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Mauritius (2008)

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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: 23.5% (male 147,808/female 146,270)

15-64 years: 69.8% (male 436,043/female 437,441)

65 years and over: 6.7% (male 32,475/female 50,845) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish
Airports 5 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 1 (2007)
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 Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in 1505; it 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, declining sugar prices, and declining textile and apparel production, have slowed economic growth, leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.
Birth rate 15.26 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $1.34 billion

expenditures: $1.642 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2007 est.)
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)
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

local long form: Republic of Mauritius

local short form: Mauritius
Death rate 6.88 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $2.583 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Cesar CABRERA

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

mailing address: international mail: P. O. Box 544, Port Louis; US mail: American Embassy, Port Louis, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2450

telephone: [230] 202-4400

FAX: [230] 208-9534
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; claims French-administered Tromelin Island
Economic aid - recipient $31.93 million (2005)
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. The economy rests on sugar, tourism, textiles and apparel, and financial services, and is expanding into fish processing, information and communications technology, and hospitality and property development. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 15% of export earnings. The government's development strategy centers on creating vertical and horizontal clusters of development in these sectors. Mauritius has attracted more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India, South Africa, and China. Investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Electricity - consumption 1.973 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 2.122 billion kWh (2005)
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: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
Exchange rates Mauritian rupees per US dollar - 31.798 (2007), 31.656 (2006), 29.496 (2005), 27.499 (2004), 27.902 (2003)
Executive branch chief of state: President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH (since 7 October 2003); Vice President Abdool Raouf BUNDHUN (since 25 February 2002)

head of government: Prime Minister Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM (since 5 July 2005)

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

elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 25 February 2002 (next to be held in 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
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $2.475 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 0 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses, fish
Exports - partners UK 32.5%, France 15.1%, UAE 11.4%, US 8.3%, Madagascar 4.8% (2006)
Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June
Flag description four equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, yellow, and green
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 4.8%

industry: 25%

services: 70.1% (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 5.5% (2007 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
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
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, but corruption levels are relatively low and the government appears generally to be committed to regulating its banking industry
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $3.627 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 21,380 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports - partners France 14.3%, India 13.6%, China 8.6%, South Africa 7.3% (2006)
Independence 12 March 1968 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate 4.7% (2007 est.)
Industries food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery, tourism
Infant mortality rate total: 14.14 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 16.72 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 11.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 9.1% (2007 est.)
Irrigated land 220 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court
Labor force 550,000 (2007 est.)
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)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 49.02%

permanent crops: 2.94%

other: 48.04% (2005)
Languages Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)
Legal system based on French civil law system with elements of English common law in certain areas; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly (70 seats; 62 members elected by popular vote, 8 appointed by the election commission to give representation to various ethnic minorities; to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 3 July 2005 (next to be held in 2010)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AS 38, MSM/MMM 22, OPR 2; appointed seats - AS 4, MSM/MMM 2, OPR 2
Life expectancy at birth total population: 72.88 years

male: 68.92 years

female: 76.9 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 84.4%

male: 88.4%

female: 80.5% (2000 census)
Location Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Map references Political Map of the World
Maritime claims measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Merchant marine total: 5 ships (1000 GRT or over) 19,417 GRT/19,700 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 2, passenger/cargo 2, refrigerated cargo 1

foreign-owned: 2 (India 2) (2007)
Military branches no regular military forces; National Police Force, Special Mobile Force, National Coast Guard (2007)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.3% (2006 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 -0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Political parties and leaders Alliance Sociale or AS [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM] (governing coalition - includes MLD, MMSM, MR, MSD, PMXD); Mauritian Labor Party or MLP [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM]; Mauritian Militant Movement or MMM [Paul BERENGER]; Mauritian Socialist Militant Movement or MMSM [Madan DOLLOO]; Militant Socialist Movement or MSM [Nando BODHA]; Mouvement Republicain or MR [Jayarama VALAYDEN]; Parti Mauricien Xavier Duval or PMXD [Xavier Luc DUVAL]; Rodrigues Movement or MR [Joseph (Nicholas) Von MALLY]; Rodrigues Peoples Organization or OPR [Serge CLAIR]
Political pressure groups and leaders various labor unions
Population 1,250,882 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 10% (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 0.798% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 4, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2001)
Religions Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other Christian 8.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4% (2000 census)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.011 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.997 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.639 male(s)/female

total population: 0.971 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: small system with good service

domestic: monopoly over fixed-line services terminated in 2005; fixed-line teledensity roughly 30 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular services launched in 1989 with teledensity in 2006 exceeding 60 per 100 persons

international: country code - 230; landing point for the SAFE submarine cable that provides links to Asia and South Africa where it connects to the SAT-3/WASC submarine cable that provides further links to parts of East Africa, and Europe; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); new microwave link to Reunion; HF radiotelephone links to several countries
Telephones - main lines in use 357,300 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 772,400 (2006)
Television broadcast stations 2 (plus several repeaters) (1997)
Terrain small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau
Total fertility rate 1.94 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 9.2% (2007 est.)
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