Seychelles

WorldABC.xyz: facts on every entity in the world

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. Single-party 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 reelected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James Alix MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term; he was reelected in May 2011.

Geography

Location

archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates

4.35° S, 55.40° E

Area 199/257

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 volcanic with a narrow coastal strip and rocky, hilly interior; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m

Natural resources

fish, coconuts (copra), cinnamon trees

Land use

agricultural land: 6.5%

arable land 2.2%; permanent crops 4.3%; permanent pasture 0%

forest: 88.5%

other: 5% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

2.6 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; occasional short droughts

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

smallest African country; the constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155 islands: 42 granitic and 113 coralline; by far the largest island is Mahe, which is home to about 90% of the population and the site of the capital city of Victoria

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)

adjective: Seychellois

Ethnic groups

mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab

Languages

Seychellois Creole (official) 89.1%, English (official) 5.1%, French (official) 0.7%, other 3.8%, unspecified 1.4% (2010 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 76.2%, Protestant 10.6% (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecoastal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6), other Christian 2.4%, Hindu 2.4%, Muslim 1.6%, other non-Christian 1.1%, unspecified 4.8%, none 0.9% (2010 est.)

Population 199/238

92,430 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.53% (male 9,731/female 9,243)

15-24 years: 13.92% (male 6,740/female 6,125)

25-54 years: 49.4% (male 24,076/female 21,586)

55-64 years: 8.74% (male 4,190/female 3,888)

65 years and over: 7.41% (male 2,670/female 4,181) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 43.5%

youth dependency ratio: 33.6%

elderly dependency ratio: 9.9%

potential support ratio: 10.1% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 34.4 years

male: 33.9 years

female: 35 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 133/233

0.83% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 138/224

14.19 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 137/225

6.89 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 64/222

1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 53.9% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.14% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

VICTORIA (capital) 26,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.12 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 132/224

total: 10.49 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.12 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 117/224

total population: 74.49 years

male: 69.92 years

female: 79.2 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 143/224

1.87 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 147/191

4% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

1.07 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

3.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 95.7% of population

rural: 95.7% of population

total: 95.7% of population

unimproved:

urban: 4.3% of population

rural: 4.3% of population

total: 4.3% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 98.4% of population

rural: 98.4% of population

total: 98.4% of population

unimproved:

urban: 1.6% of population

rural: 1.6% of population

total: 1.6% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 70/191

26.9% (2014)

Education expenditures 121/173

3.6% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 11%

male: 8.4%

female: 14.2% (2011 est.)

Government

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: 4.37° S, 55.27° E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

25 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Royale, Au Cap, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand Anse Mahe, Grand Anse Praslin, Inner Islands, La Riviere Anglaise, Les Mamalles, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe Larue, Port Glaud, Roche Caiman, Saint Louis, Takamaka

Independence

29 June 1976 (from the UK)

National holiday

Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993); Independence Day, 29 June (1976)

Constitution

previous 1970, 1979; latest drafted May 1993, approved by referendum 18 June 1993, effective 23 June 1993; amended many times, last in 2011 (2015)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Seychelles

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); Vice President Danny FAURE (since 1 July 2010); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); Vice President Danny FAURE (since 1 July 2010)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 more terms); election last held on 3-5 December with runoff on 16-18 December 2015 (next to be held NA)

election results: President James MICHEL reelected president; percent of vote in second round - James MICHEL (PP) 50.2%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN (SNP) 49.8%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (34 seats; 25 members directly elected in single-member constituencies by simple majority vote and 9 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 29 September - 1 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); note - the National Assembly was dissolved in July 2011 resulting in early elections

election results: percent of vote by party - PL 88.6%, PDM 10.9%, independent 0.6%; seats by party - PL 33, PDM 1; note - the SNP and NDP boycotted the 2011 elections

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Seychelles Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 4 justices; Supreme Court of Seychelles (consists of the chief justice and 9 puisine judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 3 Supreme Court judges)

judge selection and term of office: all judges appointed by the president of the republic upon the recommendation of the Constitutional Appointments Committee, a 3-member body, with 1 member appointed by the president of the republic, 1 by the opposition leader in the National Assembly, and 1 by the other 2 appointees; judges appointed until retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts of Seychelles; Family Tribunal for issues such as domestic violence, and child custody and maintenance; Employment Tribunal for labor related disputes

Political parties and leaders

People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL [James Alix MICHEL] (formerly SPPF)

Popular Democratic Movement or PDM [David PIERRE]

Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO)

Seselwa (Seychelles) United Party or SUP [Robert ERNESTA] (formerly the New Democratic Party or NDP)

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, CD, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Flag description

five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment

National symbol(s)

coco de mer (sea coconut); national colors: blue, yellow, red, white, green

National anthem

name: "Koste Seselwa" (Seychellois Unite)

lyrics/music: David Francois Marc ANDRE and George Charles Robert PAYET

note: adopted 1996

Economy

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.

In 2008, having depleted its foreign exchange reserves, Seychelles defaulted on interest payments due on a $230 million Eurobond, requested assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and immediately enacted a number of significant structural reforms, including liberalization of the exchange rate, reform of the public sector to include layoffs, and the selling of some state assets. In December 2013, the IMF declared that Seychelles had successfully transitioned to a market-based economy with full employment and a fiscal surplus. Seychelles grew at 4.3% in 2015 because of a strong tourist sector and expanding private sector credits; its fiscal surplus reached 4% of GDP.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 190/230

$2.533 billion (2015 est.)

$2.448 billion (2014 est.)

$2.369 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.375 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 78/225

3.5% (2015 est.)

3.3% (2014 est.)

6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 67/230

$27,000 (2015 est.)

$26,000 (2014 est.)

$25,200 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 93/179

18.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

16.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

26.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 53.4%

government consumption: 21.7%

investment in fixed capital: 38.8%

investment in inventories: 0.2%

exports of goods and services: 70.8%

imports of goods and services: -84.9%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3%

industry: 14.6%

services: 82.4% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), copra, bananas; tuna

Industries

fishing, tourism, beverages

Industrial production growth rate 70/202

3.5% (2015 est.)

Labor force 196/233

39,560 (2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 3%

industry: 23%

services: 74% (2006)

Unemployment rate 26/207

3% (2014 est.)

3.3% (2013 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.7%

highest 10%: 15.4% (2007)

Budget

revenues: $478.7 million

expenditures: $448.8 million (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 62/219

34.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 12/220

2.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 69/176

54.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

65.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 147/226

3.8% (2015 est.)

1.4% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 16/156

11.17% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 65/184

12.2% (31 December 2015 est.)

11.65% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 165/192

$467.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$407.2 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 178/193

$567.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)

$529.3 million (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 171/191

$476.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$427.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$NA

Current account balance 81/197

-$209 million (2015 est.)

-$299 million (2014 est.)

Exports 176/224

$450.6 million (2015 est.)

$538.9 million (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

canned tuna, frozen fish, petroleum products (reexports)

Exports - partners

France 24.8%, UK 18.6%, Italy 11.9%, Japan 9.2%, Mauritius 6.2%, Spain 4.2% (2014)

Imports 177/223

$1.05 billion (2015 est.)

$1.081 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals, other manufactured goods

Imports - partners

Saudi Arabia 23.6%, Spain 9.8%, France 5.2%, South Africa 4.6% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 148/170

$549.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$465 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 145/206

$2.823 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$2.714 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar -

13.37 (2015 est.)

12.75 (2014 est.)

12.75 (2013 est.)

13.7 (2012 est.)

12.38 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 172/220

316 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 177/219

293.9 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 192/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 198/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 176/214

89,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 26/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 177/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 199/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 125/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 187/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 184/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 122/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 186/215

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 128/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 162/212

6,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 130/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 148/213

6,805 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 125/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 191/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 175/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 130/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 190/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 164/212

1.304 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 184/219

total subscriptions: 21,200

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 23 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 184/217

total: 151,300

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 165 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: effective system

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 170 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) (2011)

Broadcast media

the government operates the only terrestrial TV station, which provides local programming and airs broadcasts from international services; multi-channel cable and satellite TV are available; the government operates 1 AM and 1 FM radio station; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are accessible in Victoria (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 2 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

2 (plus 9 repeaters) (1997)

Internet country code

.sc

Internet hosts 195/232

247 (2012)

Internet users 184/217

total: 49,300

percent of population: 53.8% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 150/236

14 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 7

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 5 (2013)

Heliports

1 (2013)

Roadways 195/223

total: 508 km

paved: 490 km

unpaved: 18 km (2010)

Merchant marine 117/156

total: 9

by type: cargo 1, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, petroleum tanker 1

foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 1, Nigeria 1, South Africa 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Victoria

Military and Security

Military branches

Seychelles People's Defense Forces (SPDF): Army, Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing), National Guard (2015)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2012)

Military expenditures 109/132

0.89% of GDP (2012)

0.82% of GDP (2011)

0.89% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)