Facts about Mayotte

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Mayotte was ceded to France along with the other islands of the Comoros group in 1843. It was the only island in the archipelago that voted in 1974 to retain its link with France and forego independence.

Geography of Mayotte

Southern Africa, island in the Mozambique Channel, about one-half of the way from northern Madagascar to northern Mozambique
12 50 S, 45 10 E
total: 374 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 374 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
185.2 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May); dry season is cooler (May to November)
generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Benara 660 m
Natural resources:
Natural hazards:
cyclones during rainy season
Geography - note:
part of Comoro Archipelago; 18 islands

Population of Mayotte

216,306 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46% (male 46,512/female 46,067)
15-64 years: 52.3% (male 56,899/female 48,274)
65 years and over: 1.7% (male 1,756/female 1,726)
Median age:
17 years
Growth rate:
Infant mortality:
60.76 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 61.76 years
male: 59.57 years
female: 64.02 years
Fertility rate:
5.79 children born/woman
noun: Mahorais (singular and plural)
adjective: Mahoran
Muslim 97%, Christian (mostly Roman Catholic)
Mahorian (a Swahili dialect), French (official language) spoken by 35% of the population


Country name:
conventional long form: Territorial Collectivity of Mayotte
Dependency status:
territorial collectivity of France
National holiday:
Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
28 September 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system:
French law
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007); represented by Prefect Denis ROBIN (since 28 July 2008)
head of government: President of the General Council Said Omar OILI (since 8 April 2004)
elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; president of the General Council elected by the members of the General Council for a six-year term.
Legislative branch:
unicameral General Council or Conseil General (19 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms)
Mayotte also elects one member to the French National Assembly
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Tribunal Superieur d'Appel
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Front or FD [Youssouf MOUSSA]; Mahoran Popular Movement or MPM [Ahmed MADI]; Federation of Mahorans or RPR (UMP) [Mansour KAMARDINE]; Force of the Rally and the Alliance for Democracy or FRAP; Movement for Department Status Mayotte or MDM [Mouhoutar SALIM]; Renewed Communist Party of Mayotte or MRC [Omar SIMBA]; Socialist Party or PS (local branch of French Parti Socialiste) [Ibrahim ABUBACAR]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Henri JEAN-BAPTISTE]


Economic activity is based primarily on the agricultural sector, including fishing and livestock raising. Mayotte is not self-sufficient and must import a large portion of its food requirements, mainly from France. The economy and future development of the island are heavily dependent on French financial assistance, an important supplement to GDP. Mayotte's remote location is an obstacle to the development of tourism.

$953.6 million (2005 est.)
GDP per capita:
Labor force:
newly created lobster and shrimp industry, construction
vanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), coffee, copra
ylang-ylang (perfume essence), vanilla, copra, coconuts, coffee, cinnamon
Export partners:
France 80%, Comoros 15%, Reunion 
food, machinery and equipment, transportation equipment, metals, chemicals
Import partners:
France 66%, Africa 14%, Southeast Asia 11%
euro (EUR)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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