Map Madagascar
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Madagascar


Background: 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. Following negotiations in July and August of 2009, a power-sharing agreement with a 15-month transitional period was established, but has not yet been implemented.
Location: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
Area land: 581,540 sq km
Area water: 5,501 sq km
Coastline: 4,828 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar
Country name conventional short form: Madagascar
Country name former: Malagasy Republic
Population: 21,926,221 (July 2011 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.);
Population growth rate: 2.973% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 37.51 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 7.79 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
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: 0.8 male(s)/female; total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 51.45 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 56.23 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 46.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 63.63 years; male: 61.62 years; female: 65.7 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 5.02 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 24,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,700 (2009 est.);
Nationality: 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;
Religions: indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%;
Languages: French (official), Malagasy (official), English;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 68.9%; male: 75.5%; female: 62.5% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $20.73 billion (2010 est.); $20.42 billion (2009 est.); $20.63 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $8.33 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 1.5% (2010 est.); -1% (2009 est.); 7% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,000 (2010 est.); $1,000 (2009 est.); $1,000 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 26.5%; industry: 16.7%; services: 56.8% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 50% (2004 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.6%; highest 10%: 41.5% (2005);
Labor force: 9.504 million (2007);
Labor force - by occupation: 
Unemployment rate: 
Budget: revenues: $896.9 million; expenditures: $1.547 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: meat processing, seafood, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism;
Industrial production growth rate: 2% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 1.045 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 971.4 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.

Madagascar in the News

Seeing Double

Mad for Marc

Following a hotly-disputed election, Madagascar has two governments. Sarah Coleman reviews the regional press.