Facts & Figures
President: Hery Rajaonarimampianina (2014)
Prime Minister: Jean Ravelonarivo (2015)
Land area: 224,533 sq mi (581,540 sq km); total area: 226,656 sq mi (587,040 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 23,201,926 (growth rate: 2.62%); birth rate: 33.12/1000; infant mortality rate: 44.88/1000; life expectancy: 65.2
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Antananarivo, 1.987 million
Monetary unit: Malagasy franc
National name: Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
Languages: Malagasy and French (both official), English
Ethnicity/race: Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Ctiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry: Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Religions: indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Islam 7%
National Holiday: Independence Day, June 26
Literacy rate: 64.5% (2009 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $22.03 billion; per capita $1,000. Real growth rate: 2.6%. Inflation: 8.8%. Unemployment: N.A. Arable land: 5.96%. Agriculture: coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products. Labor force: 9.504 million (2007). Industries: meat processing, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism. Natural resources: graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower. Exports: $644.4 million (2013 est.): coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products. Imports: $2.794 billion (2012 est.): capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food. Major trading partners: U.S., France, Germany, China, Kuwait, India, Bahrain, Mauritius, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa, Canada (2012).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 143,700 (2012); mobile cellular: 8.564 (2012). Broadcast media: state-owned Radio Nationale Malagasy (RNM) and Television Malagasy (TVM) have an extensive national network reach; privately-owned radio and TV broadcasters in cities and major towns; state-run radio dominates in rural areas; relays of 2 international broadcasters are available in Antananarivo (2007). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 38,392 (2012). Internet users: 319,900 (2009).
Transportation: Railways: total: 854 km (2008). Roadways: total: 34,476 km; paved: 5,613 km; unpaved: 2,886 km (2010 est.). Waterways: 600 km (432 km navigable) (2011). Ports and terminals: Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara (Tulear). Airports: 83 (2013).
International disputes: claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France); the vegetated drying cays of Banc du Geyser, which were claimed by Madagascar in 1976, also fall within the EEZ claims of the Comoros and France (Glorioso Islands, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands).