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Reunion (2001)

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Reunion 2001 year

Administrative divisions none (overseas department of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 4 arrondissements, 24 communes, and 47 cantons
Age structure 0-14 years:
32.07% (male 120,259; female 114,669)

15-64 years:
62.25% (male 224,347; female 231,698)

65 years and over:
5.68% (male 16,892; female 24,705) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products sugarcane, vanilla, tobacco, tropical fruits, vegetables, corn
Airports 2 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

914 to 1,523 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Area total:
2,512 sq km

2,502 sq km

10 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Rhode Island
Background The Portuguese discovered the uninhabited island in 1513. From the 17th to the 19th centuries, French immigration supplemented by influxes of Africans, Chinese, Malays, and Malabar Indians gave the island its ethnic mix. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 cost the island its importance as a stopover on the East Indies trade route.
Birth rate 21.26 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:

Capital Saint-Denis
Climate tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation; cool and dry from May to November, hot and rainy from November to April
Coastline 207 km
Constitution 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)
Country name conventional long form:
Department of Reunion

conventional short form:

local long form:

local short form:
Ile de la Reunion

Bourbon Island
Currency French franc (FRF); euro (EUR)
Death rate 5.52 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $NA
Dependency status overseas department of France
Diplomatic representation from the US none (overseas department of France)
Diplomatic representation in the US none (overseas department of France)
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $NA; note - substantial annual subsidies from France
Economy - overview The economy has traditionally been based on agriculture. Sugarcane has been the primary crop for more than a century, and in some years it accounts for 85% of exports. The government has been pushing the development of a tourist industry to relieve high unemployment, which amounts to more than 40% of the labor force. The gap in Reunion between the well-off and the poor is extraordinary and accounts for the persistent social tensions. The white and Indian communities are substantially better off than other segments of the population, often approaching European standards, whereas minority groups suffer the poverty and unemployment typical of the poorer nations of the African continent. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrates the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France.
Electricity - consumption 1.023 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 1.1 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Piton des Neiges 3,069 m
Environment - current issues NA
Ethnic groups French, African, Malagasy, Chinese, Pakistani, Indian
Exchange rates euros per US dollar - 1.06594 (January 2001), 1.08540 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); French francs per US dollar - 5.8995 (1998), 5.8367 (1997), 5.1155 (1996)
Executive branch chief of state:
President Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Robert POMMIES (since NA 1996)

head of government:
President of the General Council Jean-Luc POUDROUX (since NA March 1998) and President of the Regional Council Paul VERGES (since NA March 1993)


French president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; the presidents of the General and Regional Councils are elected by the members of those councils
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $214 million (f.o.b., 1997)
Exports - commodities sugar 63%, rum and molasses 4%, perfume essences 2%, lobster 3%, (1993)
Exports - partners France 74%, Japan 6%, Comoros 4% (1994)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description the flag of France is used
GDP purchasing power parity - $3.4 billion (1998 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $4,800 (1998 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3.8% (1998 est.)
Geographic coordinates 21 06 S, 55 36 E
Highways total:
2,724 km

1,300 km (including 73 km of four-lane road)

1,424 km

370 km of road are maintained by national authorities, 754 km by departmental authorities and 1600 km by local authorities (1994)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $2.5 billion (c.i.f., 1997)
Imports - commodities manufactured goods, food, beverages, tobacco, machinery and transportation equipment, raw materials, and petroleum products
Imports - partners France 64%, Bahrain 3%, Germany 3%, Italy 3% (1994)
Independence none (overseas department of France)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries sugar, rum, cigarettes, handicraft items, flower oil extraction
Infant mortality rate 8.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) NA%
International organization participation FZ, InOC, WFTU
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land 60 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel
Labor force 261,000 (1995)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 8%, industry 19%, services 73% (1990)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

41% (1993 est.)
Languages French (official), Creole widely used
Legal system French law
Legislative branch unicameral General Council (47 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve six-year terms) and a unicameral Regional Council (45 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve six-year terms)

General Council - last held NA March 1994 (next to be held NA 2000); Regional Council - last held 15 March 1998 (next to be held NA 2004)

election results:
General Council - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PCR 12, PS 12, UDF 11, RPR 5, others 7; Regional Council - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PCR 7, UDF 8, PS 6, RPR 4, various right-wing candidates 15, various left-wing candidates 5

Reunion elects three representatives to the French Senate; elections last held 14 April 1996 (next to be held NA 2001); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RPR 1, PCR 2; Reunion also elects five deputies to the French National Assembly; elections last held 25 May and 1 June 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PCR 3, PS 1, and RPR-UDF 1
Life expectancy at birth total population:
72.93 years

69.53 years

76.49 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


80% (1982 est.)
Location Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Map references World
Maritime claims exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine total:
1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 28,264 GRT/44,885 DWT

ships by type:
chemical tanker 1 (2000 est.)
Military - note defense is the responsibility of France
Military branches French forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Gendarmerie)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
190,846 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
97,497 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
6,243 (2001 est.)
National holiday Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Nationality noun:
Reunionese (singular and plural)

Natural hazards periodic, devastating cyclones (December to April); Piton de la Fournaise on the southeastern coast is an active volcano
Natural resources fish, arable land, hydropower
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Political parties and leaders Communist Party of Reunion or PCR [Paul VERGES]; Rally for the Republic or RPR [Andre Maurice PIHOUEE]; Socialist Party or PS [Jean-Claude FRUTEAU]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Gilbert GERARD]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 732,570 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 1.57% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Le Port, Pointe des Galets
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM 55, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios 173,000 (1997)
Railways 0 km
Religions Roman Catholic 86%, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist (1995)
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.05 male(s)/female

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

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

total population:
0.97 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
adequate system; principal center is Saint-Denis

modern open wire and microwave radio relay network

radiotelephone communication to Comoros, France, Madagascar; new microwave route to Mauritius; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 236,500 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 85,000 (1999)
Television broadcast stations 22 (plus 18 low-power repeaters) (1997)
Terrain mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast
Total fertility rate 2.58 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 42.8% (1998)
Waterways none
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