Réunion 1999Réunion

 Réunion | | | | | |
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Réunion - Introduction 1999
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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 1999
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Location: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates: 21 06 S, 55 36 E

Map referenceWorld

Total: total:2,510 km²; land:2,500 km²; water:10 km²
Comparative: 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 temperature 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

Extremes: lowest point:Indian Ocean 0 m; highest point:Piton des Neiges 3,069 m

Natural resources: fish, arable land
Land use

Land use: arable land:17%; permanent crops:2%; permanent pastures:5%; forests and woodland:35%; other:41% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 60 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: periodic, devastating cyclones (December to April); Piton de la Fournaise on the southeastern coast is an active volcano


Réunion - People 1999
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Population: 717,723 (July 1999 est.)
Growth rate: 1.75% (1999 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

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 86%, Hindu, Islam, Buddhist (1995)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure: 0-14 years:32% (male 118,401; female 112,878); 15-64 years:62% (male 218,952; female 225,292); 65 years and over:6% (male 17,506; female 24,694) (1999 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.75% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 22.16 births/1000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 4.64 deaths/1000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1999 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA
International agreements: party to:NA; signed, but not ratified:NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio: at birth:1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years:1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years:0.97 male(s)/female; 65 years and over:0.71 male(s)/female; total population:0.98 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 6.9 deaths/1000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population:75.73 years; male:72.69 years; female:78.93 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.64 children born/woman (1999 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: definition:age 15 and over can read and write; total population:79%; male:76%; female:80% (1982 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Réunion - Government 1999
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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: NA

Capital: Saint-Denis

Administrative divisions: none (overseas department of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are four arrondissements, 24 communes, and 47 cantons

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 Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Robert POMMIES (since NA 1996); head of government:President of the General Council Christophe PAYET (since 4 April 1994) and President of the Regional Council Margarite SUDRE (since 25 June 1993); cabinet:NA; elections:French president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; the presidents of the General and Regional Councils are elected by the members of those councils

Legislative branch: unicameral General Council (47 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve six-year terms) and unicameral Regional Council (45 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve six-year terms); elections:General Council_last held NA March 1994 (next to be held NA 2000); Regional Council_last held 25 June 1993 (next to be held NA 1999); election results:General Council_percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_PCR 12, PS 12, UDF 11, RPR 5, others 7; Regional Council_percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_UPF 17, Free-Dom Movement 13, PCR 9, PS 6; note:Reunion elects three representatives to the French Senate; elections last held 14 April 1996 (next to be held NA); results_percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_RPR 1, PCR 2; Reunion also elects five deputies to the French National Assembly; elections last held 25 May and 1 June 1997 (next to be held NA2002); results_percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_PCR 3, PS 1, and RPR-UDF 1

Judicial branch: Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: FZ, InOC, 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 1999
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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: 3.8% (1998 est.)

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: sugarcane, vanilla, tobacco, tropical fruits, vegetables, corn

Industries: sugar, rum, cigarettes, handicraft items, flower oil extraction

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 261,000 (1995)
By occupation agriculture: 8%
By occupation industry: 19%
By occupation services: 73% (1990)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 35% (1994)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues:$856.7 million; expenditures:$2.2437 billion, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1993)

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: $171.78 million (f.o.b., 1994)
Commodities: sugar 63%, rum and molasses 4%, perfume essences 2%, lobster 3%, (1993)
Partners: France 74%, Japan 6%, Comoros 4% (1994)

Imports: $2.35 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
Commodities: manufactured goods, food, beverages, tobacco, machinery and transportation equipment, raw materials, and petroleum products
Partners: France 67%, Bahrain 4%, Italy 3% (1994)

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_5.65 (January 1999), 5.8995 (1998), 5.8367 (1997), 5.1155 (1996), 4.9915 (1995), 5.5520 (1994)

Réunion - Energy 1999
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 1.1 billion kWh (1996)
By source: fossil fuel:54.55%; hydro:45.45%; nuclear:0%; other:0% (1996)

Electricity consumption: 1.1 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Réunion - Communication 1999
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: adequate system; principal center is Saint-Denis; domestic:modern open wire and microwave radio relay network; international:radiotelephone communication to Comoros, France, Madagascar; new microwave route to Mauritius; satellite earth station_1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Réunion - Military 1999
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Réunion - Transportation 1999
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 2 (1998 est.)
With paved runways: total:2; 2,438 to 3,047 m:1; 914 to 1,523 m:1 (1998 est.)

Airports with paved runways: total:2; 2,438 to 3,047 m:1; 914 to 1,523 m:1 (1998 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways



Railways: 0 km



Merchant marine: total:1 chemical tanker (l,000 GRT or over) totaling 28,264 GRT/44,885 DWT (1998 est.)

Ports and terminals

Réunion - Transnational issues 1999
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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