Photos of Mauritius

Introduction

Background

Although known to Arab and European sailors since at least the early 1500s, the island of Mauritius was uninhabited until 1638 when the Dutch established a settlement named in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU. Their presence led to the rapid disappearance of the flightless dodo bird that has since become one of the most well-known examples of extinction in modern times. The Dutch abandoned their financially distressed settlement in 1710, although a number of formerly enslaved people remained. In 1722, the French established what would become a highly profitable settlement focused on sugar cane plantations that were reliant on the labor of enslaved people brought to Mauritius from other parts of Africa. In the 1790s, the island had a brief period of autonomous rule when plantation owners rejected French control because of laws ending slavery that were temporarily in effect during the French Revolution. Britain captured the Island in 1810 as part of the Napoleonic Wars but kept most of the French administrative structure, which remains to this day in the form of the country’s legal codes and widespread use of the French Creole language. The abolition of slavery in 1835 - later than most other British colonies - led to increased reliance on contracted laborers from the Indian subcontinent to work on plantations. Today their descendants form the majority of the population. Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base, and later an air station, playing a role during World War II for anti-submarine and convoy operations, as well as for the collection of signals intelligence.

Mauritius gained independence from the UK in 1968 as a Parliamentary Republic and has remained a stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record. The country also attracted considerable foreign investment and now has one of Africa's highest per capita incomes. Mauritius’ often fractious coalition politics has been dominated by two prominent families each of which has had father-son pairs who have been prime minister over multiple, often nonconsecutive, terms. Seewoosagur RAMGOOLAM (1968-76) was Mauritius’ first prime minister and he was succeeded by Anerood JUGNAUTH (1982-95, 2000-03, 2014-17); his son Navin RAMGOOLAM (1995-2000, 2005-14); and Paul Raymond BERENGER (2003-05), the only non-Hindu prime minister of post-independence Mauritius. In 2017, Pravind JUGNAUTH became prime minister after his father stepped down short of completing his term, and he was elected in his own right in 2019. Mauritius claims the French island of Tromelin and the British Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory). Since 2017, Mauritius has secured favorable UN General Assembly resolutions and an International Court of Justice advisory opinion relating to its sovereignty dispute with the UK.

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

Geography

Location

Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, about 800 km (500 mi) east of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates

20 17 S, 57 33 E

Area

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

comparison ranking: total 180

Area - comparative

almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Coastline

177 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

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

measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines

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

highest point: Mont Piton 828 m

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Natural resources

arable land, fish

Land use

agricultural land: 43.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 38.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 17.3% (2018 est.)

other: 38.9% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

158 sq km (2020)

Population distribution

population density is one of the highest in the world; urban clusters are found throughout the main island, with a greater density in and around Port Luis; population on Rodrigues Island is spread across the island with a slightly denser cluster on the north coast as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

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

Geography - note

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

Population

1,309,448 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 158

Nationality

noun: Mauritian(s)

adjective: Mauritian

Ethnic groups

Indo-Mauritian (compose approximately two thirds of the total population), Creole, Sino-Mauritian, Franco-Mauritian

note: Mauritius has not had a question on ethnicity on its national census since 1972

Languages

Creole 86.5%, Bhojpuri 5.3%, French 4.1%, two languages 1.4%, other 2.6% (includes English, one of the two official languages of the National Assembly, which is spoken by less than 1% of the population), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)

Religions

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.)

Demographic profile

Mauritius has transitioned from a country of high fertility and high mortality rates in the 1950s and mid-1960s to one with among the lowest population growth rates in the developing world today. After World War II, Mauritius’ population began to expand quickly due to increased fertility and a dramatic drop in mortality rates as a result of improved health care and the eradication of malaria. This period of heightened population growth – reaching about 3% a year – was followed by one of the world’s most rapid birth rate declines.

The total fertility rate fell from 6.2 children per women in 1963 to 3.2 in 1972 – largely the result of improved educational attainment, especially among young women, accompanied by later marriage and the adoption of family planning methods. The family planning programs’ success was due to support from the government and eventually the traditionally pronatalist religious communities, which both recognized that controlling population growth was necessary because of Mauritius’ small size and limited resources. Mauritius’ fertility rate has consistently been below replacement level since the late 1990s, a rate that is substantially lower than nearby countries in southern Africa.

With no indigenous population, Mauritius’ ethnic mix is a product of more than two centuries of European colonialism and continued international labor migration. Sugar production relied on slave labor mainly from Madagascar, Mozambique, and East Africa from the early 18th century until its abolition in 1835, when slaves were replaced with indentured Indians. Most of the influx of indentured labor – peaking between the late 1830s and early 1860s – settled permanently creating massive population growth of more than 7% a year and reshaping the island’s social and cultural composition. While Indians represented about 12% of Mauritius’ population in 1837, they and their descendants accounted for roughly two-thirds by the end of the 19th century. Most were Hindus, but the majority of the free Indian traders were Muslims.

Mauritius again turned to overseas labor when its success in clothing and textile exports led to a labor shortage in the mid-1980s. Clothing manufacturers brought in contract workers (increasingly women) from China, India, and, to a lesser extent Bangladesh and Madagascar, who worked longer hours for lower wages under poor conditions and were viewed as more productive than locals. Downturns in the sugar and textile industries in the mid-2000s and a lack of highly qualified domestic workers for Mauritius’ growing services sector led to the emigration of low-skilled workers and a reliance on skilled foreign labor. Since 2007, Mauritius has pursued a circular migration program to enable citizens to acquire new skills and savings abroad and then return home to start businesses and to invest in the country’s development.

Age structure

0-14 years: 15.3% (male 102,335/female 97,955)

15-64 years: 71.35% (male 464,380/female 469,877)

65 years and over: 13.36% (2023 est.) (male 72,026/female 102,875)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 40.7

youth dependency ratio: 23.4

elderly dependency ratio: 17.3

potential support ratio: 5.8 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 39.3 years (2023 est.)

male: 37.8 years

female: 40.6 years

comparison ranking: total 64

Population growth rate

0.09% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 190

Birth rate

9.8 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 190

Death rate

9 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 61

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 81

Population distribution

population density is one of the highest in the world; urban clusters are found throughout the main island, with a greater density in and around Port Luis; population on Rodrigues Island is spread across the island with a slightly denser cluster on the north coast as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 40.9% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.28% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

149,000 PORT LOUIS (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

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

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

84 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 73

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 13.4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.2 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 118

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75.1 years (2023 est.)

male: 72.3 years

female: 78.1 years

comparison ranking: total population 125

Total fertility rate

1.35 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 215

Gross reproduction rate

0.65 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 99.8% of population

total: 99.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 0.2% of population

total: 0.1% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

6.7% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

2.71 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

3.7 beds/1,000 population (2020)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: NA

total: NA

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: NA

total: (2020 est.) NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

10.8% (2016)

comparison ranking: 137

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 3.39 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1.94 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.23 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.88 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.03 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 106

Tobacco use

total: 20.2% (2020 est.)

male: 37.3% (2020 est.)

female: 3% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 88

Education expenditures

4.9% of GDP (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 80

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 92.2%

male: 93.5%

female: 90.5% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 16 years (2017)

Environment

Environment - current issues

water pollution, degradation of coral reefs; soil erosion; wildlife preservation; solid waste disposal

Environment - international agreements

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

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Climate

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

Land use

agricultural land: 43.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 38.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 17.3% (2018 est.)

other: 38.9% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 40.9% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.28% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 171

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 77

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 10.48 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 4.35 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 2.06 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 438,000 tons (2016 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 290 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 10 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 310 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

2.75 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Mauritius

conventional short form: Mauritius

local long form: Republic of Mauritius

local short form: Mauritius

etymology: island named after Prince Maurice VAN NASSAU, stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, in 1598

note: pronounced mah-rish-us

Government type

parliamentary republic

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)

etymology: named after LOUIS XV, who was king of France in 1736 when the port became the administrative center of Mauritius and a major reprovisioning stop for French ships traveling between Europe and Asia

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 and Republic Day, 12 March (1968 & 1992); note - became independent and a republic on the same date in 1968 and 1992 respectively

Constitution

history: several previous; latest adopted 12 March 1968

amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting constitutional articles, including the sovereignty of the state, fundamental rights and freedoms, citizenship, or the branches of government, requires approval in a referendum by at least three-fourths majority of voters followed by a unanimous vote by the Assembly; passage of other amendments requires only two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; amended many times, last in 2016

Legal system

civil legal system based on French civil law with some elements of English common law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 out of the previous 7 years including the last 12 months

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Prithvirajsing ROOPUN (since 2 December 2019); Vice President Marie Cyril EDDY Boissézon (since 2 December 2019); note - President Ameenah GURIB-FAKIM, the country's first female president, resigned on 23 March 2018 amid a credit card scandal; acting presidents served from March 2018 until ROOPUN's appointment in 2019

head of government: Prime Minister Pravind JUGNAUTH (since 23 January 2017); note - Prime Minister Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH stepped down on 23 January 2017 in favor of his son, Pravind Kumar JUGNAUTH, who was then appointed prime minister; following 7 November 2019 parliamentary elections, Pravind JUGNAUTH remained prime minister and home affairs minister and also became defense minister

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers (Council of Ministers) appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister

elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for 5-year renewable terms; election last held on 7 November 2019 (next to be held in 2024); the president appoints the prime minister and deputy prime minister who have the majority support in the National Assembly

election results:
2019
: Prithvirajsing ROOPUN (MSM) elected president by the National Assembly - unanimous vote

2015: Ameenah GURIB-FAKIM (independent) elected president by the National Assembly - unanimous vote; note - GURIB-FAKIM was Mauritius' first female president 

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (70 seats maximum; 62 members directly elected multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and up to 8 seats allocated to non-elected party candidates by the Office of Electoral Commissioner; members serve a 5-year term)

elections: last held on 7 November 2019 (next to be held by late 2024)

election results: percent of vote by party - Mauritian Alliance 2019 (MSM, ML, MAG, and PM) 37.7%, National Alliance (PTR, PMSD, and MJCB) 32.8%, MMM 20.6%, OPR 1%, Other 7.9%; elected seats by party as of November 2019 - the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) 38 seats, the Mauritius Labour Party (PTR) or (MLP) 14, Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM) 8, and the Rodrigues People's Organization (OPR) 2; composition as of July 2022 - men 56, women 14, percent of women 20% (2019)

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Mauritius (consists of the chief justice, a senior puisne judge, and 24 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 67

subordinate courts: lower regional courts known as District Courts, Court of Civil Appeal; Court of Criminal Appeal; Public Bodies Appeal Tribunal

Political parties and leaders

Alliance Morisien (Mauritian Alliance 2019; coalition includes PM, MSM, ML, and MAG) [Pravind JUGNAUTH] 
Jean-Claude Barbier Movement (Mouvement Jean-Claude Barbier) or MJCB [Jean-Claude Barbier]
Mauritian Militant Movement (Mouvement Militant Mauricien) or MMM [Paul BERENGER]
Mauritian Social Democratic Party (Parti Mauricien Social Democrate) or PMSD [Xavier Luc DUVAL]
Mauritius Labor Party (Parti Travailliste) or PTR or MLP [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM]
Militant Platform or PM (Plateforme Militante) [Steven OBEEGADOO]
Militant Socialist Movement (Mouvement Socialist Mauricien) or MSM [Pravind JUGNAUTH]
Muvman Liberater or ML [Ivan COLLENDAVELLOO]
National Alliance (coalition includes PTR, PMSD, and MJCB) [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM]
Patriotic Movement (Mouvement Patriotique) or MAG [Alan GANOO]
Rodrigues Peoples Organization (Organisation du Peuple Rodriguais) or OPR [Serge CLAIR]

note: only parties with seats in the National Assembly listed

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, 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

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Purmanund JHUGROO (since 7 July 2021)

chancery: 1709 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 244-1491

FAX: [1] (202) 966-0983

email address and website:
mauritius.embassy@verizon.net; washingtonemb@govmu.org

https://mauritius-washington.govmu.org/Pages/index.aspx

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Henry V. JARDINE (since 22 February 2023); note - also accredited to Seychelles

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

mailing address: 2450 Port Louis Place, Washington, DC 20521-2450

telephone: [230] 202-4400

FAX: [230] 208-9534

email address and website:
PTLConsular@state.gov

https://mu.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

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

note: while many national flags consist of three - and in some cases five - horizontal bands of color, the flag of Mauritius is the world's only national flag to consist of four horizontal color bands

National symbol(s)

dodo bird, Trochetia Boutoniana flower; national colors: red, blue, yellow, green

National anthem

name: "Motherland"

lyrics/music: Jean Georges PROSPER/Philippe GENTIL

note: adopted 1968

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 2 (both cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Aapravasi Ghat; Le Morne Cultural Landscape

Economy

Economic overview

upper middle-income Indian Ocean island economy; diversified portfolio; investing in maritime security; strong tourism sector decimated by COVID-19; expanding in information and financial services; environmentally fragile

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$26.547 billion (2021 est.)
$25.599 billion (2020 est.)
$29.974 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 145

Real GDP growth rate

3.7% (2021 est.)
-14.6% (2020 est.)
2.89% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 128

Real GDP per capita

$21,000 (2021 est.)
$20,200 (2020 est.)
$23,700 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 88

GDP (official exchange rate)

$14.004 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.03% (2021 est.)
2.58% (2020 est.)
0.41% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 137

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: Baa1 (2012)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4% (2017 est.)

industry: 21.8% (2017 est.)

services: 74.1% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 50; industry 132; agriculture 137

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 81% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 15.1% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 17.3% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 42.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -55.1% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, poultry, pumpkins, gourds, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, pineapples, bananas, fruit

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate

20.88% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 5

Labor force

597,900 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 157

Unemployment rate

7.41% (2021 est.)
7.41% (2020 est.)
6.33% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 124

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 25.3% (2021 est.)

male: 19.7%

female: 32.9%

comparison ranking: total 63

Budget

revenues: $2.461 billion (2020 est.)

expenditures: $3.675 billion (2020 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-0.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 53

Public debt

57.96% of GDP (2019 est.)
55.38% of GDP (2018 est.)
56.16% of GDP (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 85

Taxes and other revenues

20.72% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 83

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

-$1.527 billion (2021 est.)
-$1.003 billion (2020 est.)
-$718.495 million (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 147

Exports

$3.198 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$3.088 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$5.258 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 145

Exports - partners

France 10%, South Africa 10%, United States 10%, United Kingdom 8%, Zambia 7%, Madagascar 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

clothing and apparel, skipjack and tuna, raw sugar, fertilizers, diamonds (2021)

Imports

$6.082 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$5.222 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$7.365 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 136

Imports - partners

China 15%, India 13%, France 10%, South Africa 8%, United Arab Emirates 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, fish products, aircraft, packaged medicines (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$8.563 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$7.291 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$7.362 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 88

Debt - external

$226.799 billion (2019 est.)
$232.17 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 35

Exchange rates

Mauritian rupees (MUR) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
41.692 (2021 est.)
39.347 (2020 est.)
35.474 (2019 est.)
33.934 (2018 est.)
34.481 (2017 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 99.6% (2020)

electrification - urban areas: 99.2% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 99.8% (2021)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 936,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 2,904,500,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 182.4 million kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 136; transmission/distribution losses 64; imports 168; exports 160; consumption 142

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 75.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

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

solar: 5.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0.7% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 3.7% 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: 15% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 661,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 1.189 million metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

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

refined petroleum consumption: 36,700 bbl/day (2019 est.)

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

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

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

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 155

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 173

Refined petroleum products - imports

26,960 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 102

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

7.191 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 1.595 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 5.596 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

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

comparison ranking: total emissions 124

Energy consumption per capita

79.448 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 75

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 462,100 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 95

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 1,971,300 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 152 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 151

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the telecom sector in Mauritius has long been supported by the varied needs of tourists; this has stimulated the mobile market, leading to a particularly high penetration rate; the response of the country’s telcos to tourist requirements also contributed to the country being among the first in the region to provide services based on 3G and WiMAX technologies; the incumbent telco provides comprehensive LTE and fiber broadband coverage, and in late 2021 it launched a gigabit fiber-based broadband service; the country has seen improved international internet capacity in recent years, with direct cables linking to India, Madagascar, and South Africa, as well as other connections to Rodrigues and Reunion; mobile subscribers in Mauritius secured 5G services in mid-2021;  this followed the regulator’s award of spectrum in two bands to the MNOs (2022)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity over 36 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular services teledensity 152 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 230; landing points for the SAFE, MARS, IOX Cable System, METISS and LION submarine cable system that provides links to Asia, Africa, Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean Islands of Reunion, Madagascar, and Mauritius; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); new microwave link to Reunion; HF radiotelephone links to several countries (2019)

Broadcast media

the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation is the national public television and radio broadcaster; it broadcasts programming in French, English, Hindi, Creole and Chinese, it provides 17 television channels in Mauritius; there are nine Mauritian FM radio stations and two operating on the AM band
(2022)

Internet users

total: 884,000 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 68% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 150

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 323,200 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 25 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 105

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 13

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,745,291 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 233.72 million (2018) mt-km

Airports

5 (2021)

comparison ranking: total 181

Airports - with paved runways

2

note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways

3

note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control

Roadways

total: 2,428 km (2015)

paved: 2,379 km (2015) (includes 99 km of expressways)

unpaved: 49 km (2015)

comparison ranking: total 171

Merchant marine

total: 31 (2022)

by type: general cargo 1, oil tanker 5, other 25

comparison ranking: total 133

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Port Louis

Military and Security

Military and security forces

no regular military forces; the Mauritius Police Force (MPF) under the Ministry of Defense includes a paramilitary unit known as the Special Mobile Force, which includes some motorized infantry and light armored units; the MPF also has a Police Helicopter Squadron, a Special Support Unit (riot police), and the National Coast Guard (also includes an air squadron) (2024)

note: the MPF is responsible for law enforcement and maintenance of order within the country; a police commissioner heads the force and has authority over all police and other security forces, including the Coast Guard and Special Mobile Forces; the Special Mobile Forces share responsibility with police for internal security

Military expenditures

(2022)
(2021)
(2020)
(2019)
(2018)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the MPF's inventory is comprised of mostly secondhand equipment from Western European countries and India; since 2010, India has been the primary supplier (2023)

Military - note

the country’s primary security partner is India, and Indian naval vessels often patrol Mauritian waters; the MPF has also received assistance and training from France, the UK, and the US; the MPF’s chief security concerns are piracy and narcotics trafficking

the Special Mobile Force was created in 1960 following the withdrawal of the British garrison (2023)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Mauritius-France: Mauritius has claimed French-administered Tromelin Island (part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands) since 1976

Mauritius-UK: Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Mauritius does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; these efforts included partnering with an international organization to adopt standard operating procedures for victim identification and referral, enhancing screening for trafficking indicators during labor inspections, and adopting a 2022-2026 National Action Plan; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts, compared with the previous reporting period, to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; officials did not prosecute any suspected traffickers, did not convict any traffickers, nor report initiating any investigations for the second consecutive year; the government provided minimal services to victims and did not identify any victims for the third consecutive year; officials continued to compel some adult foreign victims to participate in criminal proceedings using threats of deportation and arrest; police regularly investigated potential trafficking cases as other crimes, and prosecutors routinely pursued lesser offenses with lesser penalties in cases initially investigated as trafficking; courts continued to provide lenient sentences to first-time offenders, weakening deterrence; therefore, Mauritius was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Mauritius; girls across the country—particularly from low-income communities—are exploited in child sex trafficking; taxi drivers, sometimes involved in commercial sex networks, knowingly transport child sex traffickers and victims; traffickers may exploit children in sex trafficking on Rodrigues Island, an autonomous territory of Mauritius; members of underserved communities, including individuals in commercial sex, women and children of African descent (Creoles), and LGBTQI+ persons, are vulnerable to sex trafficking, particularly in urban areas; traffickers, including gang members, force Mauritian children and foreign migrants to carry drugs; foreign migrants, particularly Malagasy women, are recruited under false pretenses of employment or tourism but forced into sex trafficking and domestic servitude; previous reports indicate traffickers, in partnership with criminal networks in Russia and Kazakhstan, recruit Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian women to move to Mauritius, under the guise of a marriage agency, then exploit them in sex trafficking; traffickers exploit migrants—primarily from Bangladesh, India, Madagascar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka—in labor trafficking in the garment, textile, manufacturing, and construction industries; labor trafficking is more common in small- and medium-sized businesses that employ migrant workers, primarily from Bangladesh, often recruited by former migrant workers who returned to their country of origin; traffickers may exploit migrant workers aboard foreign-owned fishing vessels in Mauritius’ territorial waters and ports (2023)

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