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People and Society






Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch - who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU - in the 17th century. The French assumed control in 1715, developing the island into an important naval base overseeing Indian Ocean trade, and establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base, and later an air station, playing an important role during World War II for anti-submarine and convoy operations, as well as the collection of signal intelligence. Independence from the UK was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa's highest per capita incomes.


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People And Society

Noun Mauritian(s)
Adjective Mauritian

Ethnic groups
Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%

Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)

Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other Christian 8.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4% (2000 census)

Population World Ranking: 155
1,313,095 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
21.8% (male 145,185/female 139,579)
15-64 years
70.7% (male 457,743/female 463,875)
65 years and over
7.5% (male 38,944/female 58,391) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 33.1 years
Male 32.2 years
Female 34 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 140
0.705% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 145
13.78 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 145
6.73 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 98
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 42% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
0.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
PORT LOUIS (capital) 149,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.67 male(s)/female
Total population
0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 99
60 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 138
Total 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 13.32 deaths/1,000 live births
8.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 99
Total population 74.71 years
Male 71.25 years
Female 78.35 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 156
1.78 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 92
6.5% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
1.06 physicians/1,000 population (2004)

Hospital bed density
3.33 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 48
1% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 102
8,800 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 93
Fewer than 500 (2009 est.)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 125
3.2% of GDP (2009)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 88.5%
Male 90.9%
Female 86.2% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 14 years
Male 13 years
Female 14 years (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 48
Total 21.4%
Male 18.1%
Female 26.3% (2009)


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  Mauritius (Port Louis):

  GPS points from Mauritius (Port Louis)

Mont Longue Pamplemousses District

Laverdie Spit Grand Port District

Riviere Gravier Rodrigues

River Cascade Moka District

Mont Jacquots Black River District

Grand Baie Mauritius (general)

Coteau Raffin Black River District

Barkley Island Port Louis District
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