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  Introduction Back To Top

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. 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 Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
4 35 S, 55 40 E

Natural resources:
fish, copra, cinnamon trees

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m

Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs

Geography - note:
41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands

total: 455 sq km
land: 455 sq km
water: 0 sq km

archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar

491 km

Area - comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:
water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Natural hazards:
lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; short droughts possible

Land use:
arable land: 2.17%
permanent crops: 13.04%
other: 84.79% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
1.73 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.6 years
male: 67.27 years
female: 78.1 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3% (2002 census)

Net migration rate:
-5.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab

Median age:
total: 28.7 years
male: 27.6 years
female: 29.8 years (2008 est.)

82,247 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
6.5% of GDP (2006)

Population growth rate:
0.428% (2008 est.)

Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)

Death rate:
6.21 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 14.36 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.18 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2007)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 24.9% (male 10,337/female 10,108)
15-64 years: 69.1% (male 27,752/female 29,048)
65 years and over: 6.1% (male 1,575/female 3,427) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
15.6 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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% (2002 census)

noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychellois

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles

National holiday:
Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)

17 years of age; universal

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Roman Catholic Church
other: trade unions

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jean Ronald JUMEAU
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (34 seats; 25 members elected by popular vote, 9 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 10% of the vote; to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 10-12 May 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - SPPF 56.2%, SNP 43.8%; seats by party - SPPF 23, SNP 11

Legal system:
based on English common law, French civil law, and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Flag description:
five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side

29 June 1976 (from UK)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles
local long form: Republic of Seychelles
local short form: Seychelles

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party or DP [James MANCHAM, Paul CHOW]; Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO); Seychelles People's Progressive Front or SPPF [France Albert RENE, James MICHEL] (the governing party)

name: Victoria
geographic coordinates: 4 38 S, 55 27 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

18 June 1993

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); election last held 28-30 July 2006 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: President James MICHEL elected president; percent of vote - James MICHEL 53.73%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN 45.71%, Philippe BOULLE 0.56%; note - this was the first election in which President James MICHEL participated; he was originally sworn in as president after former president France Albert RENE stepped down in April 2004

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

Judicial branch:
Court of Appeal; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the president

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
UK 23.7%, France 19.8%, Mauritius 10%, Japan 8.3%, Italy 5.7%, Spain 5.1% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
193.4 million kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
5.13% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$307 million (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.161 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
2% (2006 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2006)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$18,700 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
10.1% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$660.2 million (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.537 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$779 million (2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar - 8 (2008 est.), 6.5 (2007), 5.5 (2006), 5.5 (2005), 5.5 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
4.2% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$330.8 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
39,560 (2006)

Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 17.6%, Germany 10.8%, France 8.1%, Spain 7.6%, South Africa 6.4%, Singapore 5.8% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
25.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 28.3%
services: 69.9% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
5,722 bbl/day (2005)

$425 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Seychelles rupee (SCR)

Economy - overview:
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. Despite these actions, the Seychelles economy is struggling to maintain its gains and in 2008 suffered from food and oil price shocks, a foreign exchange shortage, high inflation and large financing gaps. In July 2008 the government defaulted on a Euro amortizing note worth roughly US$80 million, leading to a downgrading of Seychelles credit rating. Seychelles requested an IMF Stand-By Agreement in December 2008.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals

fishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
10.89% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$249 million (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
208 million kWh (2006 est.)

$952 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 23%
services: 74% (2006)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$59 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
6,560 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Public debt:
92.6% of GDP (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)

Economic aid - recipient:
$18.81 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $318.1 million
expenditures: $324.6 million (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
32,000 (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
22,700 (2007)

11,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 2 (2001)

42,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
77,300 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
2 (plus 9 repeaters) (1997)

Telephone system:
general assessment: effective system
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is nearly 125 telephones per 100 persons; radiotelephone communications between islands in the archipelago
international: country code - 248; direct radiotelephone communications with adjacent island countries and African coastal countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)

Internet hosts:
284 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:

Merchant marine:
total: 8
by type: cargo 1, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6
foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 1, Nigeria 1, South Africa 1) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 2 (2007)

total: 458 km
paved: 440 km
unpaved: 18 km (2003)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 4 (2007)

15 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 23,598
females age 16-49: 24,424 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 17,942
females age 16-49: 20,436 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Seychelles Defense Force: Army, Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing), National Guard (2005)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 770
female: 750 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
2% of GDP (2006 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
together with Mauritius, Seychelles claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)

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