Republic of Mauritius
République de Maurice
short form: Mauritius
ISO Country Code: mu
Local Time = UTC +4h
Country Calling Code: +230
Capital City: Port Louis (pop. 148 000)
Other Cities: Beau Bassin and Rose Hill (105 000), Vacoas-Phoenix (100 000), Curepipe (80 000), Quatre Bornes (80 000).
Independence: 12 March 1968 ( from UK, Mauritius became a republic in 1992).
Constitution: 12 March 1968.
Location: East South Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, 500 miles east of Madagascar.
Area: 2,040 km² (770 sq. mi.)
Dependencies: Rodrigues Island, the Agalega Islands and Cargados Carajos Shoals; Mauritius also claims sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, where the U.S. Naval Support Facility at Diego Garcia is located.
Terrain: A volcanic island with a central plateau rimmed by mountains, the island is surrounded by coral reefs.
Climate: Tropical; cyclone season mid-December-April.
Population: 1.3 million (2011)
Ethnic groups: Indo-Mauritians 68%, Creoles 27%, Sino-Mauritians 3%, Franco-Mauritians 2%.
Religions: Hindu 48%, Christian 32%, Muslim.
Languages: French, English (official), Creole (common), Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri.
Natural resources: Arable land, fish.
Agriculture products: Sugar, sugar derivatives, tea, tobacco, vegetables, fruits, flowers and fishing.
Industries: Labor-intensive goods for export, including textiles and clothing, watches and clocks, jewelry, optical goods, toys and games, and cut flowers; tourism.
Exports partners: UK 33.1%, France 20.4%,USA 14.8%, Madagascar 5.1%, Italy 4.1% (2004)
Imports partners: South Africa 11.3%, China9.4%, India 9.3%, France 9.2%, Bahrain 5.3%,Japan 4.1% (2004)
Currency: Mauritian Rupee (MUR)
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.
related countries: Madagascar, Réunion, Seychelles, UK