%, US 9.51%, Italy 5.68%, UAE 5.47%, Belgium 4.93%, Madagascar 4.11% (2009)

Imports:

$3.935 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 128 $3.499 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals

Imports - partners:

India 24.5%, France 14.02%, South Africa 8.55%, China 8.17% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.36 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 90 $2.304 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$5.043 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 104 $4.474 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Exchange rates:

Mauritian rupees (MUR) per US dollar - 30.991 (2010), 31.96 (2009), 27.973 (2008), 31.798 (2007), 31.656 (2006)

Communications ::Mauritius

Telephones - main lines in use:

379,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 104

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.087 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 145

Telephone system:

general assessment: small system with good service

domestic: monopoly over fixed-line services terminated in 2005; fixed-line teledensity roughly 30 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular services launched in 1989 with teledensity in 2009 reaching 85 per 100 persons

international: country code - 230; landing point for the SAFE submarine cable that provides links to Asia and South Africa where it connects to the SAT-3/WASC submarine cable that provides further links to parts of East Africa, and Europe; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); new microwave link to Reunion; HF radiotelephone links to several countries (2009)

Broadcast media:

the government maintains control over TV broadcasting through the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), which operates 3 analog and 10 digital TV stations; MBC is a shareholder in a local company that operates 2 pay TV stations; the state retains the largest radio broadcast network with multiple stations; several private radio broadcasters have entered the market since 2001; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code:

.mu

Internet hosts:

36,653 (2010) country comparison to the world: 94

Internet users:

290,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 132

Transportation ::Mauritius

Airports:

5 (2010) country comparison to the world: 179

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 2,066 km country comparison to the world: 172 paved: 2,066 km (includes 75 km of expressways) (2009)

Merchant marine:

total: 3 country comparison to the world: 136 by type: passenger/cargo 2, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Port Louis

Military ::Mauritius

Military branches:

no regular military forces; Mauritius Police Force, Special Mobile Force, National Coast Guard (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 343,279 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 279,405

females age 16-49: 283,023 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 10,565

female: 10,447 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.3% of GDP (2006 est.) country comparison to the world: 169

Transnational Issues ::Mauritius

Disputes - international:

Mauritius claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory), and its former inhabitants, who reside chiefly in Mauritius; claims French-administered Tromelin Island

Illicit drugs:

consumer and transshipment point for heroin from South Asia; small amounts of cannabis produced and consumed locally; significant offshore financial industry creates potential for money laundering, but corruption levels are relatively low and the government appears generally to be committed to regulating its banking industry

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