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Reunion
(overseas department of France)

 
Flag of Reunion
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Coordinates:
21.10 S  55.60 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Reunion

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Reunion Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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.
   Geography    Reunion Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
21 06 S, 55 36 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
World
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,517 sq km
land: 2,507 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Rhode Island
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
207 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation; cool and dry (May to November), hot and rainy (November to April)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Piton des Neiges 3,069 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish, arable land, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 13.94%
permanent crops: 1.59%
other: 84.47% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
120 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
periodic, devastating cyclones (December to April); Piton de la Fournaise on the southeastern coast is an active volcano
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
this mountainous, volcanic island has an active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise; there is a tropical cyclone center at Saint-Denis, which is the monitoring station for the whole of the Indian Ocean
   People    Reunion Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
787,584 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 29.8% (male 120,147/female 114,589)
15-64 years: 64% (male 248,895/female 255,156)
65 years and over: 6.2% (male 19,847/female 28,950) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26.9 years
male: 25.7 years
female: 28.1 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.34% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.9 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.49 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 7.63 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.37 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 74.18 years
male: 70.78 years
female: 77.75 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.45 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Reunionese (singular and plural)
adjective: Reunionese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
French, African, Malagasy, Chinese, Pakistani, Indian
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 86%, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist (1995)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
French (official), Creole widely used
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.9%
male: 87%
female: 90.8% (2003 est.)
   Government    Reunion Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Department of Reunion
conventional short form: Reunion
local long form: none
local short form: Ile de la Reunion
former: Bourbon Island
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
overseas department of France
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Saint-Denis
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas department of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 4 arrondissements, 24 communes, and 47 cantons
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas department of France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
French law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Laurent CAYREL (since 16 July 2005)
head of government: President of the General Council Nassimah DINDAR (since NA March 2004) and President of the Regional Council Paul VERGES (since NA March 1993)
cabinet: NA
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; the presidents of the General and Regional Councils are elected by the members of those councils
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral General Council (49 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve six-year terms) and a unicameral Regional Council (45 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve six-year terms)
elections: General Council - last held 15 and 22 March 1998 (next to be held NA); Regional Council - last held 28 March 2004 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: General Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - various right-wing candidates 13, PCR 10, PS 10, UDF 8, RPR 6, other left-wing candidates 2; Regional Council (second round) - percent of vote by party - PCR 44.9%, UMP 32.8%, PS-Greens 22.3%; seats by party - PCR 27, UMP 11, PS-Greens 7
note: Reunion elects three representatives to the French Senate; elections last held in 2001 (next to be held in 2006); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRC 1, UDF 1, UMP 1; Reunion also elects five deputies to the French National Assembly; elections last held 9 June-16 June 2002 (next to be held in 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 3, PS 1, independent 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Communist Party of Reunion or PCR [Paul VERGES]; Rally for the Republic or RPR [Andre Maurice PIHOUEE]; Socialist Party or PS [Jean-Claude FRUTEAU]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Gilbert GERARD]; Union for a Popular Movement or UMP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
InOC, UPU, WFTU
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas department of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas department of France)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
unofficial, local flag designed to emphasize solidarity among the people of Reunion; the field is divided vertically with three narrow stripes of blue, white, and red along the hoist edge representing the French national flag; the remainder of the field is divided diagonally into four triangles colored (clockwise from the hoist side) blue, golden yellow, red, and green; in the center, the apexes of the triangles are surmounted by a white disk; the only official flag is the national flag of France
   Economy    Reunion Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The economy has traditionally been based on agriculture, but services now dominate. 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 amounts 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 minority groups suffer the poverty and unemployment typical of the poorer nations of the African continent. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrated the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.79 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 8%
industry: 19%
services: 73% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
299,000 (2002)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 13%
industry: 12%
services: 75% (2000)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
31% (2002)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $554.7 million
expenditures: $554.7 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (1998)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
sugarcane, vanilla, tobacco, tropical fruits, vegetables, corn
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
sugar, rum, cigarettes, handicraft items, flower oil extraction
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.19 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.107 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18,500 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$248.5 million f.o.b. (1997)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
sugar 63%, rum and molasses 4%, perfume essences 2%, lobster 3%
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 74%, Japan 6%, Comoros 4% (2004)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.306 billion c.i.f. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
manufactured goods, food, beverages, tobacco, machinery and transportation equipment, raw materials, and petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 64%, Bahrain 3%, Germany 3%, Italy 3% (2004)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$NA; note - substantial annual subsidies from France (2001 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
euro (EUR)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
euros per US dollar - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Reunion Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
300,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
579,200 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: adequate system; principal center is Saint-Denis
domestic: modern open-wire and microwave radio relay network
international: country code - 262; radiotelephone communication to Comoros, France, Madagascar; new microwave route to Mauritius; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); fiber optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC/SAFE) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 2, FM 55, shortwave 0 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
35 (plus 18 low-power repeaters) (2001)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.re
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
200,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Reunion Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,214 km (including 88 km of four-lane roads) (2001)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Le Port
   Military    Reunion Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular indigenous military forces; French forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force, and Gendarmerie) (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 183,421
females age 18-49: 185,606 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 142,578
females age 18-49: 154,273 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 7,339
females age 18-49: 7,007 (2005 est.)
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of France
   Transnational Issues    Reunion Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook