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   Mauritius Country Information

 
nav bar Mauritius Country Information:

Mauritius is a small island located in the South-West Indian Ocean (57°35’ E; 20°15’ S), off the east coast of Madagascar. The Republic of Mauritius (Mauritius for short and Maurice in French) comprises of the main island Mauritius, together with Rodrigues, St. Brandon Island, and Agalega Islands as its dependencies. It claims sovereignty on Diego Garcia and Tromelin. Mauritius is a volcanic island covering an area of 1,865 km˛ (720 sq. miles).

The capital of Mauritius is Port-Louis and the official language of the country is English though French and Creole are widely spoken. The Mauritian currency is the Rupee (MUR). The National flag is four horizontal stripes: red (top), blue, yellow, and green.

Mauritius History:

Mauritius is well known for the Dodo, the extinct bird. The Dutch came in the early 17th century and named the island Mauritius after Prince Maurice de Nassau. They exploited severely the island by cutting the valuable ebony trees and are responsible for the extinction of the dodo birds. Their exports were so great that the price of this timber fell on the Dutch market. They introduced sugar cane before leaving the island in 1710 due to severe droughts and damage caused by cyclones.

Then came the French in 1721 who renamed the island Ile de France. Slaves from Madagascar and mainland Africa were imported to work on the sugar plantations established by the French. The French rule ended by a fierce battle with the British in 1810. The latter reinstated the name Mauritius and ruled the island for 158 years.

In 1835, slavery was abolished, and thus indentured labourers from India (and from China to a lesser extent) came to Mauritius to work in the sugar cane fields to replace the missing slave workforce. There have been several Chinese immigrations afterwards who came as traders.

Mauritius Politics:

Mauritius became an independent and sovereign country on 12 March 1968 after a referendum in 1967 among the population. It is a Westminster-style democracy. The members of parliament (MPs) are elected every 5 years.

The President is the Head of State and Commander in Chief. Full executive power rests with the Prime Minister who is head of Government.

The Mauritian press benefits from two important independent newspapers, namely Le Mauricien and L'Express.

Languages in Mauritius:

English is the official language. French is more widely understood but the language of communication is Creole. Oriental languages are also used.

Population (1995)

Mauritius (million)

1.12

Rodrigues (million)

0.034

Total (million)

1.15

Birth rate (1,000 births)

18.3

Death rate (1,000 births)

6.7

Infant mortality rate (1,000 births)

19.7

Life expectancy (years) male/female

66.4 / 73.9

Total fertility rate (births per women)

2

Contraceptive use (% of currently married women)

75

Economic Indicator are also available.
Download the Map of Mauritius and of the Indian Ocean
Figures provided by UNDP Mauritius.

Population distribution - urban/rural (%)

39 / 61

Population density (persons per km2)

554

Access to safe water (%)

99

Access to sanitation (%)

98

Population per doctor

1176

Population per hospital bed

355

Newspaper circulation per 100 population (1992)

7

Television per 100 population (1992)

22

Women administrators and managers (%) (1990)

14

Women professional and technical workers (%) (1990)

41

Women in government (%) (1990)

7.4

Mauritius National Anthem

Glory to thee, Motherland
O Motherland of mine
Sweet is thy as beauty
Sweet is thy as fragrance
Around thee we gather
As one people, as one nation
For peace, justice, and liberty
Beloved country, may God bless thee
For ever and ever

Mauritian Flag

Mauritian Flag

 

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