Facts, fun figures and information on Madagascar

General Information on Madagascar & Quick Overview

Madagascar became a colony of France in 1886 prior to which it was an independent kingdom.

Madagascar regained its independence in 1960.

During 1992, 17 years of single-party rule came to an end with free presidential and National Assembly elections.

Geographical Statistics & Information on Madagascar

Geographical Position: IsLarge land in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique, Southern Africa Map Ref Latitude & Longitude 21degrees 00 South, 48 degrees 00 East

Total Land & Sea Area Total: 587,000 square kilometres Sea Area 5,000 square kilometres land area: 582,000 square kilometres

Land boundaries: 0 kilometres Coastal Length: 4,800 kilometres

Climatological information on Madagascar

Tropical, hot , rainy climate along coast, temperate conditions inland, arid and dry conditions in south of the country.

Terrain Features

Narrow coastal plains, rising to high plateaus and rugged mountains inland in the centre of the country.

Highest & Lowest Elevations: Lowest elevation: Indian Ocean at sea level Highest elevation: Maromokotro 2,875 metres Country’s natural resources: graphite deposits, chromite deposits, coal resources, bauxite deposits, salt, quartz, tar sands, mica, fish stocks, hydroelectric power

Land use

ploughable land area: 4.4 percent permanent crops: 0.95 percent other: 94. percent (1998 estimate) Irrigated land area: 11,000 square kilometres (1998 estimate)

Hazardous Natural phenomena: Cyclones and tropical storms.

Geographical Point of Interest

Madagascar is the world's fourth-biggest island; and is placed in a strategic location along Mozambique Channel between Mozambique and itself.

People information on Madagascar

Population: 16,980,000 (July 2003 estimate)

Age structure: under 15 years: 46 percent 15 to 64 years: 52 percent Over 65: 2 percent Median age of population: Total: 17 years male: 17 years female: 17 years (2002) Population growth rate: 3. percent (2003 estimate) Birth rate: 42 births per thousand population (2003 estimate) mortality rate: 12 deaths per thousand population (2003 estimate) Net rate of migration: 0 migrant(s) per thousand population (2003 estimate) Infant mortality rate: Total: 80 deaths per thousand live births female: 71 deaths per thousand live births (2003 estimate) male: 89 deaths per thousand live births Life expectancy at birth: total population: 56 years male: 54 years female: 58 years (2003 estimate) Total fertility rate: 6 children born/woman (2003 estimate)



Ethnic groups

Malayo-Indonesian, Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran.

Religious Information on Madagascar

Indigenous religious beliefs 50 percent, Christian 40 percent, Muslim/Islamic faith 10 percent

Languages & Linguistic Groupings

French (official), Malagasy (official) Literacy: definition: People over the age of 15 years that are literate (can read & write): total population: 69 percent male: 75 percent female: 63 percent (2003 estimate)

Government information on Madagascar

Country name: Republic of Madagascar

Government type: Republic Capital city: Antananarivo

Independence: 26 June 1960 from Republic of France National holiday:

Independence Day: June 26th, 1960 Constitution: 1992

Legal system: based on French civil law Malagasy Law;

Electoral & Voting System

Universal vote from the age of 18. Executive branch: Head of State: President
Chief of Government:Prime Minister Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the PM.

Legislative branch: National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale. Unicameral; 4-year terms.

Economy information on Madagascar

Economy - overview: Former a Socialistic government Madagascar has followed a IMF - World Bank driven policy of liberalisation and privatisation, since the 1990s.

Gentle, steady economic growth has ensued. Still suffers widespread poverty.

Primary industry which includes fisheries and forestry, accounts for a quarter of Gross Domestic Product and employs 80% of the people.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

$USD12 billion (2002) Gross Domestic Product - actual growth rate: -12 percent (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - per head of population: $USD900 (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - composition by sector: agriculture: 30 percent industry: 10 percent services: 60 percent (2001 estimate) Population below poverty line: 70 percent (1999 estimate)

Rate of inflation: 7 percent (2001 estimate) Labour force: 7 million (2000) Rate of unemployment: 6 percent (1998)

Budget Information on Madagascar

Incomes: $USD500 million spending : $USD700 million, (1998 estimate) Industries: meat processing, soap, brewing, tanning, sugar processing, textiles, apparel, glass, cement, motor vehicle assembly, paper, petroleum, oil, tourist Industrial production growth rate: 3 percent (2000 estimate)

Agriculture - products: coffee growing, vanilla growing, sugarcane plantations, cloves, cocoa, rice growing, manioc - cassava (tapioca), legumes, beans, bananas plantations, peanuts; livestock products, meats


$USD800 million. (2002) Exports - commodities: coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar; cotton cloth, chromites, petroleum products Exports - partners: France 35 percent, United States 24 percent, Netherlands 6 percent, Germany 6 percent, Mauritius 5 percent (2002)


$USD990 million . (2002) Imports - commodities: capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food Imports -most important trading partners: France 17 percent, Iran 10 percent, Mauritius 10 percent, Bahrain 9 percent, Hong Kong 7 percent, South Africa 6 percent, China 4. percent (2002)

Foreign Indebtedness

$USD4.5 billion (2002) Economic aid - recipient: $USD840 million (1997) National Currency: Malagasy franc (MGF) Currency Abbreviation: MGF

Communications in Madagascar

Telephones landlines: 50,000 (2000) Radio broadcast stations: Amplitude Modulation 3, Frequency Modulation 8, shortwave 5 (2001) Television broadcast stations: 2 Internet country code: .mg

Transportation in & travel to Madagascar:

Railroad networks: Total: 730 kilometres Roading System: Total: 50,000 kilometres Airports & airfields: 120 (2002)

Military system of Madagascar

Military branches: Armed Forces, Aeronaval [Navy and Air] Force, Gendarmerie –police force
Military manpower - military age: 20 years of age (2003 estimate) Military spending : - $USD52 million (Fiscal Year02) Military spending : percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 1 percent (Fiscal Year02)

International Disputes of Madagascar Madagascar lays claim to the islands of Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all these islands are administered by France).

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Information on Madagascar
Source: All info sourced and adapted from CIA Factbook
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