The location, widespread nature, and number of fires (outlined in red) in this satellite image suggest that these blazes were deliberately set to manage land. Farmers often use fire to return nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of unwanted plants. While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality. In Mozambique and Madagascar, the growing season runs from the first rains in October-November. Thus, the clearing of lands in this early September image heralds the new growing season. Much of the once-green isle of Madagascar has been deforested via a combination of slash and burn agriculture for rice cultivation and doro-tanetry, a less intensive burning used to augment grass growth for cattle grazing. The fires mostly burn in grass or cropland, which is tan in this image. Photo courtesy of NASA.
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Introduction

Background

Madagascar was one of the last major habitable landmasses on earth settled by humans. While there is some evidence of human presence on the island in the millennia B.C., large-scale settlement began between A.D. 350 and 550 with settlers from present-day Indonesia. The island attracted Arab and Persian traders as early as the 7th century, and migrants from Africa arrived around A.D. 1000. Madagascar was a pirate stronghold during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and served as a slave trading center into the 19th century. From the 16th to the late 19th century, a native Merina Kingdom dominated much of Madagascar. The island was conquered by the French in 1896 who made it a colony; independence was regained in 1960.

During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA won a second term in 2006 but, following protests in 2009, handed over power to the military, which then conferred the presidency on the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA, in what amounted to a coup d'etat. Following a lengthy mediation process led by the Southern African Development Community, Madagascar held UN-supported presidential and parliamentary elections in 2013. Former de facto finance minister Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA won a runoff election in December 2013 and was inaugurated in January 2014. In January 2019, RAJOELINA was declared the winner of a runoff election against RAVALOMANANA; both RATSIRAKA and RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA also ran in the first round of the election, which took place in November 2018.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

20 00 S, 47 00 E

Area

total: 587,041 sq km

land: 581,540 sq km

water: 5,501 sq km

country comparison to the world: 49

Area - comparative

almost four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of Arizona

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Coastline

4,828 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or 100 nm from the 2,500-m isobath

Climate

tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south

Terrain

narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center

Elevation

highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 615 m

Natural resources

graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, rare earth elements, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 71.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 64.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 21.5% (2018 est.)

other: 7.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

10,860 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

most of population lives on the eastern half of the island; significant clustering is found in the central highlands and eastern coastline as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

periodic cyclones; drought; and locust infestation

volcanism: Madagascar's volcanoes have not erupted in historical times

Geography - note

world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel; despite Madagascar’s close proximity to the African continent, ocean currents isolate the island resulting in high rates of endemic plant and animal species; approximately 90% of the flora and fauna on the island are found nowhere else

Map description

Madagascar map showing major cities of this island country in the Indian Ocean.

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Malagasy (singular and plural)

adjective: Malagasy

Ethnic groups

Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran

Languages

Malagasy (official) 99.9%, French (official) 23.6%, English 8.2%, other 0.6% (2018 est.)

note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census

Religions

Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar/Malagasy Lutheran Church/Anglican Church 34%, Roman Catholic 32.3%, other Christian 8.1%, traditional/Animist 1.7%, Muslim 1.4%, other 0.6%, none 21.9% (2021 est.)

Demographic profile

Madagascar’s youthful population – just over 60% are under the age of 25 – and high total fertility rate of more than 4 children per women ensures that the Malagasy population will continue its rapid growth trajectory for the foreseeable future. The population is predominantly rural and poor; chronic malnutrition is prevalent, and large families are the norm. Many young Malagasy girls are withdrawn from school, marry early (often pressured to do so by their parents), and soon begin having children. Early childbearing, coupled with Madagascar’s widespread poverty and lack of access to skilled health care providers during delivery, increases the risk of death and serious health problems for young mothers and their babies.

Child marriage perpetuates gender inequality and is prevalent among the poor, the uneducated, and rural households – as of 2013, of Malagasy women aged 20 to 24, more than 40% were married and more than a third had given birth by the age of 18. Although the legal age for marriage is 18, parental consent is often given for earlier marriages or the law is flouted, especially in rural areas that make up nearly 65% of the country. Forms of arranged marriage whereby young girls are married to older men in exchange for oxen or money are traditional. If a union does not work out, a girl can be placed in another marriage, but the dowry paid to her family diminishes with each unsuccessful marriage.

Madagascar’s population consists of 18 main ethnic groups, all of whom speak the same Malagasy language. Most Malagasy are multi-ethnic, however, reflecting the island’s diversity of settlers and historical contacts (see Background). Madagascar’s legacy of hierarchical societies practicing domestic slavery (most notably the Merina Kingdom of the 16th to the 19th century) is evident today in persistent class tension, with some ethnic groups maintaining a caste system. Slave descendants are vulnerable to unequal access to education and jobs, despite Madagascar’s constitutional guarantee of free compulsory primary education and its being party to several international conventions on human rights. Historical distinctions also remain between central highlanders and coastal people.

Age structure

0-14 years: 38.86% (male 5,278,838/female 5,196,036)

15-24 years: 20.06% (male 2,717,399/female 2,689,874)

25-54 years: 33.02% (male 4,443,147/female 4,456,691)

55-64 years: 4.6% (male 611,364/female 627,315)

65 years and over: 3.47% (2020 est.) (male 425,122/female 509,951)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 75.9

youth dependency ratio: 70.5

elderly dependency ratio: 5.5

potential support ratio: 18.3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 20.3 years

male: 20.1 years

female: 20.5 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 193

Birth rate

28.68 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Death rate

6 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 159

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 90

Population distribution

most of population lives on the eastern half of the island; significant clustering is found in the central highlands and eastern coastline as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 39.9% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 4.26% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.700 million ANTANANARIVO (capital) (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.5 years (2021 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality ratio

335 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Infant mortality rate

total: 39.04 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 42.33 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 35.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 68.17 years

male: 66.8 years

female: 69.57 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 184

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 85% of population

rural: 38% of population

total: 56.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 15% of population

rural: 62% of population

total: 43.9% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

0.2 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

0.2 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 49.2% of population

rural: 22.1% of population

total: 32.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 50.8% of population

rural: 77.9% of population

total: 67.4% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Madagascar is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.89 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.5 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.07 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.32 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155

Tobacco use

total: 27.8% (2020 est.)

male: 42.7% (2020 est.)

female: 12.8% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 12.7%

women married by age 18: 40.3%

men married by age 18: 11.8% (2018 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 76.7%

male: 78.4%

female: 75.1% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 10 years

female: 10 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 3.4%

male: 3.9%

female: 3% (2015 est.)

Environment

Environment - current issues

erosion and soil degredation results from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; agricultural fires; surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes; wildlife preservation (endangered species of flora and fauna unique to the island)

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 21.44 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 3.91 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 10.14 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south

Land use

agricultural land: 71.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 64.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 21.5% (2018 est.)

other: 7.4% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 39.9% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 4.26% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Madagascar is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to the effects of extreme weather events and slow economic recovery - according to the latest May 2022 analysis, the prevalence of food insecurity in the southern regions is projected to peak at 2.1 million people by December 2022 until at least March 2023; overall, the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance by the end of 2022 is expected to be about 30 percent higher compared to the peak number in 2021; the poor food security situation is mainly the consequence of six consecutive poor agricultural seasons that culminated in very tight food supplies for rural households and curbed incomes from crop sales; high rates of poverty and increased prices of essential food commodities, combined with a high reliance on market supplies due to low harvests for own consumption, are also contributing to the high rates of food insecurity across the southern regions (2022)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 3,768,759 tons (2016 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 395 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 161.9 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 13 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

337 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar

conventional short form: Madagascar

local long form: Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara

local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara

former: Malagasy Republic

etymology: the name "Madageiscar" was first used by the 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco POLO, as a corrupted transliteration of Mogadishu, the Somali port with which POLO confused the island

Government type

semi-presidential republic

Capital

name: Antananarivo

geographic coordinates: 18 55 S, 47 31 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name, which means "City of the Thousand," was bestowed by 17th century King ADRIANJAKAKING to honor the soldiers assigned to guard the city

Administrative divisions

6 provinces (faritany); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara

Independence

26 June 1960 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 26 June (1960)

Constitution

history: previous 1992; latest passed by referendum 17 November 2010, promulgated 11 December 2010

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic in consultation with the cabinet or supported by a least two thirds of both the Senate and National Assembly membership; passage requires at least three-fourths approval of both the Senate and National Assembly and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles, including the form and powers of government, the sovereignty of the state, and the autonomy of Madagascar’s collectivities, cannot be amended

Legal system

civil law system based on the old French civil code and customary law in matters of marriage, family, and obligation

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Madagascar; in the case of a child born out of wedlock, the mother must be a citizen

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: unknown

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Andry RAJOELINA (since 21 January 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Christian NTSAY (since 6 June 2018)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 November and 19 December 2018 (next to be held in 2023); prime minister nominated by the National Assembly, appointed by the president

election results: 2018: Andry RAJOELINA elected President in second round; percent of vote in first round - Andry RAJOELINA (TGV) 39.2%, Marc RAVALOMANANA (TIM) 35.4%, other 25.4%; percent of vote in second round - Andry RAJOELINA (TGV) 55.7%, Marc RAVALOMANANA (TIM) 44.3%

2013
: Hery Martial RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Hery Martial RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA (HVM) 15.9%, Jean Louis ROBINSON (AVANA) 21.1%, other 63%; percent of vote in second round - Hery Martial RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA (HVM) 53.5%, Jean Louis ROBINSON (AVANA) 46.5%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate or Antenimieran-Doholona (18 seats; 12 members indirectly elected by an electoral college of municipal, communal, regional, and provincial leaders and 6 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)
National Assembly or Antenimierampirenena (151 seats; 87 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 64 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 11 December 2020 (next to be held in  December 2025)
National Assembly - last held on 27 May 2019 (next to be held in May 2024)

election results: 2020:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; elected seats by party - Irmar 10, Malagasy Miara Miainga 2; composition - men 16, women 2, percent of women 11%
2019:
National Assembly - percent of vote by party -Independent Pro-HVM 18%, MAPAR 17%, MAPAR pro-HVM 16%, TIM 13%' VPM-MMM 10%, GPS/ARD 7%, HIARAKA ISIKA 3%, LEADER FANILO 3%, VERTS 3%, TAMBATRA 1%, independent 9%; composition - men 123, women 28, percent of women 18.5%; note - total Parliament percent of women 17.8%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of 11 members; addresses judicial administration issues only); High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 9 members); note - the judiciary includes a High Court of Justice responsible for adjudicating crimes and misdemeanors by government officials, including the president

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court heads elected by the president and judiciary officials to serve 3-year, single renewable terms; High Constitutional Court members appointed - 3 each by the president, by both legislative bodies, and by the Council of Magistrates; members serve single, 7-year terms

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance

Political parties and leaders

Economic Liberalism and Democratic Action for National Recovery or LEADER FANILO [Jean Max RAKOTOMAMONJY]
FOMBA [Ny Rado RAFALIMANANA]
Gideons Fighting Against Poverty in Madagascar (Gedeona Miady amin'ny Fahantrana eto Madagascar) or GFFM [Andre Christian Dieu Donne MAILHOL]
Green Party or VERTS (Antoko Maintso) [Alexandre GEORGET]
I Love Madagascar (Tiako I Madagasikara) or TIM [Marc RAVALOMANANA]
Irmar
Malagasy Aware (Malagasy Tonga Saina) or MTS [Roland RATSIRAKA]
Malagasy Raising Together (Malagasy Miara-Miainga) or MMM [Hajo ANDRIANAINARIVELO]
New Force for Madagascar (Hery Vaovao ho an'ny Madagasikara) or HVM [Hery Martial RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA Rakotoarimanana]
Total Refoundation of Madagascar (Refondation Totale de Madagascar) or RTM [Joseph Martin RANDRIAMAMPIONONA]
Vanguard for the Renovation of Madagascar (Avant-Garde pour la renovation de Madagascar) or AREMA [Didier RATSIRAKA]
Young Malagasies Determined (Malagasy: Tanora malaGasy Vonona) or TGV [Andry RAJOELINA] and MAPAR [Andry RAJOELINA], and IRD (We are all with Andry Rajoelina) [Andry RAJOELINA]

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, CD, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission:

Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Amielle Pelenne NIRINIAVISOA MARCEDA (since 31 October 2019)


chancery: 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 265-5525

FAX: [1] (202) 265-3034

email address and website:
contact@us-madagascar-embassy.org

https://us-madagascar-embassy.org/

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Tobias H. GLUCKSMAN

embassy: Lot 207A, Andranoro, Antehiroka, 105 Antananarivo

mailing address: 2040 Antananarivo Place, Washington  DC 20521-2040

telephone: [261] 20-23-480-00

FAX: [261] 20-23-480-35

email address and website:
antanACS@state.gov

https://mg.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side; by tradition, red stands for sovereignty, green for hope, white for purity

National symbol(s)

traveller's palm, zebu; national colors: red, green, white

National anthem

name: "Ry Tanindraza nay malala o" (Oh, Our Beloved Fatherland)

lyrics/music: Pasteur RAHAJASON/Norbert RAHARISOA

note: adopted 1959

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 3 (1 cultural, 2 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve (n); Ambohimanga Royal Hill (c); Atsinanana Rainforests  (n)

Economy

Economic overview

Madagascar is a mostly unregulated economy with many untapped natural resources, but no capital markets, a weak judicial system, poorly enforced contracts, and rampant government corruption. The country faces challenges to improve education, healthcare, and the environment to boost long-term economic growth. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing roughly 80% of the population. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by bushfires, slash-and-burn clearing techniques, and the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns to the agriculture dependent economy.

 

After discarding socialist economic policies in the mid-1990s, Madagascar followed a World Bank- and IMF-led policy of privatization and liberalization until a 2009 coup d’état led many nations, including the United States, to suspend non-humanitarian aid until a democratically-elected president was inaugurated in 2014. The pre-coup strategy had placed the country on a slow and steady growth path from an extremely low starting point. Exports of apparel boomed after gaining duty-free access to the US market in 2000 under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); however, Madagascar's failure to comply with the requirements of the AGOA led to the termination of the country's duty-free access in January 2010, a sharp fall in textile production, a loss of more than 100,000 jobs, and a GDP drop of nearly 11%.

 

Madagascar regained AGOA access in January 2015 and ensuing growth has been slow and fragile. Madagascar produces around 80% of the world’s vanilla and its reliance on this commodity for most of its foreign exchange is a significant source of vulnerability. Economic reforms have been modest and the country’s financial sector remains weak, limiting the use of monetary policy to control inflation. An ongoing IMF program aims to strengthen financial and investment management capacity.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$41.82 billion (2020 est.)

$43.65 billion (2019 est.)

$41.81 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 117

Real GDP growth rate

4.2% (2017 est.)

4.2% (2016 est.)

3.1% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 69

Real GDP per capita

$1,500 (2020 est.)

$1,600 (2019 est.)

$1,600 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 221

GDP (official exchange rate)

$13.964 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5.6% (2019 est.)

8.6% (2018 est.)

8.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 190

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 24% (2017 est.)

industry: 19.5% (2017 est.)

services: 56.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 67.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 15.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 8.8% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 31.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -33.7% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

rice, sugar cane, cassava, sweet potatoes, milk, vegetables, bananas, mangoes/guavas, tropical fruit, potatoes

Industries

meat processing, seafood, soap, beer, leather, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism, mining

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.2%

highest 10%: 34.7% (2010 est.)

Budget

revenues: 1.828 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 2.136 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

36% of GDP (2017 est.)

38.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 148

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$35 million (2017 est.)

$57 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 77

Exports

$4.09 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$4.41 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$4.839 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Exports - partners

United States 19%, France 18%, United Arab Emirates 7%, China 6%, Japan 6%, Germany 5%, India 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

vanilla, nickel, gold, clothing and apparel, gemstones (2019)

Imports

$4.7 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$4.82 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$5.796 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 142

Imports - partners

China 24%, France 11%, United Arab Emirates 9%, India 7%, South Africa 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, rice, cars, packaged medicines, clothing and apparel (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.076 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 124

Debt - external

$3.085 billion (2019 est.)

$4.107 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 142

Exchange rates

Malagasy ariary (MGA) per US dollar -

3,116.1 (2017 est.)

3,176.5 (2016 est.)

3,176.5 (2015 est.)

2,933.5 (2014 est.)

2,414.8 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 39% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 64% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 23% (2019)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 587,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 1,720,140,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 131 million kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 59.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 38.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 107,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 115,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 21,100 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

4.218 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 1.044 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 3.175 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 140

Communications

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 15.869 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 57 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 65

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Telecom services in Madagascar have benefited from intensifying competition between the main operators, including Orange Madagascar, Airtel, and the incumbent telco Telma; there have been positive developments with the country’s link to international submarine cables, particularly the METISS cable connecting to South Africa and Mauritius; in addition, the country’s connection to the Africa-1 cable, expected in late 2023, will provide it with links to Kenya, Djibouti, countries in north and south Africa, as well Pakistan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and France; a national fiber backbone has been implemented connecting the major cities; Telma has progressively expanded the network to reach smaller towns; in addition, the government has progressed with its five-year plan to develop a digital platform running to 2024; various schemes within the program have been managed by a unit within the President’s office; penetration rates in all market sectors remain below the average for the African region, and so there remains considerable growth potential; much progress was made in 2020, stimulated by the particular conditions related to the pandemic, which encouraged greater use of voice and data services. (2022)

domestic: less than 1 per 100 for fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 34 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 261; landing points for the EASSy, METISS, and LION fiber-optic submarine cable systems connecting to numerous Indian Ocean Islands, South Africa, and Eastern African countries; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress towards 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

state-owned Radio Nationale Malagasy (RNM) and Television Malagasy (TVM) have an extensive national network reach; privately owned radio and TV broadcasters in cities and major towns; state-run radio dominates in rural areas; relays of 2 international broadcasters are available in Antananarivo (2019)

Internet users

total: 2,696,931 (2019 est.)

percent of population: 10% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 118

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 32,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.1 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 151

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 4 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 18

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 541,290 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 16.25 million (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 26

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 16

under 914 m: 1 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 57

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 38

under 914 m: 18 (2021)

Railways

total: 836 km (2018)

narrow gauge: 836 km (2018) 1.000-m gauge

country comparison to the world: 96

Waterways

600 km (2011) (432 km navigable)

country comparison to the world: 86

Merchant marine

total: 27

by type: general cargo 14, oil tanker 2, other 11 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 137

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara (Tulear)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Madagascar People's Armed Forces (PAF): Army, Navy, Air Force; National Gendarmerie (operates under the Ministry of Defense); Ministry of Public Security: National Police (2022)

note: the National Gendarmerie is responsible for maintaining law and order in rural areas at the village level, protecting government facilities, and operating a maritime police contingent; the National Police is responsible for maintaining law and order in urban areas

Military expenditures

0.7% of GDP (2021 est.)

0.7% of GDP (2020 est.)

0.5% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $130 million)

0.5% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $130 million)

0.5% of GDP (2017 est.) (approximately $120 million)

country comparison to the world: 152

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 13,000 personnel (12,000 Army; 500 Navy; 500 Air Force); estimated 10,000 Gendarmerie (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the PAF's inventory consists mostly of aging Soviet-era equipment; since 2010, it has received limited amounts of second-hand equipment from France, South Africa, and UAE (2022)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for males; service obligation 18 months; no conscription; women are permitted to serve in all branches (2022)

Military - note

one of the military’s duties is assisting the gendarmerie with maintaining law and order in rural areas, particularly in areas affected by banditry, cattle rustling (cattle thieves are known as dahalo), and criminal groups (2022)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Madagascar-France: claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France); the vegetated drying cays of Banc du Geyser, which were claimed by Madagascar in 1976, also fall within the EEZ claim of France

Madagascar-Comoros: the vegetated drying cays of Banc du Geyser, which were claimed by Madagascar in 1976, also fall within the EEZ claim of the Comoros

Illicit drugs

illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin