You are here: Home Countries Madagascar About Madagascar

About Madagascar

The Republic of Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa.

The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population.

In 2012, the population of Madagascar was estimated at just over 22 million, 90 percent of whom live on less than two dollars per day. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state. The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity, or an amalgamation of both. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education, health and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy.