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Flag of Seychelles
Map of Seychelles
Introduction Seychelles
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 Seychelles
archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates:
4 35 S, 55 40 E
Map references:
total: 455 sq km
land: 455 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
491 km
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
tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)
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: 2.17%
permanent crops: 13.04%
other: 84.79% (2005)
Irrigated land:
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 rainwater
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
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands
People Seychelles
81,541 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 25.9% (male 10,667/female 10,440)
15-64 years: 68% (male 27,060/female 28,366)
65 years and over: 6.1% (male 1,607/female 3,401) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 28.1 years
male: 27 years
female: 29.1 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.43% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
16.03 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
6.29 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
-5.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.47 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 15.14 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.08 years
male: 66.69 years
female: 77.63 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.74 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychellois
Ethnic groups:
mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab
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)
Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.9%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3% (2003 est.)
Government Seychelles
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles
local long form: Republic of Seychelles
local short form: Seychelles
Government type:
name: Victoria
geographic coordinates: 4 38 S, 55 27 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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
29 June 1976 (from UK)
National holiday:
Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)
18 June 1993
Legal system:
based on English common law, French civil law, and customary law
17 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President James 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); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
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 (SPPF) 53.73%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN (SNP) 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
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (34 seats - 25 elected by popular vote, 9 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 10% of the vote; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 4-6 December 2002 (next to be held in December 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - SPPF 54.3%, SNP 42.6%, DP 3.1%; seats by party - SPPF 23, SNP 11
Judicial branch:
Court of Appeal; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the president
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)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Roman Catholic Church; trade unions
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jeremie BONNELAME
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; aAmbassador to Mauritius Cesar CABRERA is accredited to the Seychelles
Flag description:
five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side
Economy Seychelles
Economy - overview:
Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. 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 in order 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. Growth slowed in 1998-2002, and fell in 2003, due to sluggish tourist and tuna sectors, but resumed in 2004. Growth turned negative again in 2005-06. Tight controls on exchange rates and the scarcity of foreign exchange have impaired short-term economic prospects. The black-market value of the Seychelles rupee is half the official exchange rate; without a devaluation of the currency, the tourist sector may remain sluggish as vacationers seek cheaper destinations such as Comoros, Mauritius, and Madagascar.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$626 million (2002 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$712 million (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-1% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$7,800 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.2%
industry: 30.1%
services: 66.7% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
30,900 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 19%
services: 71% (1989)
Unemployment rate:
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.7% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
44.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $371.1 million
expenditures: $376 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt:
166.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; poultry; tuna
fishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
208 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
193.4 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
5,600 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance:
$-78.59 million (2006 est.)
$365.1 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)
Exports - partners:
UK 23%, Spain 19.8%, France 11.4%, Japan 9.7%, Italy 7.4%, Germany 5.8%, Netherlands 5.4% (2005)
$570.6 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 15.2%, South Africa 13.9%, Spain 13.6%, France 7.2%, Singapore 6.9%, Italy 5.7% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$44.78 million (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$616.7 million (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$16.4 million (1995)
Currency (code):
Seychelles rupee (SCR)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Seychelles rupees per US dollar - 5.5 (2006), 5.5 (2005), 5.5 (2004), 5.4007 (2003), 5.48 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Seychelles
Telephones - main lines in use:
21,400 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
57,000 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: effective system
domestic: 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)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 2 (1998)
42,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
2 (plus 9 repeaters) (1997)
11,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
72 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
20,000 (2005)
Transportation Seychelles
15 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 2 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 4 (2006)
total: 458 km
paved: 440 km
unpaved: 18 km (2003)
Merchant marine:
total: 5 ships (1000 GRT or over) 69,777 GRT/113,501 DWT
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 4
foreign-owned: 1 (Nigeria 1) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Military Seychelles
Military branches:
Seychelles Defense Force: Army, Coast Guard (includes Navy Wing, Air Wing), National Guard (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.); no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 21,612
females age 18-49: 22,459 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 16,122
females age 18-49: 18,777 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$14.85 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.1% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Seychelles
Disputes - international:
together with Mauritius, Seychelles claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007