Factbook: Seychelles




Location: Eastern Africa, group of islands in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates: 4 35 S, 55 40 E

Map references: Africa

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:
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

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%
permanent crops: 13%
permanent pastures: NA%
forests and woodland: 11%
other: 74% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

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 rain water

Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Desertification

Geography – note: 40 granitic and about 50 coralline islands


Population: 78,107 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.2% (male 11,885; female 11,708)
15-64 years: 63.5% (male 24,336; female 25,293)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 1,698; female 3,187) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.7% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 20.53 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 7.14 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -6.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over : 0.53 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 12.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 69.57 years
male: 64.81 years
female: 74.47 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.06 children born/woman (1997 est.)

noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychelles

Ethnic groups: Seychellois (mixture of Asians, Africans, Europeans)

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Anglican 8%, other 2%

Languages: English (official), French (official), Creole

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 58%
male: 56%
female: 60% (1971 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles

Data code: SE

Government type: republic

National capital: Victoria

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 Island), Grand’ Anse (on Praslin Island), La Digue, La Riviere Anglaise, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe Larue, Port Glaud, Saint Louis, Takamaka

Independence: 29 June 1976 (from UK)

National holiday: National Day, 18 June (1993) (adoption of new constitution)

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 France Albert RENE (since 5 June 1977); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President France Albert RENE (since 5 June 1977); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 20-23 July 1993 (next to be held NA 1998)
election results : President France Albert RENE reelected; percent of vote – France Albert RENE (SPPF) 59.5%, Sir James MANCHAM (DP) 36.72%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (33 seats, 22 popularly elected by direct vote, 11 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 9 percent of the vote; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 20-23 July 1993 (next to be held NA 1998)
election results: percent of vote by party – SPPF 82%, DP 15%, UO 3%; seats by party (elected) – SPPF 21, DP 1; seats by party (awarded) – SPPF 6, DP 4, UO 1
note: the 11 awarded seats are apportioned according to the share of each party in the total vote

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal; Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: ruling party – Seychelles People’s Progressive Front or SPPF [France Albert RENE]; Democratic Party or DP [Sir James MANCHAM]; United Opposition or UO [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] – a coalition of the following parties: Seychelles Party or PS [Wavel RAMKALAWAN], Seychelles Democratic Movement or MSPD[Jacques HONDOUL], and Seychelles Liberal Party or SLP [Ogilvie BERLOUIS]; New Democratic Party [Christopher GILL (former member of DP)]

Political pressure groups and leaders: trade unions; Roman Catholic Church

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, C, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, NAM, OAU, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires ad interim Claude MOREL
chancery: (temporary) care of the Permanent Mission of Seychelles to the United Nations, 820 Second Avenue, Suite 900F, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
FAX : [1] (212) 972-1786

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to the 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 grown to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level, led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings. In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment in order 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. The vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 1991-92 due largely to the Gulf war. Although the industry has rebounded, the government recognizes the continuing need for upgrading the sector in the face of stiff international competition.

GDP: purchasing power parity – $450 million (1995 est.)

GDP – real growth rate: 1.1% (1995 est.)

GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $6,000 (1995 est.)

GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture : 3.6%
industry: 15%
services: 81.4% (1994)

Inflation rate – consumer price index: -0.3% (1995 est.)

Labor force:
total: 26,000 (1996)
by occupation: industry and commerce 31%, services 21%, government 20%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 12%, other 16% (1985)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $220 million
expenditures: $241 million, including capital expenditures of $36 million (1994 est.)

Industries: tourism; fishing; processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages

Industrial production growth rate: 4% (1992)

Electricity – capacity: 33,000 kW (1995)

Electricity – production: 110 million kWh (1992)

Electricity – consumption per capita: 1,582 kWh (1992 est.)

Agriculture – products: coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; broiler chickens; tuna fishing (expansion under way)

total value: $56.1 million ( f.o.b. 1995)
commodities: fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (re-exports)
partners : France, UK, China, Germany, Japan (1993)

total value: $238 million (c.i.f., 1995)
commodities: manufactured goods, food, petroleum products, tobacco, beverages, machinery and transportation equipment
partners: China, Singapore, South Africa, UK (1993)

Debt – external: $170 million (1994 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Seychelles rupee (SRe) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Seychelles rupees (SRe) per US$1 – 4.9968 (January 1997), 4.9700 (1996), 4.7620 (1995), 5.0559 (1994), 5.1815 (1993), 5.1220 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 13,000 (1995 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic : radiotelephone communications between islands in the archipelago
international: direct radiotelephone communications with adjacent island countries and African coastal countries; satellite earth station – 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 0, shortwave 0

Radios: 35,000 (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (in a government network)

Televisions: 6,000 (1993 est.)


Railways: 0 km

total: 270 km
paved: 170 km
unpaved: 100 km (1995 est.)

Ports and harbors: Victoria

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 14 (1996 est.)

Airports – with paved runways:
total : 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 6 (1996 est.)

Airports – with unpaved runways:
total : 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (1996 est.)


Military branches: Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Presidential Protection Unit, Police Force

Military manpower – availability:
males age 15-49: 21,860 (1997 est.)

Military manpower – fit for military service:
males : 11,030 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures – dollar figure: $13.7 million (1995)

Military expenditures – percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes – international: claims Tromelin Island