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Mauritius Flag

Capital City: Port Louis

Internet Links

Official Sites of Mauritius

The Government of Mauritius

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Embassy of the Republic of Mauritius

The Central Statistical Office/Mauritius

Mauritius Meteorological Services

Political Map of Mauritius



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.

Geography Mauritius

Location:  Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates:  20 17 S, 57 33 E

Map references:  Political Map of the World

Area:  total: 2,040 sq km note: includes Agalega Islands, Cargados Carajos
Shoals (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues water: 10 sq km land: 2,030 sq km

Area - comparative:  almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  177 km

Maritime claims:  continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the
continental margin territorial sea: 12 NM exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

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: 49% permanent crops: 3% other: 48% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  200 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  cyclones (November to April); almost completely
surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards

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: Geography - note:
the main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic
origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs

People Mauritius

Population:  1,200,206 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 25.4% (male 153,810; female 150,464) 15-64
years: 68.3% (male 409,028; female 411,070) 65 years and over: 6.3%
(male 30,170; female 45,664) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.86% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  16.34 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  6.81 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -0.92 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

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 (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  16.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   75.58 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.08% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Mauritian(s) adjective: Mauritian

Ethnic groups:  Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%,
Franco-Mauritian 2%

Religions:  Hindu 52%, Christian 28.3% (Roman Catholic 26%, Protestant
2.3%), Muslim 16.6%, other 3.1%

Languages:  English (official), Creole, French (official), Hindi, Urdu,
Hakka, Bhojpuri

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 82.9% male: 87.1% female: 78.8% (1995 est.)

Government Mauritius

Country name:   Republic of Mauritius conventional short form: Government
type:  parliamentary democracy

Capital:  Port Louis

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 UK)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 12 March (1968)

Constitution:  12 March 1968; amended 12 March 1992

Legal system:  based on French civil law system with elements of English
common law in certain areas

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Karl OFFMANN (since 25
February 2002) and Vice President Raouf BUNDHUN (since 25 February 2002)
head of government:  Prime Minister Paul BERENGER (since 17 September
2000) 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:  percent of vote by the National
Assembly - NA%

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 -

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court

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 Militant Renaissance or MMR [Dr.  Paramhansa NABABSING];
Mauritian Social Democrat Party or PMSD [Charles Xavier-Luc DUVAL];
Militant Socialist Movement or MSM [Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH] - governing
party; Rodrigues Movement or OPR [Joseph (Nicholas) Von MALLY]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  various labor unions

International organization participation:  ACCT, ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA,
UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Usha JEETAH FAX: [1] (202) 966-0983 telephone: [1] (202) 244-1491,
1492 chancery: Suite 441, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
(vacant); Charge d'Affaires Bisa WILLIAMS 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
 [230] 208-2347, 208-2354, 208-9763 through 9767 FAX:
Flag description:  four equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue,
yellow, and green

Economy Mauritius

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, was well-poised to take advantage of
the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $12.9 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  5.2% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $10,800 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 6% industry: 33% services: 61%
(1999 est.)

Population below poverty line:  10% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  0.37 (1987 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  4.2% (2001 est.)

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)

Unemployment rate:  8.6% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $1.1 billion expenditures: $1.2 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

Industries:  food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing;
chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery;

Industrial production growth rate:  8% (2000 est.)

Electricity - production:  1.285 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 91.05% hydro: 8.95%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  1.195 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses;
cattle, goats; fish

Exports:  $1.6 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers,

Exports - partners:  UK 25.8%, France 20.8%, US 16.0%, South Africa 10.9%,
Germany, Italy (2000 est.)

Imports:  $2 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs,
petroleum products, chemicals (1996)

Imports - partners:  South Africa 20.0%, France 19.0%, India 9.0%,
Hong Kong 5.2%, UK (2000 est.)

Debt - external:  $2.3 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $42 million (1997)

Currency:  Mauritian rupee (MUR)

Currency code:  MUR

Exchange rates:  Mauritian rupees per US dollar - 30.345 (January 2002),
29.129 (2001), 26.250 (2000), 25.186 (1999), 22.993 (1998), 21.057 (1997)

Fiscal year:  1 July - 30 June

Communications Mauritius

Telephones - main lines in use:  245,000 (1998)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  60,482 (1998)

Telephone system:  general assessment: small system with good service
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay international: satellite earth
station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); new microwave link to Reunion;
HF radiotelephone links to several countries

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 5, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1998)

Radios:  420,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  2 (plus several repeaters) (1997)

Televisions:  258,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .mu

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  2 (2000)

Internet users:  87,000 (2001)

Transportation Mauritius

Railways:  0 km (2002)

Highways:   1,786 km (including 36 km of expressways) unpaved: Waterways:

Ports and harbors:  Port Louis

Merchant marine:  total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 66,004
GRT/90,017 DWT ships by type: cargo 2, combination bulk 2, container 2,
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.)

Airports:  5 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 2 over 3,047 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m:
1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 3 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m:
2 (2001)

Military Mauritius

Military branches:  National Police Force (includes the paramilitary
Special Mobile Force or SMF and National Coast Guard)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 340,050 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 171,239
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $9.1 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  0.2% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Mauritius

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

Illicit drugs:  minor consumer and transshipment point for heroin from
South Asia; small amounts of cannabis produced and consumed locally

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002



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