Réunion 1992Réunion

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Réunion - Introduction 1992
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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 1992
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 2,510 km²; Land area: 2,500 km²; Comparative area: slightly smaller than Rhode Island

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 201 km

Maritime claims: Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm; Territorial sea: 12 nm; Disputes: none

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

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Réunion - People 1992
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Population: 626,414 (July 1992), growth rate 2.1% (1992)

Nationality: noun - Reunionese (singular and plural); 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: Roman Catholic 94%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 26 births/1000 population (1992)

Death rate: 5 deaths/1000 population (1992)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1992)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: periodic devastating cyclones; Note: located 750 km east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 8 deaths/1000 live births (1992)

Life expectancy at birth: 70 years male, 77 years female (1992)

Total fertility rate: 2.8 children born/woman (1992)

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: 69% (male 67%, female 74%) age 15 and over can read and write (1982)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Réunion - Government 1992
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Country name

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; General Council: last held September/October 1988 (next to be held NA 1994); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (44 total) PCR 9, PS 4, UDF 6, other left-wing 2, RPR 4, right-wing 19; Regional Council: last held 16 March 1986 (next to be held NA March 1992); results - RPR/UDF 36.8%, PCR 28.2%, FRA and other right wing 17.3%,; PS 14.1%, other 3.6%; seats - (45 total) RPR/UDF 18, PCR 13, FRA and other right wing 8, PS 6; French Senate: last held 24 September 1989 (next to be held NA September 1992); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (3 total) RPR-UDF 1,; PS 1, independent 1; French National Assembly: last held 5 and 12 June 1988 (next to be held; NA June 1993); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (5 total) PCR 2, RPR 1, UDF-CDS 1, FRA 1; note - Reunion elects 3 members to the French; Senate and 5 members to the French National Assembly who are voting members; Communists: Communist party small but has support among sugarcane cutters, the minuscule Popular Movement for the Liberation of Reunion (MPLR), and in the district of Le Port

Executive branch: French president, commissioner of the Republic

Legislative branch: General Council, Regional Council

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

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: FZ, WFTU; Diplomatic representation: as an overseas department of France,; Reunionese interests are represented in the US by France

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Réunion: the flag of France is used

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Réunion - Economy 1992
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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 has been pushing the development of a tourist industry to relieve high unemployment, which recently amounted to one-third of the labor force. The gap in Reunion between the well-off and the poor is extraordinary and accounts for the persistent social tensions. The white and Indian communities are substantially better off than other segments of the population, often approaching European standards, whereas indigenous groups suffer the poverty and unemployment typical of the poorer nations of the African continent. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrates the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France.; GDP: exchange rate conversion - $3.37 billion, per capita $6,000 (1987 est.); real growth rate 9% (1987 est.)

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: growth rate NA%; about 25% of GDP

Labor force: NA; agriculture 30%, industry 21%, services 49% (1981); 63% of population of working age (1983); Organized labor: General Confederation of Workers of Reunion (CGTR); Long-form name: Department of Reunion
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 35% (February 1991)

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: $166 million (f.o.b., 1988)
Commodoties: sugar 75%, rum and molasses 4%, perfume essences 4%, lobster 3%, vanilla and tea 1%
Partners: France, Mauritius, Bahrain, South Africa, Italy

Imports: $1.7 billion (c.i.f., 1988)
Commodoties: 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

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1 - 5.6397 (March 1992), 5.6421 (1991), 5.4453 (1990), 6.3801 (1989), 5.9569 (1988), 6.0107 (1987)

Réunion - Energy 1992
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 245,000 kW capacity; 546 million kWh produced, 965 kWh per capita (1989)

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 1992
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Réunion - Military 1992
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Réunion - Transportation 1992
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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 runway 2,440-3,659 m; 1 with runway 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Réunion - Transnational issues 1992
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Sightseeing Pass

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