macrohistory & world report

Republic of Madagascar

Madagascar localed off the coast of Africa

Madagascar (capital Antanannarivo)

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing 80% of the population. Exports of apparel boomed in recent years primarily due to duty-free access to the US; however, Madagascar's failure to comply with the requirements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) led to the termination of the country's duty-free access in January 2010 and a sharp fall in textile production. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns. The current political crisis, which began in early 2009, has dealt additional blows to the economy. Tourism dropped more than 50% in 2009 compared with the previous year, and many investors are wary of entering the uncertain investment environment. Growth was slow during 2010 to 2013 although expansion in mining and agricultural sectors is expected to contribute to more growth in 2014."

Economic growth rate
2011: 1%
2010: 0.6%
2009: minus 3.7%

World Factbook: "Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns."

Labor force in agriculture
2010: 26.5%

Export commodities
Coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, clothing, chromite, petroleum products

Export partners
2009: France 26.3%, US 9.2%, China 8.5%, Netherlands 6.4%, Germany 5.6%, Canada 4.4%, Spain 4.3%

Export/import ratio
2011: exports $1.407 billion, imports $3.653 billion

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 28th among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.

Health expenditures
2009: 6.2 % of GDP


Living in an urban area

2010: 30%

Density for 2005: 31 persons per square kilometer. Persons per square kilometer of arable land: 619.Ethnic groups
Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran

Indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%

Literacy (15 and older)
2003: males 75.5%, females 62.5%


Large island in the Indian Ocean, roughly 1,600 kilometers by 500 kilometers (1,000 miles by 312 miles).


President is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and eligible for a second term.

Parliamentary government with a bicameral legislature. The Senate has 100 members, one-third of them appointed by the president and two-thirds appointed by regional assemblies. The National Assembly has 127 members elected by popular vote. All members serve four-year terms.

Capital: Antananarivo

Recent History

Independence from France in 1960.  Single party rule until 1992. Constitution by national referendum, 1992. Electoral disputes.

World Factbook: The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In April 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced Ravalomanana the winner. Ravalomanana achieved a second term following a landslide victory in the generally free and fair presidential elections of 2006. In early 2009, protests over increasing restrictions on opposition press and activities resulted in Ravalomanana stepping down and the presidency was conferred to the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry Rajoelina. Following negotiations in July and August of 2009, a power-sharing agreement with a 15-month transitional period was established, but has not yet been implemented.

The World Factbook lists Andry Rajoelina as president since March 18, 2009.

The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.