Réunion 1995Réunion

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Réunion - Introduction 1995
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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 1995
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Location: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceWorld

Total: total area: 2,510 km²; land area: 2,500 km²; comparative area: slightly smaller than Rhode Island

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 201 km

Maritime claims: exclusive 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: arable land:20%; permanent crops:2%; meadows and pastures:4%; forest and woodland:35%; other:39%

Irrigated land: 60 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: defense is the responsibility of France

Réunion - People 1995
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Population: 666,067 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 1.98% (1995 est.)

Nationality: noun:Reunionese (singular and plural); adjective:Reunionese

Ethnic groups: French, African, Malagasy, Chinese, Pakistani, Indian

Languages: French (official), Creole widely used

Religions: Roman Catholic 94%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure: 0-14 years:32% (female 104,924; male 109,972); 15-64 years:62% (female 210,762; male 203,774); 65 years and over:6% (female 21,606; male 15,029) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.98% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 24.59 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 4.79 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA; natural hazards:periodic, devastating cyclones (December to April); Piton de la Fournaise on the southeastern coast is an active volcano; international agreements:NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 7.7 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population:74.46 years; male:71.39 years; female:77.67 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.75 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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: age 15 and over can read and write (1982); total population:79%; male:76%; female:80%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Réunion - Government 1995
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Country name: conventional long form: Department of Reunion; conventional short form: Reunion; local long form: none; local short form: Ile de la 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: National Day, Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)

Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system: French law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state:President Francois MITTERRAND (since 21 May 1981); head of government:Prefect of Reunion Island Hubert FOURNIER (since NA); cabinet:Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: unicameral General Council and unicameral Regional Council; General Council:elections last held March 1994 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (47 total) PCR 12, PS 12, UDF 11, RPR 5, others 7; Regional Council:elections last held 25 June 1993 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (45 total) UPF 17, Free-Dom Movement 13, PCR 9, PS 6; French Senate:elections last held 24 September 1992 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (3 total) RPR 1, FRA 1, independent 1; French National Assembly:elections last held 21 and 28 March 1993 (next to be held NA 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (5 total) PS 1, PCR 1, UPF 1, RPR 1, UDF-CDS 1

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

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: FZ, WFTU

Diplomatic representation
In the us: none (overseas department of France)
From the us: none (overseas department of France)

Flag descriptionflag of Réunion: the flag of France is used

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Réunion - Economy 1995
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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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA%

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%; about 25% of GDP

Labor force: NA; by occupation:agriculture 30%, industry 21%, services 49% (1981)
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 est.)

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: $N/A

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1 - 5.2943 (January 1995), 5.5520 (1994), 5.6632 (1993), 5.2938 (1992), 5.6421 (1991), 5.4453 (1990)

Réunion - Energy 1995
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 1 billion kWh; consumption per capita:1,454 kWh (1993)

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 1995
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 85,900 telephones; adequate system; principal center Saint-Denis; local:NA; intercity:modern open-wire and microwave network; international:radiocommunication to Comoros, France, Madagascar; new microwave route to Mauritius; 1 INTELSAT (Indian Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Réunion - Military 1995
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Réunion - Transportation 1995
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: total:2; with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m:1; with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m:1

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine: none

Ports and terminals

Réunion - Transnational issues 1995
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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