Factual overview and information on Reunion

General Information on Reunion & Quick Overview

In 1513 The Portuguese discovered Reunion which was then an uninhabited island.

French immigration commenced in the 16th century and continued through to the 1800’s.

Reunion’s ethnic mix is a result of those hundreds of years of French immigration, followed by waves of Malabar Indians, Africans, Chinese, and Malays.

In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened which cost Reunion its importance as a replenishing stop on the Trade Routes from Europe to the East Indies.

Geographical statistics & Information on Reunion

Geographical Position: Island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, east of Southern Africa. Map Ref Latitude & Longitude 21 degrees 00’ South, 55 degrees 00’ East Total Land & Sea Area Total2,500 square kilometres Sea Area 50 square kilometres land area 2,450 square kilometres Land boundaries 0 kilometres Coastal Length 200 kilometres

Climatological Conditions & information on Reunion

Tropical, hot, often wet climate, temperature becoming cooler as one goes higher. Dry season from the month of May to the month of November, hot and rainy season extends from the month of November to the month of April.

Terrain Features

Reunion is composed of predominantly rugged, mountainous terrain; with fertile coastal lowlands areas. Highest & Lowest Elevations: Lowest elevationIndian Ocean at sea level Highest elevation Piton des Neiges 3,071 metres Country’s natural resources fish resources, arable cropping land, hydroelectric power

Land use

Ploughable land area 13 percent permanent crops 3 percent other: 84 percent (1998 estimate) Irrigated land area 100 square kilometres (1998 estimate) Hazardous Natural phenomena Reunion is subject to periodic, devastating tropical cyclones (from the months of December to the months of April); Mount Piton de la Fournaise which is located on the southeastern coast of Reunion is an active volcano.

Geographical Point of Interest

This mountainous, tropical volcanic island, Reunion has an active volcano, Mount Piton de la Fournaise in the south east;

Information on People

Reunion Population 750,000 (July 2003 estimate)

Age structure under 15 years: 31 percent 15 to 64 years63 percent Over 656 percent Median age of population Total26 years male: 25 years female: 27 years (2002) Population growth rate 1.5 percent (2003 estimate) Birth rate 20 births per thousand population (2003 estimate) mortality rate 5.5 deaths per thousand population (2003 estimate) Net rate of migration 0 migrant(s) per thousand population (2003 estimate) Infant mortality rate Total8 deaths per thousand live births female: 7 deaths per thousand live births (2003 estimate) male: 9 deaths per thousand live births Life expectancy at birth total population: 73 years male: 70. years female: 76 years (2003 estimate) Total fertility rate 2.5 children born/woman (2003 estimate)



Ethnic groups

French, African, Chinese, Malagasy, Indian, Pakistani

Religious information on Reunion

Roman Catholic 85 percent, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist

Languages & Linguistic Groupings

French, Creole Literacy definition People over the age of 15 years that are literate (can read & write): total population: 89 percent male: 87 percent female: 91 percent (2003 estimate)

Government information on Reunion

Country name Department of Reunion Dependency status Overseas department of France Government type Department of France Capital city Saint-Denis

Independence none (overseas department of France) National holiday 14 July - Bastille Day. Constitution 1958 Legal system French law

Electoral & Voting System

Universal vote from the age of 18. Executive branch Head of StatePresident of France
Chief of Government:President of the General Council
Legislative branch Unicameral General Council

Economy information on Reunion

Economy - overview Reunion still depends heavily on France for its financial health.

The economy has grown from being a primary industries based economy to one with a larger service industry component.

Sugarcane was the major crop for over 100 years, and has been the biggest component of exports often accounting for 85 percent of export receipts.

The government has pursued a policy of growing the tourist industry to reduce the substabntial levels of unemployment, over 33% of the labour force.

Income and wealth distribution disparities in Reunion between the poor and the rich give rise to constant tensions.

The Indian and European-descended communities are considerably more affluent and well-off than other population groups.

The lifestyles of the well-off often approaches European standards, while the poorer minorities live in the type of poverty, underemployment and unemployment typical of the poorer nations of the Africa.

Rioting is an indication of the depth of the socioeconomic problems.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

$USD4.200 billion (1999 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - actual growth rate 2 percent (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - per head of population: $USD5,000 (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - composition by sector agriculture 10 percent industry20 percent services70 percent (2000 estimate)

Rate of inflation NA percent Labour force 300,000 (2000) Labour force - by occupation agriculture 15 percent, industry 8 percent, services 77 percent (2000) Rate of unemployment35 percent (1999 estimate)

Budget information on Reunion

Incomes $USD1 billion spending $USD2 billion, (1998) Industries sugar processing, rum distillling, cigarette manufacture, flower essences for perfumes

Agriculture - products Sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, root crops, vanilla, grains, tobacco, corn


$USD200 million . (1997) Exports - commodities sugar products 65 percent, molasses & rum alcohol 5 percent, perfume & flower essences 3 percent, fish & lobster 4 percent, (1993) Exports - partners France 75 percent, Japan 5 percent, Comoros 3 percent (2000)


$USD2 billion . (1997) Imports - commodities manufactured goods, processed food, manufactured beverages, tobacco, machinery equipment, vehicles, building materials, and oil and fuel products. Imports -most important trading partners France 65 percent, Bahrain 4 percent, Germany 4 percent, Italy 4 percent (2000)

Foreign Indebtedness

$USDNA National Currency euro (EUR) Currency Abbreviation EUR

Communications information on Reunion

Telephones landlines 268,000 (1999) Radio broadcast stations Amplitude Modulation 3, Frequency Modulation 50, shortwave 2 (2001) Television broadcast stations 30 Internet country code .re

Transportation in & travel to Reunion:

Railroad networks 5 kilometres Roading System Total2,700 kilometres Airports & airfields 1 (2002)

Military information on Reunion

Military branches French forces – French Army, French Navy, Air Force, and Gendarmerie are responsible for defence. Defence is the responsibility of the Republic of France.

International Issues Reunion Disputes - international none

Check out the history of Reunion now that you know all the facts, stats & information on French speaking countries
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Information on Reunion
Source: All info sourced and adapted from CIA Factbook
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