Overview of Madagascar

Full name: Republic of Madagascar (Repoblikan’i Madagasikara)

Population: The current population is estimate on 29,303,142 (October 9, 2022) based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data.

Surface land area: 587 795 km2

Density: The population density in Madagascar is 48 per km2

Capital city: Antananarivo (Tana), 38.5 % of the population is urban

Main International Airport: Ivato Airport Antananarivo (TNR)

Provincies of Madagascar: Antsiranana (Diego), Mahajanga (Majunga), Antananarivo, Toamasina (Tamatave), Toliara (Tulear), Fianarantsoa.

Human Development Index: Its value in 2019 is 0.528 – placing the country in the « low human development » category and 164th among 189 countries and territories. Madagascar ranks number 51 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population. The median age in Madagascar is 19.6 years.

Motto: « Homeland – Freedom – Honesty ».

Official languages: Malagasy and French

Currency: Ariary (Ar/MGA)

Type of state: democratic republic with a presidential character.

President of the Republic: former president Andy Rajoelina

Ethnic groups: 18 officially , not including some sub-groups. Indo-Pakistani, Chinese, Comorian and European communities.

Particularities: 4 800km of coastline, 5th largest island in the world (after Australia, Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo), 2nd coral reef, 5 large lakes, about thirty rivers, 3 tsingy sites, an incredible rate of endemicity in terms of fauna and flora.

Religions: Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, as well as traditional rites and ancestor worship.

Origin of his name :

The island of Madagascar has been named in many ways over the centuries by the different peoples who have visited it: three centuries before Christ, it was known as Phedol or Menouthias, Gesira Malai or Qanbalu (by the Arabs), Bukini (in Swahili), Wakwak (for some Malagasy peoples), Cerné, Malichu or Madeigester, although it is not always certain that all of these testimonies refer to the same island, and finally Madagascar.

Situation, delimitation

It is located in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean, south of the equator and crossed by the Tropic of Capricorn. It is part of Africa, the Mozambique Channel, about 400 km wide, separating it from mainland East Africa. It is surrounded by the other vanilla islands.