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  Reunion  
Flag of Reunion
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
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  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January, 2004
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2004.


This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004


Map of Reunion

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Reunion
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
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 from May to November, hot and rainy from 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: 13.6%
permanent crops: 1.2%
other: 85.2% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
120 sq km (1998 est.)
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
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
766,153 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 30.9% (male 121,050; female 115,440)
15-64 years: 63.1% (male 238,553; female 245,236)
65 years and over: 6% (male 18,626; female 27,248) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26.5 years
male: 25.4 years
female: 27.7 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.42% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.69 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.48 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 7.95 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.71 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 73.69 years
male: 70.29 years
female: 77.26 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.5 children born/woman (2004 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
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
28 September 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 Dominique VIAN (since 16 August 2004)
head of government: President of the General Council Jean-Luc POUDROUX (since NA March 1998) 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 2004); Regional Council - last held 28 March 2004 (next to be held NA 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 NA 2001 (next to be held NA 2006); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Reunion also elects five deputies to the French National Assembly; elections last held 9 June-16 June 2002 (next to be held NA 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP-RPR 1, UMP 1, PCR 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 [leader NA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
InOC, 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
the flag of France is used
   Economy    Reunion
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 illustrates the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $4.348 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.5% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $5,800 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 8%
industry: 19%
services: 73% (2000 est.)
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
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
309,900 (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 13%, industry 12%, services 75% (2000)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
36% (1999 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $1.26 billion
expenditures: $2.62 billion, 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
1.08 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.005 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$214 million f.o.b. (1997)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
sugar 63%, rum and molasses 4%, perfume essences 2%, lobster 3%, (1993)
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 74%, Japan 6%, Comoros 4% (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.5 billion c.i.f. (1997)
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% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$NA; note - substantial annual subsidies from France (2001 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
euro (EUR)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
EUR
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
euros per US dollar - 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Reunion
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
300,000 est (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
489,800 (2002)
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 users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
150,000 (2002)
   Transportation    Reunion
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,724 km
paved: 1,300 km (including 73 km of four-lane road)
unpaved: 1,424 km (1994)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Le Port, Pointe des Galets
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2003 est.)
   Military    Reunion
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular indigenous military forces; French forces (including Army, Navy, Air Force, and Gendarmerie)
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 202,385 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 103,073 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 7,070 (2004 est.)
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of France
   Transnational Issues    Reunion
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004


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