Very short facts about Madagascar
Republic of Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of Africa. It is the fourth-largest island in the world with an area of 587,041 km2, a size larger than Sweden. Total population of 22 million, 90% of whom live on less than two dollars per day, 70% below one dollar.
In the 18th and 19th century, Madagascar were popular among pirates and European traders, particularly those involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
France invaded Madagascar in 1883 in the first Franco-Hova War. Slavery was abolished in 1896, many of the 500,000 liberated slaves remained in their former masters’ homes as servants. The Malagasy Republic was proclaimed on 14 October 1958, as an autonomous state within the French community. Full independence on 26 June 1960.
The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity (50%), or a mix of both. Malagasy is the national language (of Malayo-Polynesian origin). French is the main business language.
The left map shows size compared to Sweden
The right map shows ethnic sub-groups.