Fast Facts

Population:
1,243,000
Capital:
Port Louis; 143,000
Area:
2,040 square kilometers (788 square miles)
Language:
English, French, Creole, Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri
Religion:
Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Protestant
Currency:
Mauritian Rupee
Life Expectancy:
72
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $10,100
Literacy Percent:
86
Flag: Mauritius
Map: Mauritius

The island country of Mauritius lies in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. The volcanic main island of Mauritius is ringed by coral reefs; there are some 20 smaller islands. The islands were ruled in turn by the Dutch, French, and British, whose legacy includes a parliamentary form of government. Independence came in 1968. Diversifying sugarcane farming with manufacturing and tourism strengthens the nation, a blend of Africans, Indians, Europeans, and Chinese.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, chemicals, metal products
  • Agriculture: Sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas; cattle; fish
  • Exports: Clothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses

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

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