Madagascar is also inhabited by nonindigenous
constitute roughly 1.7 percent of the population. Because
status of France as the former colonial power, Madagascar
to many former French colonial administrators and military
officers. The country is also home to French
businesspersons, managers of large plantations, and colons
farmers) working their own holdings. Approximately 18,000
citizens lived and worked in Madagascar in the early
The Comorans (currently numbering 25,000) historically
constituted a second important nonindigenous population
but their numbers decreased after racial riots in
December 1976 resulted in nearly 1,400 killed; in
20,000 were repatriated to the islands in the ensuing
They have been concentrated in the northern part of
along the coast, and prior to 1976 formed more than
the populations of the port cities of Mahajanga and
Most of the Comorans, who adhere to the Muslim faith, have
migrated from the island of Njazidja (Grande Comore); they
typically work as unskilled laborers in the fields or on
docks of the ports.
Indo-Pakistanis (roughly numbering 17,000) represent a
nonindigenous minority group, and trace their origins to
regions of Gujerat or Bombay on the Indian subcontinent.
Comorans, they are for the most part Muslim. Despite
the island for several generations (or even several
the Indo-Pakistanis still maintain contact with their home
in northwestern India and Pakistan. Historically, they
worked as merchants and small entrepreneurs and in the
monopolized the wholesale and retail trade in textiles.
to be concentrated in the cities along the west coast.
The Chinese (numbering approximately 9,000) constitute
fourth major nonindigenous population group. Like the
IndoPakistanis , they are engaged primarily in commerce but are
mostly along the east coast and around Antananarivo. They
more commonly found in the rural areas than the
They work as small traders and often marry Malagasy.
Data as of August 1994