Facts about Seychelles

World Facts Index

SeychellesA lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term.

Geography of Seychelles

Location:
Eastern Africa, group of islands in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
Coordinates:
4 35 S, 55 40 E
Area:
total: 455 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 455 sq km
Area comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
491 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)
Terrain:
Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m
Natural resources:
fish, copra, cinnamon trees
Natural hazards:
lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; short droughts possible
Environment current issues:
water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater
Geography - note:
40 granitic and about 50 coralline islands

Population of Seychelles

Population:
82,247 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 25.9% (male 10,667/female 10,440)
15-64 years: 68% (male 27,060/female 28,366)
65 years and over: 6.1% (male 1,607/female 3,401)
Median age:
28.1 years
Growth rate:
0.43%
Infant mortality:
15.14 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.08 years
male: 66.69 years
female: 77.63 years
Fertility rate:
1.74 children born/woman
Nationality:
noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychellois
Ethnic groups:
mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab
Religions:
Roman Catholic 82.3%, Anglican 6.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.1%, other Christian 3.4%, Hindu 2.1%, Muslim 1.1%, other non-Christian 1.5%, unspecified 1.5%, none 0.6%
Languages:
Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2%
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.9%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3%

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
Government type:
republic
Capital:
Victoria
Administrative divisions:
23 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Louis, Anse Royale, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand' Anse (on Mahe), Grand' Anse (on Praslin), La Digue, La Riviere Anglaise, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe La Rue, Port Glaud, Saint Louis, Takamaka
Independence:
29 June 1976 (from UK)
National holiday:
Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)
Constitution:
18 June 1993
Legal system:
based on English common law, French civil law, and customary law
Suffrage:
17 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President James MICHEL (since 14 April 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for two more terms).
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (34 seats - 25 elected by popular vote, 9 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 10% of the vote; members serve five-year terms)
Judicial branch:
Court of Appeal; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the president

Economy

Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the pre-independence, near-subsistence level, moving the island into the upper-middle income group of countries. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, and by tuna fishing. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing. Sharp drops illustrated the vulnerability of the tourist sector in 1991-92 due largely to the Gulf War and once again following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US. Economic growth slowed in 1998-2002 and fell in 2003-04, due to sluggish tourist and tuna sectors, but resumed in 2005-07. Real GDP grew by 5.8% in 2007, driven by tourism and a boom in tourism-related construction. The Seychelles rupee was allowed to depreciate in 2006 after being overvalued for years and fell by 10% in the first 9 months of 2007.

GDP:
$1.378 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
5.3%
GDP per capita:
$16,600
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.2%
industry: 30.4%
services: 66.5% 
Inflation rate:
1.6%
Labor force:
30,900 
Labor force - by occupation:
industry 19%, services 71%, agriculture 10% 
Budget:
revenues: $343.3 million
expenditures: $332.2 million 
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
Industries:
fishing; tourism; processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages
Agriculture:
coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; broiler chickens; tuna fish
Exports:
canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)
Export partners:
UK 24.1%, Spain 20%, France 11.6%, Japan 8.4%, Italy 7.5%, Germany 6%, Netherlands 4.5% 
Imports:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Import partners:
Saudi Arabia 15.7%, Spain 15.2%, Singapore 7.7%, France 7.5%, South Africa 6.5%, Italy 6.3%, UK 4% 
Currency:
Seychelles rupee (SCR)

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

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