Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in 1505; it was subsequently held by the Dutch, French, and British before independence was attained in 1968.
The government is elected every five years. The latest general elections took place in July 2005. The elections generally are held between two major parties.
Since gaining independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed their economy from low-income, agriculture-based to a diversified economy including industrial, financial and tourism. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of the nation’s export.
It has the seventh-highest GDP per capita in Africa. And, in 2009, according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the Mauritius government was rated the highest among African countries for its participation and human rights and its sustainable economic opportunity.
- Official Name Mauritius
- Population 1,268,835
- Capital City Port Louis (pop. 147,688
- Largest Cities English (official), French, Hindi, others
- Currency Mauritian Rupee
- Languages English (official), French, Hindi, others
- Religions Hindu, Christian, Muslim, others
- Land Area 1,860 sq km (718 sq miles)
Latitude and Longitude
- Latitude/Longitude 20° 12′ 42 S, 57° 24′ 3 E