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Mauritius

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Definition: Mauritius from

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An island and state in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar: originally uninhabited, it was settled by the Dutch (1638-1710) then abandoned; taken by the French in 1715 and the British in 1810; became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1968. It is economically dependent on sugar. Official language: English; a French creole is widely spoken. Religion: Hindu majority, large Christian minority. Currency: rupee. Capital: Port Louis. Population: 1 157 000 (1998 est.). Area: 1865 sq. km (720 sq. miles). Former name (1715-1810): Île-de-France.

Derived words: Mauritian adjective, noun.

Summary Article: Mauritius from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Mauritius (môrĭsh´ēәs, -әs), officially Republic of Mauritius, republic (2005 est. pop. 1,231,000), 790 sq mi (2,046 sq km), in the SW Indian Ocean. It is part of the Mascarene Islands, c.500 mi (800 km) E of Madagascar. The island of Rodriguez and two groups of small islands, Agalega and Cargados Carajos, are dependencies of Mauritius. The capital is Port Louis. Land and People Mauritius is surrounded by coral reefs. A central plateau is ringed by mountains of volcanic origin, which rise to c.2,700 ft (820 m) in the southwest. The island has a tropical, rainy climate. Mauritius is divided into nine districts. Over two thirds of the population are of Indian descent, and over 25% are creole (of mixed French and African background). There are also small Chinese and French communities. About half of the people are Hindu, while 30% are Chris...    Continue Reading
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