CIA World Fact Book, 2004/Mauritius

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CIA WFB Seal.png Mauritius Flag of Mauritius.svg
Mauritius-CIA WFB Map.png
 
Introduction Mauritius
Background: Discovered by the Portuguese in 1505, Mauritius was subsequently held by the Dutch, French, and British before independence was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa's highest per capita incomes. Recent poor weather and declining sugar prices have slowed economic growth, leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.
 
Geography Mauritius
Location: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates: 20 17 S, 57 33 E
Map references: Political Map of the World
Area: total: 2,040 sq km
note: includes Agalega Islands, Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues
water: 10 sq km
land: 2,030 sq km
Area - comparative: almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 177 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)
Terrain: small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Piton 828 m
Natural resources: arable land, fish
Land use: arable land: 49.26%
permanent crops: 2.96%
other: 47.78% (2001)
Irrigated land: 200 sq km (2000 est.)
Natural hazards: cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards
Environment - current issues: water pollution, degradation of coral reefs
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: the main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs
 
People Mauritius
Population: 1,220,481 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 24.8% (male 152,424; female 149,908)
15-64 years: 68.8% (male 418,836; female 420,411)
65 years and over: 6.5% (male 31,104; female 47,798) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 30.1 years
male: 29.3 years
female: 31.1 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.81% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 15.85 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 6.82 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 15.57 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 18.36 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.09 years
male: 68.11 years
female: 76.13 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.97 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 700 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (2001 est.)
Nationality: noun: Mauritian(s)
adjective: Mauritian
Ethnic groups: Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
Religions: Hindu 52%, Christian 28.3% (Roman Catholic 26%, Protestant 2.3%), Muslim 16.6%, other 3.1%
Languages: English (official), Creole, French (official), Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.6%
male: 88.6%
female: 82.7% (2003 est.)
 
Government Mauritius
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Mauritius
conventional short form: Mauritius
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: Port Louis
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 UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 12 March (1968)
Constitution: 12 March 1968; amended 12 March 1992
Legal system: based on French civil law system with elements of English common law in certain areas
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH (since 7 October 2003) and Vice President Abdool Raouf BUNDHUN (since 25 February 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Paul BERENGER (since 30 September 2003)
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; election last held 25 February 2002 (next to be held NA 2007); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly
election results: Karl OFFMANN elected president and Raouf BUNDHUN elected vice president; percent of vote by the National Assembly - NA; note - Karl OFFMANN stepped down on 30 September 2003
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (66 seats; 62 elected by popular vote, 4 appointed by the election commission from the losing political parties to give representation to various ethnic minorities; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 11 September 2000 (next to be held NA September 2004)
election results: percent of vote by party - MSM/MMM 52.3%, MLP/PMSD 36.9%, OPR 10.8%; seats by party - MSM/MMM 54, MLP/PMSD 6, OPR 2
Judicial branch: Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders: Hizbullah [Cehl Mohamed FAKEEMEEAH]; Mauritian Labor Party or MLP [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM]; Mauritian Militant Movement or MMM [Paul BERENGER] - in coalition with MSM; Mauritian Social Democrat Party or PMSD [Charles Xavier-Luc DUVAL]; Militant Socialist Movement or MSM [Pravind JUGNAUTH] - governing party; Rodrigues Movement or MR [Joseph (Nicholas) Von MALLY]; Rodrigues Peoples Organization or OPR [Serge CLAIR]
Political pressure groups and leaders: various labor unions
International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, C, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Usha JEETAH
FAX: [1] (202) 966-0983
telephone: [1] (202) 244-1491, 1492
chancery: 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 441, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador John PRICE
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, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2450
telephone: [230] 202-4400
FAX: [230] 208-9534
Flag description: four equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, yellow, and green
 
Economy Mauritius
Economy - overview: Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of export earnings. The government's development strategy centers on expanding local financial institutions and building a domestic information telecommunications industry. Mauritius has attracted more than 9,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India and South Africa, and investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector and responsible fiscal management, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
GDP: purchasing power parity - $13.85 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.1% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $11,400 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 6.1%
industry: 30.3%
services: 63.6% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 22.9% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line: 10% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 37 (1987 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.2% (2003 est.)
Labor force: 560,000 (2003)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture and fishing 14%, construction and industry 36%, transportation and communication 7%, trade, restaurants, hotels 16%, finance 3%, other services 24% (1995)
Unemployment rate: 9.8% (2003 est.)
Budget: revenues: $1.122 billion
expenditures: $1.461 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2003)
Public debt: 31.9% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish
Industries: food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing; chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery; tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 1.311 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 1.219 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption: 21,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports: NA (2001)
Oil - imports: NA (2001)
Current account balance: $289 million (2003)
Exports: $1.965 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities: clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses
Exports - partners: UK 31%, France 21.3%, US 17.6%, Madagascar 6.3% (2003)
Imports: $2.136 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports - partners: South Africa 12.1%, France 12%, China 8.4%, India 8.2% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold: $1.598 billion (2003)
Debt - external: $1.75 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $42 million (1997)
Currency: Mauritian rupee (MUR)
Currency code: MUR
Exchange rates: Mauritian rupees per US dollar - 27.9015 (2003), 29.962 (2002), 29.1293 (2001), 26.2496 (2000), 25.1858 (1999)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
 
Communications Mauritius
Telephones - main lines in use: 348,200 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 462,400 (2003)
Telephone system: general assessment: small system with good service
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay trunk system
international: country code - 230; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); new microwave link to Reunion; HF radiotelephone links to several countries; fiber optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC/SAFE) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia
Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2002)
Radios: 420,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 2 (plus several repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 258,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .mu
Internet hosts: 3,985 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2000)
Internet users: 150,000 (2003)
 
Transportation Mauritius
Highways: total: 1,926 km
paved: 1,868 km (including 44 km of expressways)
unpaved: 58 km (2000)
Ports and harbors: Port Louis
Merchant marine: total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 22,946 GRT/27,102 DWT
foreign-owned: Belgium 1, India 4, Switzerland 2 (2004 est.)
by type: cargo 1, combination bulk 4, passenger/cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 2
Airports: 5 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)
 
Military Mauritius
Military branches: National Police Force (includes the paramilitary Special Mobile Force or SMF and National Coast Guard)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 342,482 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 172,157 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $11.2 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 0.2% (2003)
This page was last updated on 1 January 2003



This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005