Mauritius Population: 1,322,238


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Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch - who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU - in the 17th century. The French assumed control in 1715, developing the island into an important naval base overseeing Indian Ocean trade, and establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base, and later an air station, playing an important role during World War II for anti-submarine and convoy operations, as well as the collection of signals intelligence. Independence from the UK 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.

The main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs; former home of the dodo, a large flightless bird related to pigeons, driven to extinction by the end of the 17th century through a combination of hunting and the introduction of predatory species
Location: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates: 20 17 S, 57 33 E
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

Size comparison: almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 177 km
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
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: 38.24%
permanent crops: 1.96%
other: 59.8% (2011)
Irrigated land: 212.2 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards
Current Environment Issues: water pollution, degradation of coral reefs
International Environment 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
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Nationality: noun: Mauritian(s)
adjective: Mauritian
Ethnic groups: Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
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)
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)
Population: 1,322,238 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.3% (male 143,874/female 137,850)
15-24 years: 15.7% (male 104,861/female 102,671)
25-54 years: 44.3% (male 292,714/female 293,590)
55-64 years: 10.6% (male 66,460/female 73,964)
65 years and over: 8% (male 42,718/female 63,536) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 39.8 %
youth dependency ratio: 27.6 %
elderly dependency ratio: 12.2 %
potential support ratio: 8.2 (2013)
Median age: total: 33.5 years
male: 32.6 years
female: 34.4 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.68% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 13.62 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 6.79 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 41.8% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0.57% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: PORT LOUIS (capital) 149,000 (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 60 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 10.89 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.94 years
male: 71.48 years
female: 78.58 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.78 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 75.8% (2002)
Health expenditures: 6% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 1.06 physicians/1,000 population (2004)
Hospital bed density: 3.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99% of population

urban: 0% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 1% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 91% of population
rural: 88% of population
total: 89% of population

urban: 9% of population
rural: 12% of population
total: 11% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 8,800 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 18.5% (2008)
Education expenditures: 3.7% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.8%
male: 91.1%
female: 86.7% (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2008)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 21.7%
male: 17.3%
female: 28% (2011)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Mauritius
conventional short form: Mauritius
local long form: Republic of Mauritius
local short form: Mauritius
Government type: parliamentary democracy
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)
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 the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 12 March (1968)
Constitution: 12 March 1968; amended 12 March 1992
Legal system: civil legal system based on French civil law with some elements of English common law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Rajkeswur Kailash PURRYAG (since 21 July 2012); note - former President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH resigned on 31 March 2012

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 (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 21 July 2012 (next to be held in 2017); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly; note - former President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH resigned on 31 March 2012

election results: Rajkeswur Kailash PURRYAG elected president by unanimous vote; percent of vote by the National Assembly - NA
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; members to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 5 May 2010 (next to be held in 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AF 41, MMM 18, MR 2, FSM 1; appointed seats - to be assigned 8
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Mauritius (consists of the chief justice, a senior puisne judge, and 17 puisne judges) judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister; senior puisne judge appointed by the president with the advice of the chief justice; other puisne judges appointed by the president with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Commission, a 4-member body of judicial officials including the chief justice; all judges serve until retirement at age 62

subordinate courts: Court of Civil Appeal; Court of Criminal Appeal; Public Bodies Appeal Tribunal (formed by a 2008 constitutional amendment)
Political parties and leaders: Alliance of the Future or AF [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM] (governing coalition - includes MLP, MMSM, MR, MSD, PMSD) Mauritian Labor Party or MLP [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM] Mauritian Militant Movement or MMM [Paul BERENGER] Mauritian Militant Socialist Movement or MMSM [Pravind JUGNAUTH] Mauritian Socialist Militant Movement or MSMM [Madan DULLOO] Mauritian Solidarity Front of FSM [Cehl FAKEERMEEAH] Maurition Social Democratic Party or PMSD [Xavier Luc DUVAL] Rodrigues Movement or MR [Joseph (Nicholas) Von MALLY] Rodrigues Peoples Organization or OPR [Serge CLAIR]
Political pressure groups and leaders: other: various labor unions
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, CD, COMESA, CPLP (associate), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SAARC (observer), SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National anthem: name: "Motherland"
lyrics/music: Jean Georges PROSPER/Philippe GENTIL

note: adopted 1968
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Somduth SOBORUN
chancery: 1709 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; administrative offices - 3201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 441, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 244-1491 through 1492
FAX: [1] (202) 966-0983
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Shari VILLAROSA
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
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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 this period, annual growth has been on the order of 5% to 6%. This 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). Mauritius' sound economic policies and prudent banking practices helped to mitigate negative effects of the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew in the 3-4% per year range in 2010-12, and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $20.53 billion (2012 est.) $19.88 billion (2011 est.) $19.15 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $11.47 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.3% (2012 est.) 3.8% (2011 est.) 4.1% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $15,800 (2012 est.) $15,400 (2011 est.) $14,900 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 32% of GDP (2012 est.) 31% of GDP (2011 est.) 31% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 73.5%
government consumption: 13.5%
investment in fixed capital: 23.1%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 54.5%
imports of goods and services: -65.1% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 73.5%
government consumption: 13.5%
investment in fixed capital: 23.1%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 54.5%
imports of goods and services: -65.1% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish
Industries: food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 2.5% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 626,900 (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture and fishing: 9% construction and
industry: 30% transportation and communication: 7% trade, restaurants, hotels: 22% finance: 6% other
services: 25% (2007)
Unemployment rate: 8.1% (2012 est.) 7.9% (2011 est.)
Population below poverty line: 8% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 39 (2006 est.) 37 (1987 est.)
Budget: revenues: $2.456 billion
expenditures: $2.664 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 21.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 56.5% of GDP (2012 est.) 57.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (2012 est.) 6.5% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.433 billion (2012 est.) -$1.164 billion (2011 est.)
Exports: $2.674 billion (2012 est.) $2.647 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses, fish
Exports - partners: UK 18.7%, France 16.4%, US 10.4%, South Africa 9.7%, Spain 7.6%, Italy 7.1%, Madagascar 6.7% (2012)
Imports: $5.107 billion (2012 est.) $4.925 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports - partners: India 23.7%, China 15.3%, France 8.9%, South Africa 6.3% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $3.046 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $2.779 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $3.275 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $2.686 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $6.54 billion (31 December 2011) $6.506 billion (31 December 2010) $4.74 billion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates: Mauritian rupees (MUR) per US dollar - 30.051 (2012 est.) 28.706 (2011 est.) 30.784 (2010 est.) 31.96 (2009) 27.973 (2008)
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Electricity - production: 2.889 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 128
Electricity - consumption: 2.687 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 885,200 kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 75.2% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 6.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 18.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 24,710 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 22,750 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 4.545 million Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 374,600 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 107
Cellular Phones in use: 1.294 million (2011)
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 current teledensity roughly 100 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 (2011)
Broadcast media: the government maintains control over TV broadcasting through the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), which operates 3 analog and 10 digital TV stations; MBC is a shareholder in a local company that operates 2 pay-TV stations; the state retains the largest radio broadcast network with multiple stations; several private radio broadcasters have entered the market since 2001; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code: .mu
Internet hosts: 51,139 (2012)
Internet users: 290,000 (2009)
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Airports: 5 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 180
Airports (paved runways): total 2
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 3

914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 2,066 km
paved: 2,066 km (includes 75 km of expressways) (2009)
Merchant marine: total 4

by type: passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)
Ports and terminals: Port Louis
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Military branches: no regular military forces; Mauritius Police Force, Special Mobile Force, National Coast Guard (2011)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 343,628 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 280,596
females age 16-49: 283,317 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 10,193
female: 10,104 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 0.1% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands; claims French-administered Tromelin Island
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
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