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Reunion (2006)

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Reunion 2006 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: 29.8% (male 120,147/female 114,589)

15-64 years: 64% (male 248,895/female 255,156)

65 years and over: 6.2% (male 19,847/female 28,950) (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products sugarcane, vanilla, tobacco, tropical fruits, vegetables, corn
Airports 2 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
Area total: 2,517 sq km

land: 2,507 sq km

water: 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 18.9 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Budget revenues: $554.7 million

expenditures: $554.7 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (1998)
Capital name: Saint-Denis

geographic coordinates: 20 52 S, 55 28 E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation; cool and dry (May to November), hot and rainy (November to April)
Coastline 207 km
Constitution 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Country name conventional long form: Department of Reunion

conventional short form: Reunion

local long form: none

local short form: Ile de la Reunion

former: Bourbon Island
Death rate 5.49 deaths/1,000 population (2006 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 (2001 est.)
Economy - overview The economy has traditionally been based on agriculture, but services now dominate. 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 one-third 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 illustrated the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France.
Electricity - consumption 1.107 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - production 1.19 billion kWh (2003)
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 - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)
Executive branch chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Pierre-Henry MACCIONI (since 28 August 2006)

head of government: President of the General Council Nassimah DINDAR (since NA March 2004) and President of the Regional Council Paul VERGES (since NA March 1993)

cabinet: NA

elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-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 (2003)
Exports $248.5 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports NA bbl/day
Exports - commodities sugar 63%, rum and molasses 4%, perfume essences 2%, lobster 3%
Exports - partners France 74%, Japan 6%, Comoros 4% (2004)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description unofficial, local flag designed to emphasize solidarity among the people of Reunion; the field is divided vertically with three narrow stripes of blue, white, and red along the hoist edge representing the French national flag; the remainder of the field is divided diagonally into four triangles colored (clockwise from the hoist side) blue, golden yellow, red, and green; in the center, the apexes of the triangles are surmounted by a white disk; the only official flag is the national flag of France
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 8%

industry: 19%

services: 73% (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.5% (2005 est.)
Geographic coordinates 21 06 S, 55 36 E
Geography - note this mountainous, volcanic island has an active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise; there is a tropical cyclone center at Saint-Denis, which is the monitoring station for the whole of the Indian Ocean
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 0 kWh (2003)
Imports $3.306 billion c.i.f. (2002)
Imports NA bbl/day
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% (2004)
Independence none (overseas department of France)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries sugar, rum, cigarettes, handicraft items, flower oil extraction
Infant mortality rate total: 7.63 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 8.37 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) NA%
International organization participation InOC, UPU, WFTU
Irrigated land 120 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel
Labor force 299,000 (2002)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 13%

industry: 12%

services: 75% (2000)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 13.94%

permanent crops: 1.59%

other: 84.47% (2005)
Languages French (official), Creole widely used
Legal system French law
Legislative branch unicameral General Council (49 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)

elections: General Council - last held 15 and 22 March 1998 (next to be held NA); Regional Council - last held 28 March 2004 (next to be held in 2010)

election results: General Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - various right-wing candidates 13, PCR 10, PS 10, UDF 8, RPR 6, other left-wing candidates 2; Regional Council (second round) - percent of vote by party - PCR 44.9%, UMP 32.8%, PS-Greens 22.3%; seats by party - PCR 27, UMP 11, PS-Greens 7

note: Reunion elects three representatives to the French Senate; elections last held in 2001 (next to be held in 2006); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRC 1, UDF 1, UMP 1; Reunion also elects five deputies to the French National Assembly; elections last held 9 June-16 June 2002 (next to be held in 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 3, PS 1, independent 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 74.18 years

male: 70.78 years

female: 77.75 years (2006 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 88.9%

male: 87%

female: 90.8% (2003 est.)
Location Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Map references World
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine registered in other countries: 1 (Bahamas 1) (2006)
Military - note defense is the responsibility of France
Military branches no regular indigenous military forces; French forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force, and Gendarmerie) (2005)
National holiday Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Nationality noun: Reunionese (singular and plural)

adjective: Reunionese
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 (2006 est.)
Political parties and leaders Communist Party of Reunion or PCR [Elie HOARAU]; Rally for the Republic or RPR [Andre Maurice PIHOUEE]; Socialist Party or PS [Michel VERGOZ]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Gilbert GERARD]; Union for a Popular Movement or UMP
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 787,584 (July 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 1.34% (2006 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM 55, shortwave 0 (2001)
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: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: adequate system; principal center is Saint-Denis

domestic: modern open-wire and microwave radio relay network

international: country code - 262; radiotelephone communication to Comoros, France, Madagascar; new microwave route to Mauritius; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); fiber optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC/SAFE) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia
Telephones - main lines in use 300,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular 579,200 (2004)
Television broadcast stations 35 (plus 18 low-power repeaters) (2001)
Terrain mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast
Total fertility rate 2.45 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate 31% (2002)
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