Réunion 1990Réunion

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Réunion - Introduction 1990
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Background: The Portuguese discovered the uninhabited island in 1513. From the 17th to the 19th centuries French immigration supplemented by influxes of Africans Chinese Malays and Malabar Indians gave the island its ethnic mix. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 cost the island its importance as a stopover on the East Indies trade route.

Réunion - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 201 km

Maritime claims: Continental shelf:200 meters or to depth of exploitation; Extended economic zone:200 nm; Territorial sea:12 nm

Climate: tropical, but moderates with elevation; cool and dry from May to November, hot and rainy from November to April

Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast


Natural resources: fish, arable land
Land use

Land use: 20% arable land; 2% permanent crops; 4% meadows and pastures; 35% forest and woodland; 39% other; includes 2% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: defense is the responsibility of France

Réunion - People 1990
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Population: 595,583 (July 1990), growth rate 1.9% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Reunionese (sing. and pl.); adjective--Reunionese

Ethnic groups: most of the population is of intermixed French, African, Malagasy, Chinese, Pakistani, and Indian ancestry

Languages: French (official); Creole widely used

Religions: 94% Roman Catholic

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 24 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 5 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: periodic devastating cyclones

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 9 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 70 years male, 76 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.6 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: NA%, but over 80% among younger generation

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Réunion - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: Department of Reunion

Government type: overseas department of France

Capital: Saint-Denis

Administrative divisions: none (overseas department of France)

Dependent areas

Independence: none (overseas department of France)

National holiday: Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)

Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system: French law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State--President Francois MITTERRAND (since 21 May 1981); Head of Government--Commissioner of the Republic Daniel CONSTANTIN (since September 1989)

Legislative branch: unicameral General Council, unicameral Regional Council

Judicial branch: Court of Appeals (Cour d'appel)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: WFTU

Diplomatic representation
In the us: as an overseas department of France, Reunionese interests are represented in the US by France

Flag descriptionflag of Réunion: the flag of France is used

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Réunion - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: The economy has traditionally been based on agriculture. Sugarcane has been the primary crop for more than a century, and in some years it accounts for 85% of exports. The government is pushing the development of a tourist industry to relieve a high unemployment rate that was over 30% in 1986. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 30% of labor force; dominant sector of economy; cash crops--sugarcane, vanilla, tobacco; food crops--tropical fruits, vegetables, corn; imports large share of food needs

Industries: sugar, rum, cigarettes, several small shops producing handicraft items

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force:
NA; 30% agriculture, 21%
industry, 49%
services (1981); 63% of population of working age (1983)

Labor force

Unemployment rate: 32.0%; high seasonal unemployment (1986)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $358 million; expenditures $914 million, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1986)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $136 million (f.o.b., 1986)
Commodities: sugar 75%, rum and molasses 4%, perfume essences 4%, vanilla and tea 1%
Partners: France, Mauritius, Bahrain, S. Africa, Italy

Imports: $1.1 million (c.i.f., 1986)
Commodities: manufactured goods, food, beverages, tobacco, machinery and transportation equipment, raw materials, and petroleum products
Partners: France, Mauritius, Bahrain, South Africa, Italy

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1--5.7598 (January 1990), 6.3801 (1989), 5.9569 (1988), 6.0107 (1987), 6.9261 (1986), 8.9852 (1985)

Réunion - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Réunion - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Réunion - Military 1990
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Réunion - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 2 total, 2 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 1 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Réunion - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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