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Mauritius (2003)

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Mauritius 2003 year

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
Age structure 0-14 years: 25.1% (male 153,401; female 150,399)

15-64 years: 68.5% (male 413,660; female 415,534)

65 years and over: 6.4% (male 30,673; female 46,780) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish
Airports 5 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 1 (2002)
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
Area - comparative almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC
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.
Birth rate 16.1 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $1.1 billion

expenditures: $1.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)
Capital Port Louis
Climate tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)
Coastline 177 km
Constitution 12 March 1968; amended 12 March 1992
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Mauritius

conventional short form: Mauritius
Currency Mauritian rupee (MUR)
Death rate 6.81 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $2.4 billion (2002 est.)
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
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Usha JEETAH

chancery: 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 441, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 244-1491, 1492

FAX: [1] (202) 966-0983
Disputes - international Mauritius claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory), and its former inhabitants, who reside chiefly in Mauritius, but were granted UK citizenship and the right to repatriation in 2001; claims French-administered Tromelin Island
Economic aid - recipient $42 million (1997)
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 foreign investment. 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). The government is encouraging foreign investment in the information technology field.
Electricity - consumption 1.219 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 1.311 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 90.8%

hydro: 9.2%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mont Piton 828 m
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, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
Exchange rates Mauritian rupees per US dollar - 29.96 (2002), 29.13 (2001), 26.25 (2000), 25.19 (1999), 23.99 (1998)
Executive branch chief of state: President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH (since 7 October 2003) and Vice President (vacant; a new Vice President will be determined by assembly elections on NA December 2003)

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 and Raouf BUNDHUN stepped down on 30 September 2003
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $1.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses
Exports - partners UK 27.7%, France 25.5%, US 16.4%, Madagascar 6.2%, Belgium 5% (2002)
Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June
Flag description four equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, yellow, and green
GDP purchasing power parity - $12.15 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 6%

industry: 33%

services: 61% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $10,100 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.3% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 20 17 S, 57 33 E
Geography - note the main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs
Highways total: 1,926 km

paved: 1,868 km (including 44 km of expressways)

unpaved: 58 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Illicit drugs minor 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
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $1.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports - partners France 18.4%, South Africa 13.5%, India 7.8%, China 4.5%, UK 4.2% (2002)
Independence 12 March 1968 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate 8% (2000 est.)
Industries food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing; chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery; tourism
Infant mortality rate total: 16.11 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 18.98 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.19 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 6.4% (2002 est.)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 2 (2000)
Irrigated land 200 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court
Labor force 514,000 (1995)
Labor force - by occupation construction and industry 36%, services 24%, agriculture and fishing 14%, trade, restaurants, hotels 16%, transportation and communication 7%, finance 3% (1995)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 49.26%

permanent crops: 2.96%

other: 47.78% (1998 est.)
Languages English (official), Creole, French (official), Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri
Legal system based on French civil law system with elements of English common law in certain areas
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 by September 2005)

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
Life expectancy at birth total population: 71.8 years

male: 67.82 years

female: 75.85 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 85.6%

male: 88.6%

female: 82.7% (2003 est.)
Location Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Map references Political Map of the World
Maritime claims continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin

exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

territorial sea: 12 NM
Merchant marine total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 23,455 GRT/27,102 DWT

ships by type: cargo 1, combination bulk 4, passenger/cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 2

note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience:, Belgium 1, India 3, Norway 1, Switzerland 2 (2002 est.)
Military branches National Police Force (includes the paramilitary Special Mobile Force or SMF and National Coast Guard)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $9.712 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.2% (FY02)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 341,029 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 171,556 (2003 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 12 March (1968)
Nationality noun: Mauritian(s)

adjective: Mauritian
Natural hazards cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards
Natural resources arable land, fish
Net migration rate -0.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
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
Population 1,210,447 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line 10% (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 0.84% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Port Louis
Radio broadcast stations AM 4, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2002)
Railways 0 km
Religions Hindu 52%, Christian 28.3% (Roman Catholic 26%, Protestant 2.3%), Muslim 16.6%, other 3.1%
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: 0.66 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: small system with good service

domestic: primarily microwave radio relay trunk system

international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); new microwave link to Reunion; HF radiotelephone links to several countries
Telephones - main lines in use 280,900 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 180,000 (2000)
Television broadcast stations 2 (plus several repeaters) (1997)
Terrain small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau
Total fertility rate 1.98 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 8.8% (2002 est.)
Waterways none
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