Comoros Travel Information

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Facts About Comoros

Background: Unstable Comoros has endured 19 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence from France in 1975. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli declared their independence from Comoros. In 1999, military chief Col. AZALI seized power. He has pledged to resolve the secessionist crisis through the 2000 Fomboni Accord, a confederal arrangement that the Organization of African Unity has yet to recognize.
Government type: independent republic
Capital: Moroni
Currency: 1 Comoran franc (CF) = 100 centimes

Geography of Comoros

Location: Southern Africa, group of islands in the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
Geographic coordinates: 12 10 S, 44 15 E
Area:
total: 2,170 sq km
land: 2,170 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 340 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)
Terrain: volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Le Kartala 2,360 m
Natural resources: NEGL
Land use:
arable land: 35%
permanent crops: 10%
permanent pastures: 7%
forests and woodland: 18%
other: 30% (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: cyclones possible during rainy season (December to April); Le Kartala on Grand Comore is an active volcano
Environment - current issues: soil degradation and erosion results from crop cultivation on slopes without proper terracing; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: important location at northern end of Mozambique Channel

People of Comoros

The Comorians inhabiting Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Moheli (86% of the population) share African-Arab origins. Islam is the dominant religion, and Koranic schools for children reinforce its influence. Although Arab culture is firmly established throughout the archipelago, a substantial minority of the citizens of Mayotte (the Mahorais) are Catholic and have been strongly influenced by French culture.

The most common language is Shikomoro, a Swahili dialect. French and Arabic also are spoken. About 57% of the population is literate.

Population: 671,247 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  42.81%
15-64 years:  54.26%
65 years and over:  2.93% 
Population growth rate: 3.02% 
Birth rate: 39.52 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 9.35 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: NEGL migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 84.07 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  60.41 years
male:  58.2 years
female:  62.68 years 
Total fertility rate: 5.32 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Comoran(s)
adjective: Comoran
Ethnic groups: Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava
Religions: Sunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%
Languages: Arabic (official), French (official), Comoran (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.3%
male: 64.2%
female: 50.4% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Comoros Map Economy History