Population: July 1994 estimate 13,427,758.
growth rate 3.19 percent in 1994. Density 2.4 per square
kilometer in 1994.
Ethnic Groups: Some twenty ethnic groups of
principal ones are central highlanders (Merina and related
Betsileo) and côtiers of mixed Arab, African,
MalayoIndonesian ancestry. Other groups are Comorans, French,
IndoPakistanis , and Chinese.
Languages: Malagasy belonging to
language family; French also used extensively.
Religion: Estimated 55 percent hold indigenous
40 percent Christian, evenly divided between Roman
Protestants; 5 percent Muslim.
Education and Literacy: Education compulsory for
children ages six to fourteen; higher education available
University of Madagascar with six campuses. Literacy
80 percent in 1991.
Health: Economic decline has caused
medical services; 35 percent of population lacked adequate
to health services in early 1990s; infant mortality 114
in 1991. Major diseases malaria, schistosomiasis,
and leprosy as well as sexually transmitted diseases.
medicine popular especially in rural areas.
Data as of August 1994