Facts about Mauritius
|Population||1,274,189 (July 2008 est.|
|Time zone||UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
General info about Mauritius
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. Recent poor weather, declining sugar prices, and declining textile and apparel production, have slowed economic growth, leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.
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)
What about 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
Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.1% (2001 est.)
tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)
arable land, fish
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. 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).
water pollution, degradation of coral reefs
Cities in Mauritiusalbion amaury arsenal baie du tombeau bambous bambous virieux bananes beau vallon bel air belle vue maurel bois des amourettes bon accueil brisee verdiere calebasses camp de masque camp de masque pave camp diable camp ithier camp thorel cap malheureux cascavelle chamarel chamouny chemin grenier clemencia cluny congomah cottage creve coeur curepipe dagotiere dubreuil ecroignard esperance esperance trebuchet flic en flac fond du sac goodlands grand baie grand bel air grand bois grand gaube grand river south east grand sable grande riviere noire gros cailloux la gaulette lalmatie laventure le hochet long mountain mahebourg mapou mare la chaux melrose midlands moka montagne blanche new grove notre dame nouvelle france olivia pailles petit raffray petite riviere piton plaine magnien plaines des papayes port louis poste de flacq providence quartier militaire quatre bornes quatre cocos quatre soeurs queen victoria ripailles riviere des anguilles riviere du rempart roche terre roches noires rose belle saint aubin saint hubert saint julien saint pierre sebastopol souillac surinam tamarin terre rouge the vale triolet verdun