MADAGASCAR FACTS

  • Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the Mozambique coast.

  • Although geographically Madagascar belongs to East Africa, culturally it is closer to Asia than to Africa. 

  • Madagascar has two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April; and a cooler, dry season from May to October.

  • Capital: Antananarivo (called Tana by the Malagasy people).

  • Official languages: Malagasy and French.

  • Government type: semi-presidential representative republic.

  • Independence: 26 June 1960 (from France).

  • Religions: indigenous beliefs (52%), Christian (41%), Muslim (7%).

  • Currency: Ariary.

MADAGASCAR IN NUMBERS

  • Population: 22.4 million (INSTAT, 2014)

  • Population growth (annual %): 2.7% (World Bank, 2016)

  • Fertility rate (births per woman): 4.2 (World Bank, 2016)

  • Population aged 0-14 (%): 41.3% (World Bank, 2016)

  • Rural population (% of total population): 64% (World Bank, 2016)

  • Human Development Index rank: 158 out of 188 countries (UNDP, 2015)

  • Corruption Perception Index rank: 155 out of 180 countries (Transparency International, 2017)

  • Population living below national poverty line (%): 71.5% (INSTAT, 2012)

  • Population living below international poverty line ($1.90 a day) (%): 77.6% (World Bank, 2012) 

  • Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older): 64.7% (UNDP, 2015)

  • Mean years of schooling: 6.1 (UNDP, 2015)

  • Primary school dropout rate (% of primary school cohort): 59.9% (UNDP, 2015)

  • Primary school teachers trained to teach (%): 17% (UNDP, 2015)

MADAGASCAR FUN FACTS

  • Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world (or the fifth, including Australia). The only larger islands are Greenland (1st), New Guinea (2nd) and Borneo (3rd). Madagascar is 2.5 times as large as Great Britain.

  • Madagascar has developed its own distinct ecosystems and extraordinary wildlife since it split from the African continent an estimated 160 million years ago. Approximately 95 percent of Madagascar’s reptiles, 89 percent of its plant life, and 92 percent of its mammals exist nowhere else on Earth (WWF).

  • Madagascar is the second largest producer of vanilla in the world, with 3100 tons of vanilla produced in 2016, only second to Indonesia (3200 tons) (World Atlas, 2017).  

  • Mbala Tsara means Good Morning in Malagasy.

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