Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Flag of Seychelles                                Map of Seychelles
Background: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.
Location:archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates:4 35 S, 55 40 E
Map references:Africa
Area: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
Coastline: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
Climate:tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)
Terrain: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:NA
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, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography—note:41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands
Population:81,895 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 25.4% (male 10,504/female 10,272)
15-64 years: 68.5% (male 27,405/female 28,706)
65 years and over: 6.1% (male 1,590/female 3,418) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 28.4 years
male: 27.3 years
female: 29.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:0.432% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:15.83 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:6.25 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:-5.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.023 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.955 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.465 male(s)/female
total population: 0.932 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 14.75 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.67 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 72.34 years
male: 66.98 years
female: 77.86 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:1.74 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:NA
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:NA
Nationality:noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychellois
Ethnic groups:mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab
Religions: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)
Languages:Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3% (2002 census)
Country name:conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles
local long form: Republic of Seychelles
local short form: Seychelles
Government type:republic
Capital: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
Independence:29 June 1976 (from UK)
National holiday:Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)
Constitution:18 June 1993
Legal system:based on English common law, French civil law, and customary law
Suffrage:17 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: President James Alix 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)
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 53.73%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN 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 members elected by popular vote, 9 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 10% of the vote; to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 10-12 May 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - SPPF 56.2%, SNP 43.8%; 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:ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Jean Ronald JUMEAU
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; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to 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—overview:Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the pre-independence, near-subsistence level, moving the island into the upper-middle income group of countries. 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 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. Economic growth slowed in 1998-2002 and fell in 2003-04, due to sluggish tourist and tuna sectors, but resumed in 2005-07. Real GDP grew by 5.8% in 2007, driven by tourism and a boom in tourism-related construction. The Seychelles rupee was allowed to depreciate in 2006 after being overvalued for years and fell by 10% in the first 9 months of 2007.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$1.655 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$733 million (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:5.8% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$18,400 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 25.6%
services: 72% (2007 est.)
Labor force:30,900 (1996)
Labor force—by occupation:agriculture: 10%
industry: 19%
services: 71% (1989)
Unemployment rate:NA%
Population below poverty line:NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):2.9% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):13.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $380.9 million
expenditures: $361.2 million (2007 est.)
Public debt:143.3% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; poultry; tuna
Industries:fishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages
Industrial production growth rate:1% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:208 million kWh (2005)
Electricity—consumption:193.4 million kWh (2005)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:0 kWh (2005)
Oil—production:0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—consumption:6,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:5,800 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2006)
Natural gas—production:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$-141 million (2007 est.)
Exports:$434 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)
Exports—partners:UK 25.5%, France 17.5%, Italy 11.9%, Mauritius 8.5%, Japan 8.3%, Spain 8.2%, Netherlands 4.3% (2006)
Imports:$721 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports—partners:Saudi Arabia 17.7%, South Africa 9.7%, Spain 8.1%, France 7.8%, Singapore 7.2%, Italy 4.8%, UK 4% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$118 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$957 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:$NA
Economic aid—recipient:$18.81 million (2005)
Currency (code):Seychelles rupee (SCR)
Exchange rates:Seychelles rupees per US dollar - 6.5 (2007), 5.5 (2006), 5.5 (2005), 5.5 (2004), 5.4007 (2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
Telephones—main lines in use:20,700 (2006)
Telephones—mobile cellular:70,300 (2006)
Telephone system:general assessment: effective system
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 110 telephones per 100 persons; 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 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:2 (plus 9 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country
Internet hosts:187 (2007)
Internet users:29,000 (2006)
Airports:15 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 2 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 4 (2007)
Roadways:total: 458 km
paved: 440 km
unpaved: 18 km (2003)
Merchant marine:total: 6 ships (1000 GRT or over) 108,348 GRT/165,593 DWT
by type: cargo 1, carrier 1, chemical tanker 4
foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 1, Nigeria 1, South Africa 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals:Victoria
Military branches:Seychelles Defense Force: Army, Coast Guard (includes Naval 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—percent of GDP:2% (2006 est.)
Transnational Issues
Disputes—international:together with Mauritius, Seychelles claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)


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