The Republic of Mauritius is a small island nation of three inhabited and several other islands located in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Together with Reunion and Rodrigues, Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands.
Covering an area of 1,865 sq. km. (720 sq. mi.), about the size of Rhode Island, and almost 11 times the size of Washington, DC, the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 km (500 miles) east of Madagascar.
The country is divided into 9 districts: Black River, Flacq, Grand Port, Moka, Pamplemousses, Plaines Wilhems, Port Louis, Riviere du Rempart and Savanne. The dependencies of Mauritius are: Rodrigues Island, the Agalega Islands and Cargados Carajos Shoals. Mauritius also claims sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory.
The current estimated population is 1,230,602 including Rodrigues, Agalega, and St. Brandon, and the ethnic groups are Indo-Mauritian (68%), Creole (27%), Sino-Mauritian (3%), Franco-Mauritian (2%).
Of all religiously affiliated Mauritians, Hindus constitute approximately 48 percent, while the remainder is composed mostly of Roman Catholics (23,6%) Muslims (16,6%) and other Christians (8%).
Creole is the native language of 80% of the people, however, French is widely spoken, and English is the official language. Mauritians also speak Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri.
The capital city, Port Louis, is the home to about 146,319 people. Other major cities are Beau Bassin and Rose Hill (105,377), Vacoas-Phoenix (101,789), Curepipe (82,756), Quatre Bornes (77,145).
Mauritius has a stable government and growing economy. Facilities for tourism are well developed. In order of frequency, Creole, French, and English are spoken; English and French are common in the main towns and tourist areas but may not be understood in outlying villages.
The climate is tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to October); hot, wet, humid summer (November to April). Cyclone season runs from December through March.