Area: 587000 km²
Population: 13.7 million (1995 estimate)
Population density: 23.3 per kilometre²
Population growth rate: 3.19% (199095)
Population of capital: 932 000 (1 .55m for Greater Antananarivo)
Other main towns: Fianarantsoa (350 000), Toamasina (260 000),
Antseranana (Diego Suarez) (250 000), Mahajanga (230 000), Antsirabe.
Main languages: Malgache (the official language), French.
National curreny: Madagascar franc (1 ECU = FM 5119 in February
Political structure: Presidential system strengthened as a
result of the referendum of 17 September 1995 which gave the President the right
to nominate the Prime Minister. Previously, this was the responsibility of the
President: Albert Zafy (since 14 February 1993)
Political parties: Numerous. The Presidents party is the UNDD.
The presidential 'majority' ('mouvance prdentielle') contains a number of
parties which are sometimes divided further into tendencies or factions. The
largest of these is the HVR ('Rasalama Living Force') which has three factions.
At the last municipal elections, some 15 groups presenting electoral lists
claimed to be attached to the presidential majority.
The most powerful opposition comes from the 'G7' which brings
together seven seperate groupings. The largest of these is the Leader Fanilo.
Former President Ratsakira's old party, AREMA, was relatively successful in the
recent local elections.
Number of National Assembly members: 137
(A Senate is foreseen under the Constitution and elections to
this body are planned for the near future)
GDP: $2.8 billion (1992)
GNP: $3.1 billion
GNP per capita: $230
GNP growth rate: 0.5% (1980-91)
GNP growth rate per capita: - 2.6% (1980-93)
Total exports: $441m (spices 27%, coffee 23%)
Balance of payments: - $326m (1993)
Total external debt: $4.4bn (1992) representing 142% of the GNP
Main trade partners: France, USA, Germany, Japan, Singapore
Inflation rate: 48% (1995)
Life expectany at birth: 57 (1992)
Infant mortality (0-5years): 84 per 1000
Illiteracy rates: men - 22%, women - 27%
Enrolment in education: Primary - almost 100%, Secondary - 36%,
Tertiary - 5%
Human Development Index rating: 0.432 (135th out of 174)
The Situation of Children in the World 1994, The State of the
World 1995, UNDP Human Development Report 1995, The Economist's Economic
Intelligence Unit (EIU), Madagascar Country Profile 1994. Madagascar Ministry of
Economic Affairs and