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Réunion

Facts & Figures

Status: Overseas Department

Prefect: Pierre-Henry Maccioni (2006)

Land area: 968 sq mi (2,507 sq km); total area: 972 sq mi (2,517 sq km)

Population (2006 est.): 787,584 (growth rate: 1.3%); birth rate: 18.9/1000; infant mortality rate: 7.6/1000; life expectancy: 74.2; density per sq mi: 816

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Saint-Denis, 142,600

Other large cities: Saint-Paul, 95,100; Saint-Pierre, 74,700; Le Tampon, 65,400

Monetary unit: Franc

More Facts & Figures

Major sources and definitions

Of volcanic origin, Réunion consists mostly of rugged mountains and short torrential rivers. It is located about 450 mi (724 km) east of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean. First explored by Portuguese navigators in the 16th century, the island of Réunion, then uninhabited, was taken as a French possession in 1642. African slaves were imported first to work coffee and then sugar plantations; with the abolition of slavery in 1848, indentured laborers from Indochina, India, and East Africa were brought in. In 1947, Réunion became an overseas department of France.

See also Encyclopedia: Reunion .


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