Seychelles Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Seychelles > Map Economy History

Aldabra Atoll
Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve

Facts About Seychelles

Background: A 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.
Government type: republic
Capital: Victoria
Currency: 1 Seychelles rupee (SCR) = 100 cents

Geography of Seychelles

Location: Eastern Africa, group of islands in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates: 4 35 S, 55 40 E
Area:
total: 455 sq km
land: 455 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 491 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
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
Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 13%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 11%
other: 74% (1993 est.)
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 rain water
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: 40 granitic and about 50 coralline islands

People of Seychelles

About 90% of the Seychellois people live on Mahe Island. Most others live on Praslin and La Digue, with the remaining smaller islands either sparsely populated or uninhabited.

Most Seychellois are descendants of early French settlers and the African slaves brought to the Seychelles in the 19th century by the British, who freed them from slave ships on the East African coast. Indians and Chinese (1.1% of the population) account for the other permanent inhabitants. About 1,703 (2000) expatriates live and work in Seychelles.

Seychelles culture is a mixture of French and African (Creole) influences. Creole is the native language of 94% of the people, however, English and French are commonly used. English remains the language of government and commerce.

Population: 81,188 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  28.27% 
15-64 years:  65.47%
65 years and over:  6.26% 
Population growth rate: 0.49% 
Birth rate: 17.66 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 6.65 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -6.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 17.3 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  70.69 years
male:  65.17 years
female:  76.37 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.83 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychelles
Ethnic groups: Seychellois (mixture of Asians, Africans, Europeans)
Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Anglican 8%, other 2%
Languages: English (official), French (official), Creole
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 58%
male: 56%
female: 60% (1971 est.)

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

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Seychelles > Map Economy History