Fast Facts

Population:
671,000
Capital:
Moroni; 53,000
Area:
1,862 square kilometers (719 square miles)
Language:
Arabic, French, Shikomoro
Religion:
Sunni Muslim, Roman Catholic
Currency:
Comoran franc
Life Expectancy:
56
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $700
Literacy Percent:
57
Flag: Comoros
Map: Comoros

The Comoros are a group of volcanic islands in the Mozambique Channel between northern Madagascar and Africa. The people share African-Arab origins. In 1975 three of the so-called perfume islands voted for independence from France; the fourth, Mayotte, elected to remain a dependency. Some 18 coups, or attempted coups, since independence have created great instability. In 1997 the islands of Anjouan and Mohéli declared independence, but a new federal constitution in 2001 brought the islands back together. Most inhabitants make their living from subsistence agriculture or fishing; exports include vanilla and essences used in the manufacture of perfumes.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Tourism, perfume distillation
  • Agriculture: Vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra
  • Exports: Vanilla, ylangylang, cloves, perfume oil, copra

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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