Mauritius Population: 1,348,242


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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 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, about 800 km (500 mi) 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:
Natural resources: arable land, fish
Land use: agricultural land: 43.8% arable land 38.4%; permanent crops 2%; permanent pasture 3.4% forest: 17.3%
other: 38.9% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 190 sq km (2012)
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 86.5%, Bhojpuri 5.3%, French 4.1%, two languages 1.4%, other 2.6% (includes English, the official language, which is spoken by less than 1% of the population), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Religions: Hindu 48.5%, Roman Catholic 26.3%, Muslim 17.3%, other Christian 6.4%, other 0.6%, none 0.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Population: 1,348,242 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.44% (male 140,808/female 134,826)
15-24 years: 15.06% (male 102,593/female 100,465)
25-54 years: 43.87% (male 295,794/female 295,719)
55-64 years: 11.37% (male 72,733/female 80,621)
65 years and over: 9.25% (male 50,888/female 73,795) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 40.6%
youth dependency ratio: 27.2%
elderly dependency ratio: 13.4%
potential support ratio: 7.4% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 34.8 years
male: 33.9 years
female: 35.8 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.61% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 13.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 39.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.08% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: PORT LOUIS (capital) 135,000 (2014)
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: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 53 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 10 deaths/1,000 live births male: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.6 years male: 72.2 years
female: 79.2 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.75 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Health expenditures: 4.8% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 1.62 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Hospital bed density: 3.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99.9% of population
rural: 99.8% of population
total: 99.9% of population

urban: 0.1% of population
rural: 0.2% of population
total: 0.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 93.9% of population
rural: 92.6% of population
total: 93.1% of population

urban: 6.1% of population
rural: 7.4% of population
total: 6.9% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.88% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 8,200 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 400 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 18.8% (2014)
Education expenditures: 5% of GDP (2015)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.6%
male: 92.9%
female: 88.5% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 15 years male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2014)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 25.1% male: 20.1%
female: 32.6% (2014 est.)
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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 note: island named after Prince Maurice VAN NASSAU, stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, in 1598
Government type: parliamentary republic
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); note - also became Republic Day (1992)
Constitution: several previous; latest adopted 12 March 1968; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
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 Ameenah GURIB-FAKIM (since 5 June 2015); Vice President Paramaslyum (aka Barlen) Pillay VYAPOORY (since 4 April 2016)

head of government: Prime Minister Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH (since 17 December 2014)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers (Council of Ministers) appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 4 June 2015 (next to be held in 2020); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly

election results: Ameenah GURIB-FAKIM (independent) elected president by the National Assembly - unanimous vote
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (70 seats maximum; 62 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and up to 8 seats allocated to non-elected party candidates by the Electoral Commissioner's Office to ensure fair and adequate representation of each community and party in the Assembly, as outlined in the Constitution; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 10 December 2014 (next to be held by 2019); note - the National Assembly was dissolved on 6 October 2014, resulting in early elections

election results: percent of vote by party - Alliance Lepep 49.8%, PTR-MMM 38.5%, FSM 2.1%, OPR 1.1%, other 8.5%; elected seats by party - Alliance Lepep 47, PTR-MMM 13, OPR 2; appointed seats Alliance Lepep 4, PTR-MMM 3
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Mauritius (consists of the chief justice, a senior puisne judge, and 17 puisne judges); note - the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) serves as the final court of appeal 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
Political parties and leaders: Alliance Lepep (Alliance of the People) [Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH] (coalition including MSM, PMSD, and ML) Labor Party (Parti Travailliste) or PTR or MLP [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM] Mauritian Militant Movement (Mouvement Militant Mauricien) or MMM [Paul BERENGER] Mauritian Social Democratic Party (Parti Mauricien Social Democrate) or PMSD [Xavier Luc DUVAL] Mauritian Solidarity Front (Front Solidarite Mauricienne) or FSM [Cehl FAKEERMEEAH, known as Cehl MEEAH] Militant Socialist Movement (Mouvement Socialist Mauricien) or MSM [Pravind JUGNAUTH] Muvman Liberater or ML [Ivan COLLENDAVELLOO] Rodrigues Peoples Organization (Organisation du Peuple Rodriguais) or OPR [Serge CLAIR]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Lalit Political Party Rezistans ek Alternativ (Resistance and Alternative) Say No to Coal! other: various labor unions
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, CD, COMESA, CPLP (associate), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, 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 symbol(s): dodo bird, Trochetia Boutoniana flower; national colors: red, blue, yellow, green
National anthem: name: "Motherland"
lyrics/music: Jean Georges PROSPER/Philippe GENTIL

note: adopted 1968
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Sooroojdev PHOKEER (since 3 August 2015)
chancery: 1709 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; administrative offices at 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 (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Melanie ZIMMERMAN (since 2016); note - also accredited to Seychelles
embassy: 4th Floor, Rogers House, John Kennedy Avenue, 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 undergone a remarkable economic transformation from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a diversified, upper middle-income economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. Mauritius has achieved steady growth over the last several decades, resulting in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. The economy currently rests on sugar, tourism, textiles and apparel, and financial services, but 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’ textile sector has taken advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, a preferential trade program that allows duty free access to the US market, with Mauritian exports to the US growing by 40% from 2000 to 2014. 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 2010-14, and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe. Growth in the US and Europe fostered goods and services exports, including tourism, while lower oil prices kept inflation low in 2015.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $25.85 billion (2016 est.) $24.97 billion (2015 est.) $24.12 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $11.74 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2016 est.) 3.5% (2015 est.) 3.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $20,500 (2016 est.) $19,800 (2015 est.) $19,200 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 15.8% of GDP (2016 est.) 16.3% of GDP (2015 est.) 17% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 74%
government consumption: 14.4%
investment in fixed capital: 17.3%
investment in inventories: 3.4%
exports of goods and services: 50.7%
imports of goods and services: -59.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 74%
government consumption: 14.4%
investment in fixed capital: 17.3%
investment in inventories: 3.4%
exports of goods and services: 50.7%
imports of goods and services: -59.8% (2016 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: 2.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 624,700 (2016 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: 7.8% (2016 est.) 8% (2015 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: 35.9 (2012 est.) 39 (2006 est.)
Budget: revenues: $2.478 billion
expenditures: $2.95 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 21.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 66% of GDP (2016 est.) 63.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.1% (2016 est.) 1.3% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$509 million (2016 est.) -$562 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $2.676 billion (2016 est.) $2.685 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses, fish, primates (for research)
Exports - partners: UK 13.2%, UAE 12.4%, France 11.9%, US 10.7%, South Africa 8.6%, Madagascar 6.5%, Italy 5.4%, Spain 4.4% (2015)
Imports: $4.355 billion (2016 est.) $4.526 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports - partners: India 18.7%, China 17.8%, France 7.1%, South Africa 6.5%, Vietnam 4.4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $4.526 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $4.26 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $10.89 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $10.62 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $7.239 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $8.751 billion (31 December 2014 est.) $8.942 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange rates: Mauritian rupees (MUR) per US dollar - 35.56 (2016 est.) 35.057 (2015 est.) 35.057 (2014 est.) 30.622 (2013 est.) 30.05 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 2.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 2.6 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 1.1 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 96.5% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 3.3% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 25,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 25,960 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 5.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 1.762 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 132 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: small system with good service

domestic: monopoly over fixed-line services terminated in 2005; fixed-line teledensity roughly 25 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular services launched in 1989 with current teledensity roughly 130 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 In (2015)
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 (2007)
Internet country code: .mu
Internet users: total: 672,000 percent of population: 50.1% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 5 (2013)
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 2,149 km
paved: 2,149 km (includes 75 km of expressways) (2012)
Merchant marine: total 4

by type: passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Port Louis
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Military branches: no regular military forces; Mauritius Police Force, Special Mobile Force, National Coast Guard
Military expenditures: 0.19% of GDP (2012) 0.16% of GDP (2011) 0.19% of GDP (2010)
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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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