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Africa :: Mauritius
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Mauritius
  • Introduction :: MAURITIUS

  • 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 one of Africa's highest per capita incomes.
  • Geography :: MAURITIUS

  • Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, about 800 km (500 mi) east of Madagascar
    20 17 S, 57 33 E
    Africa
    total: 2,040 sq km
    land: 2,030 sq km
    water: 10 sq km
    note: includes Agalega Islands, Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues
    almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    177 km
    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
    tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)
    small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau
    lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mont Piton 828 m
    arable land, fish
    agricultural land: 43.8%
    arable land 38.4%; permanent crops 2%; permanent pasture 3.4%
    forest: 17.3%
    other: 38.9% (2011 est.)
    212.2 sq km (2003)
    2.75 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.73 cu km/yr (30%/3%/68%)
    per capita: 568.2 cu m/yr (2003)
    cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards
    water pollution, degradation of coral reefs
    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
    the main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs; former 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 and Society :: MAURITIUS

  • noun: Mauritian(s)
    adjective: Mauritian
    Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
    Creole 86.5%, Bhojpuri 5.3%, French 4.1%, two languages 1.4%, other 2.6% (includes English, the official language, which is spoken by less than 1% of the population), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
    Hindu 48.5%, Roman Catholic 26.3%, Muslim 17.3%, other Christian 6.4%, other 0.6%, none 0.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
    1,331,155 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 21% (male 143,064/female 137,021)
    15-24 years: 15.5% (male 104,257/female 102,233)
    25-54 years: 44.1% (male 293,607/female 294,029)
    55-64 years: 10.9% (male 68,749/female 76,407)
    65 years and over: 8.4% (male 45,145/female 66,643) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 39.8%
    youth dependency ratio: 27.1%
    elderly dependency ratio: 12.8%
    potential support ratio: 7.8% (2014 est.)
    total: 33.9 years
    male: 33.1 years
    female: 34.8 years (2014 est.)
    0.66% (2014 est.)
    13.46 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    6.85 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 39.8% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: -0.08% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    PORT LOUIS (capital) 135,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    73 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 10.59 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 12.59 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 8.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 75.17 years
    male: 71.71 years
    female: 78.81 years (2014 est.)
    1.77 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    4.8% of GDP (2013)
    1.62 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
    3.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 99.9% of population
    rural: 99.7% of population
    total: 99.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.1% of population
    rural: 0.3% of population
    total: 0.2% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 91.7% of population
    rural: 90.1% of population
    total: 90.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 8.3% of population
    rural: 9.9% of population
    total: 9.2% of population (2012 est.)
    1.1% (2013 est.)
    9,600 (2013 est.)
    900 (2013 est.)
    18.8% (2014)
    3.7% of GDP (2013)
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 90.6%
    male: 92.9%
    female: 88.5% (2015 est.)
    total: 16 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 16 years (2012)
    total: 23.7%
    male: 20.4%
    female: 28.4% (2012 est.)
  • Government :: MAURITIUS

  • conventional long form: Republic of Mauritius
    conventional short form: Mauritius
    local long form: Republic of Mauritius
    local short form: Mauritius
    note: island named after Prince Maurice VAN NASSAU, stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, in 1598
    parliamentary democracy
    name: Port Louis
    geographic coordinates: 20 09 S, 57 29 E
    time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    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
    12 March 1968 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 12 March (1968)
    several previous; latest adopted 12 March 1968; amended many times, last in 2012 (2012)
    civil legal system based on French civil law with some elements of English common law
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Ameenah GURIB-FAKIM (since 5 June 2015)
    head of government: Prime Minister Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH (since 17 December 2014)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
    elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 4 June 2015 (next to be held in 2020); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly
    election results: Ameenah GURIB-FAKIM elected president by unanimous vote
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (70 seats maximum; 62 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and up to 8 seats allocated to non-elected party candidates by the Electoral Commissioner's Office to ensure fair and adequate representation of each community and party in the Assembly; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 10 December 2014 (next to be held by 2019); note - the National Assembly was dissolved on 6 October 2014, resulting in early elections
    election results: percent of vote by party - Alliance Lepep 49.8%, PTR-MMM 38.5%, FSM 2.1%, OPR 1.1%, other 8.5%; elected seats by party - Alliance Lepep 47, PTR-MMM 13, OPR 2; appointed seats Alliance Lepep 4, PTR-MMM 3, unassigned 1
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Mauritius (consists of the chief justice, a senior puisne judge, and 17 puisne judges); note - the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) serves as the final court of appeal
    judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister; senior puisne judge appointed by the president with the advice of the chief justice; other puisne judges appointed by the president with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Commission, a 4-member body of judicial officials including the chief justice; all judges serve until retirement at age 62
    subordinate courts: Court of Civil Appeal; Court of Criminal Appeal; Public Bodies Appeal Tribunal (formed by a 2008 constitutional amendment)
    Alliance Lepep (Alliance of the People) [Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH] (coalition including MSM, PMSD, and ML)
    Labor Party (Parti Travailliste) or PTR or MLP [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM]
    Mauritian Militant Movement (Mouvement Militant Mauricien) or MMM [Paul BERENGER]
    Mauritian Social Democratic Party (Parti Mauricien Social Democrate) or PMSD [Xavier Luc DUVAL]
    Mauritian Solidarity Front (Front Solidarite Mauricienne) or FSM [Cehi FAKEERMEEAH]
    Militant Socialist Movement (Mouvement Socialist Mauricien) or MSM [Pravind JUGNAUTH]
    Muvman Liberator or ML [Ivan COLLENDAVELLOO]
    PTR-MMM Coalition [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM] (coalition including PTR and MMM)
    Rodrigues Peoples Organization (Organisation du Peuple Rodriguais) or OPR [Serge CLAIR]
    Blok 104. Rezistans ek Alternativ (Resistance and Alternative), Say No to Coal!
    Lalit Political Party
    other: various labor unions
    ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, CD, COMESA, CPLP (associate), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SAARC (observer), SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Hans Irvin Antish BHUGUN (since 17 July 2014)
    chancery: 1709 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; administrative offices - 3201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 441, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 244-1491 through 1492
    FAX: [1] (202) 966-0983
    chief of mission: Ambassador Shari VILLAROSA (since 5 November 2012); note - also accredited to Seychelles
    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
    four equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, yellow, and green; red represents self-determination and 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
    dodo bird; national colors: red, blue, yellow, green
    name: "Motherland"
    lyrics/music: Jean Georges PROSPER/Philippe GENTIL
    note: adopted 1968
  • Economy :: MAURITIUS

  • Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has undergone a remarkable economic transformation from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a diversified, upper middle-income economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. Mauritius has achieved steady growth over the last several decades, resulting 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’ textile sector has taken advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, with Mauritian exports to the US growing by 400% from 2001-2012. Mauritius' sound economic policies and prudent banking practices helped to mitigate negative effects of the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew in the 3-4% per year range in 2010-14, and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe.
    $23.42 billion (2014 est.)
    $22.67 billion (2013 est.)
    $21.97 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $12.72 billion (2014 est.)
    3.3% (2014 est.)
    3.2% (2013 est.)
    3.2% (2012 est.)
    $17,900 (2014 est.)
    $17,400 (2013 est.)
    $16,900 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 92
    14% of GDP (2014 est.)
    13.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
    17.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 73.4%
    government consumption: 14.4%
    investment in fixed capital: 21.2%
    investment in inventories: 2.8%
    exports of goods and services: 55.4%
    imports of goods and services: -67.2%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 4.5%
    industry: 22.4%
    services: 73.2% (2014 est.)
    sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish
    food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery, tourism
    0.4% (2014 est.)
    600,200 (2014 est.)
    agriculture and fishing: 9%
    construction and industry: 30%
    transportation and communication: 7%
    trade, restaurants, hotels: 22%
    finance: 6%
    other services: 25% (2007)
    8% (2014 est.)
    8% (2013 est.)
    8% (2006 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    35.9 (2012 est.)
    39 (2006 est.)
    revenues: $2.797 billion
    expenditures: $3.263 billion (2014 est.)
    22% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -3.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    61.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    60% of GDP (2013 est.)
    1 July - 30 June
    3.9% (2014 est.)
    3.5% (2013 est.)
    9% (31 December 2010)
    8.7% (31 December 2014 est.)
    8.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $2.666 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.562 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $12.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $12.15 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $16.27 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $14.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $7.093 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $7.667 billion (31 December 2011)
    $7.442 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $-1.108 billion (2014 est.)
    $-1.179 billion (2013 est.)
    $3.135 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.872 billion (2013 est.)
    clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses, fish, primates (for research)
    UK 16.9%, France 15.1%, US 10.1%, Italy 8.9%, South Africa 8.4%, Madagascar 6.2%, Spain 5.8% (2013)
    $5.441 billion (2014 est.)
    $5.141 billion (2013 est.)
    manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
    India 24.3%, China 14.7%, France 8.2%, South Africa 6.2% (2013)
    $4.018 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $3.491 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $5.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $5.229 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    NA
    $NA
    Mauritian rupees (MUR) per US dollar -
    30.43 (2014 est.)
    30.7 (2013 est.)
    30.05 (2012 est.)
    28.71 (2011 est.)
    30.78 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: MAURITIUS

  • 2.885 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    2.658 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    778,200 kW (2013 est.)
    96.5% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    3.3% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    0.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    25,430 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    20,620 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    5.317 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: MAURITIUS

  • 349,100 (2012)
    1.485 million (2012)
    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 current teledensity roughly 100 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 (2011)
    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)
    AM 4, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2001)
    2 (plus several repeaters) (1997)
    .mu
    51,139 (2012)
    290,000 (2009)
  • Transportation :: MAURITIUS

  • 5 (2013)
    total: 2
    over 3,047 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m:
    1 (2013)
    total: 2,149 km
    paved: 2,149 km (includes 75 km of expressways) (2012)
    total: 4
    by type: passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)
    major seaport(s): Port Louis
  • Military :: MAURITIUS

  • no regular military forces; Mauritius Police Force, Special Mobile Force, National Coast Guard (2011)
    males age 16-49: 343,628 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 280,596
    females age 16-49: 283,317 (2010 est.)
    male: 10,193
    female: 10,104 (2010 est.)
    0.19% of GDP (2012)
    0.16% of GDP (2011)
    0.19% of GDP (2010)
  • Transnational Issues :: MAURITIUS

  • Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands; claims French-administered Tromelin Island
    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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