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People and Society






Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, was returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In April 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA achieved a second term following a landslide victory in the generally free and fair presidential elections of 2006. In early 2009, protests over increasing restrictions on opposition press and activities resulted in RAVALOMANANA stepping down and the presidency was conferred to the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA. Numerous attempts have been made by regional and international organizations to resolve the subsequent political gridlock by forming a power-sharing government. In late 2011, RAJOELINA appointed a new cabinet, and the country appeared to be moving towards new elections sometime in 2012.


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People And Society

Noun Malagasy (singular and plural)
Adjective Malagasy

Ethnic groups
Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran

French (official), Malagasy (official), English

Indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%

Population World Ranking: 54
22,005,222 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
43.1% (male 4,762,589/female 4,693,259)
15-64 years
53.8% (male 5,864,520/female 5,938,029)
65 years and over
3% (male 295,409/female 372,415) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 18.3 years
Male 18 years
Female 18.5 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 13
2.952% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 18
37.13 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 111
7.61 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 96
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 30% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
3.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
ANTANANARIVO (capital) 1.816 million (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.79 male(s)/female
Total population
0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 48
240 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 44
Total 50.09 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 54.8 deaths/1,000 live births
45.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 172
Total population 64 years
Male 61.97 years
Female 66.1 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 31
4.45 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 100
6.2% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
0.161 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density
0.3 beds/1,000 population (2005)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 92
0.2% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 73
24,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 56
1,700 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk Very high
Food or waterborne diseases
Bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases
Chikungunya, malaria, and plague
Water contact disease Schistosomiasis (2009)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 68
2.1% (2005)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 9
36.8% (2004)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 133
3% of GDP (2009)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 64.5%
Male 67.4%
Female 61.6% (2009 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 11 years
Male 11 years
Female 11 years (2009)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 128
Total 2.3%
Male 1.7%
Female 2.8% (2005)


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  Madagascar (Antananarivo):

  GPS points from Madagascar (Antananarivo)

Ambohimena Fianarantsoa

Ankadipetaka Antananarivo

Marovatobe Toamasina

Bevoandelaka Toliara

Antambohomandroatra Antsiranana

Vohipotsy Fianarantsoa

Andavadrovia Mahajanga

Ampandilo Antsiranana
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