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History of Mauritius

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Mauritius is an island, whose formation is attributed to volcanic eruptions more than 10 millions of years ago, located in the centre of the Indian Ocean and has an area of 2,040 km square. The island initially received the visit of the Arabs, Portuguese and Dutch, for a short time period in the years 1500-1600.At that time the island was said to be inhabited. Consequently, the  Dutch sailors inhabited the island, which they named Mauritius, after the governor Maurice Van Nassau, for almost a century and departed in 1710 while leaving the sugarcane plantation they had established with slave labour form Africa.

In 1715, the French then took control of  the island which they in turn, named it Ile De France. In 1810, the French surrendered to the British sailors, after the battle of Vieux Grand-Port and the island went under the British rule. At that time the island was used as a staging  post for privateers, till 12 March 1968 when Mauritius turned into a sovereign democratic state. Mauritius achieved a Republic status on 12 March 1992. The Constitution of Mauritius provides for separation of powers through the three organs available to the State: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.



Mauritius has a pluralistic culture with conformity among Mauritians. This has resulted into a sharing of cultures and values, a clustered participation in events and developed a progressive increase in the mutual understanding between people of different cultural backgrounds. In fact, today Mauritius is recognised to constitute of a unique blend of peoples, languages and cultures. The common spoken language is Creole while English is the official language of the country. Amongst other languages, French is extensively used and understood followed by oriental languages such as Bhojpuri, Hindi, Telegu, Tamil, Marathi, and Chinese. Most people are bilingual to trilingual.



Mauritius enjoys a maritime climate, tropical during summer and sub-tropical during winter seasons. Summer lasts from November to April while winter extends from May to October. The temperature on the coastal areas varies between 22oC in winter and around 34oC in summer seasons. On the Central Plateau, the maximum temperature varies from 19oC in August to around 27oC in February. The Western and Northern regions are relatively warmer and drier than the east and south parts of the island.




The population estimate for the whole republic is 1,283,415. For the island of Mauritius only, as the number of inhabitants is around 1.3 million (2017). Mauritian society includes people from many different ethnic groups. The republic’s residents are the descendants of people from India, continental Africa, France and China, among other places.


The population density is 628 persons per square kilometre. The sex ratio is approximately 97.3 males per 100 females.