Madagascar

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Madagascar
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Location of Madagascar
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Introduction

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Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, was returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In April 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA achieved a second term following a landslide victory in the generally free and fair presidential elections of 2006. In early 2009, protests over increasing restrictions on opposition press and activities resulted in RAVALOMANANA stepping down and the presidency was conferred to the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA. Following negotiations in July and August of 2009, a power-sharing agreement with a 15-month transitional period was established, but has not yet been implemented.
 
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Geography

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Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
 
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20 00 S, 47 00 E
 
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total: 587,041 sq km
country comparison to the world: 47
land: 581,540 sq km
water: 5,501 sq km
 
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slightly less than twice the size of Arizona
 
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0 km
 
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4,828 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or 100 nm from the 2,500-m isobath
 
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tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
 
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narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center
 
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lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m
 
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graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, rare earth elements, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
 
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arable land: 5.03%
permanent crops: 1.02%
other: 93.95% (2005)
 
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10,860 sq km (2008)
 
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337 cu km (1984)
 
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total: 14.96 cu km/yr (3%/2%/96%)
per capita: 804 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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periodic cyclones; drought; and locust infestation
volcanism: Madagascar's volcanoes have not erupted in historical times
 
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soil erosion results from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes; several endangered species of flora and fauna unique to the island
 
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel
 
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People and Society

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noun: Malagasy (singular and plural)
adjective: Malagasy
 
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Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
 
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French (official), Malagasy (official), English
 
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indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%
 
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21,926,221 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
 
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0-14 years: 43.1% (male 4,762,589/female 4,693,259)
15-64 years: 53.8% (male 5,864,520/female 5,938,029)
65 years and over: 3% (male 295,409/female 372,415) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 18.2 years
male: 17.9 years
female: 18.4 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.973% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12
 
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37.51 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
 
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7.79 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
 
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0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
 
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urban population: 30% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 3.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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ANTANANARIVO (capital) 1.816 million (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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440 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 31
 
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total: 51.45 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 46
male: 56.23 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 46.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 63.63 years
country comparison to the world: 174
male: 61.62 years
female: 65.7 years (2011 est.)
 
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5.02 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
 
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6.2% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 98
 
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0.161 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
country comparison to the world: 154
 
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0.3 beds/1,000 population (2005)
country comparison to the world: 181
 
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improved:
urban: 71% of population
rural: 29% of population
total: 41% of population
unimproved:
urban: 29% of population
rural: 71% of population
total: 59% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 15% of population
rural: 10% of population
total: 11% of population
unimproved:
urban: 85% of population
rural: 90% of population
total: 89% of population (2008)
 
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0.2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
 
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24,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
 
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1,700 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
 
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degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: chikungunya, malaria, and plague
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)
 
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2.1% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 68
 
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36.8% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 9
 
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3% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 132
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 68.9%
male: 75.5%
female: 62.5% (2003 est.)
 
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total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2009)
 
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total: 2.3%
country comparison to the world: 128
male: 1.7%
female: 2.8% (2005)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar
conventional short form: Madagascar
local long form: Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara
former: Malagasy Republic
 
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republic
 
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name: Antananarivo
geographic coordinates: 18 55 S, 47 31 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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6 provinces (faritany); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara
 
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26 June 1960 (from France)
 
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Independence Day, 26 June (1960)
 
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passed by referendum 17 November 2010; promulgated 11 December 2010 (2010)
 
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civil law system based on the old French civil code and customary law in matters of marriage, family, and obligation
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President Andry RAJOELINA (since 18 March 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Jean Omer BERIZIKY (since 2 November 2011)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 December 2006 (next to be held in March 2012); prime minister appointed by the president; note - a power-sharing agreement in the summer of 2009 established a 15-month transition, concluding in general elections now scheduled for March 2012 after repeated delays
election results: percent of vote - Marc RAVALOMANANA 54.8%, Jean LAHINIRIKO 11.7%, Roland RATSIRAKA 10.1%, Herizo RAZAFIMAHALEO 9.1%, Norbert RATSIRAHONANA 4.2%, Ny Hasina ANDRIAMANJATO 4.2%, Elia RAVELOMANANTSOA 2.6%, Pety RAKOTONIAINA 1.7%, other 1.6%; note - RAVALOMANANA stepped down on 17 March 2009
note:: on 17 March 2009, democratically elected President Marc RAVALOMANANA stepped down handing the government over to the military, which in turn conferred the presidency on opposition leader and Antananarivo mayor Andry RAJOELINA, who will head the High Transitional Authority; a power-sharing agreement reached in August 2009 established a 15-month transition period, concluding in general elections in 2010; as of December 2010 the agreement had not been fully implemented
 
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bicameral legislature consists of a Senate or Senat (100 seats; two-thirds of the members appointed by regional assemblies; the remaining one-third appointed by the president; members to serve four-year terms) and a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (127 seats - reduced from 160 seats by an April 2007 national referendum; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: National Assembly - last held on 23 September 2007 (next to be held in March 2012); note - a power-sharing agreement in the summer of 2009 established a 15-month transition, concluding in general elections now scheduled for March 2012 after repeated delays
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - TIM 106, LEADER/Fanilo 1, independents 20
 
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Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle
 
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Association for the Rebirth of Madagascar or AREMA [Pierrot RAJAONARIVELO]; Democratic Party for Union in Madagascar or PSDUM [Jean LAHINIRIKO]; Economic Liberalism and Democratic Action for National Recovery or LEADER/Fanilo [Herizo RAZAFIMAHALEO]; Fihaonana Party or FP [Guy-Willy RAZANAMASY]; I Love Madagascar or TIM [Marc RAVALOMANANA]; Renewal of the Social Democratic Party or RPSD [Evariste MARSON]
 
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Committee for the Defense of Truth and Justice or KMMR; Committee for National Reconciliation or CRN [Albert Zafy]; National Council of Christian Churches or FFKM
 
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ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Velotiana Rakotoanosy RAOBELINA
chancery: 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-5525 through 5526
FAX: [1] (202) 265-3034
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador R. Niels MARQUARDT
embassy: 14-16 Rue Rainitovo, Antsahavola, Antananarivo 101
mailing address: B. P. 620, Antsahavola, Antananarivo
telephone: [261] (20) 22-212-57, 22-212-73, 22-209-56
FAX: [261] (20) 22-345-39
 
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two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side; by tradition, red stands for sovereignty, green for hope, white for purity
 
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name: "Ry Tanindraza nay malala o" (Oh, Our Beloved Fatherland)
lyrics/music: Pasteur RAHAJASON/Norbert RAHARISOA
note: adopted 1959
 
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Economy

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After discarding socialist economic policies in the mid-1990s, Madagascar followed a World Bank- and IMF-led policy of privatization and liberalization that has been undermined since the start of the political crisis. This strategy placed the country on a slow and steady growth path from an extremely low level. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing 80% of the population. Exports of apparel have boomed in recent years primarily due to duty-free access to the US. However, Madagascar's failure to comply with the requirements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) led to the termination of the country's duty-free access in January 2010. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns. Former President RAVALOMANANA worked aggressively to revive the economy following the 2002 political crisis, which triggered a 12% drop in GDP that year. The current political crisis which began in early 2009 has dealt additional blows to the economy. Tourism dropped more than 50% in 2009, compared with the previous year, and many investors are wary of entering the uncertain investment environment.
 
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$19.41 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
$19.8 billion (2009 est.)
$20.55 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$8.345 billion (2010 est.)
 
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-2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
-3.7% (2009 est.)
7.1% (2008 est.)
 
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$900 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 219
$1,000 (2009 est.)
$1,000 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 29.3%
industry: 16.2%
services: 54.5% (2010 est.)
 
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9.504 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 51
 
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50% (2004 est.)
 
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lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 41.5% (2005)
 
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47.5 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 29
38.1 (1999)
 
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18.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
 
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revenues: $1.184 billion
expenditures: $1.35 billion (2010 est.)
 
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14.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
 
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-2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
 
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9.2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
9% (2009 est.)
 
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5% (31 December 2010 est.)
NA% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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46% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
44.617% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.22 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
$1.229 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.994 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
$1.996 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$890.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
$998.4 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA
 
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coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products
 
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meat processing, seafood, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism
 
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2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
 
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1.11 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
 
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1.032 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
 
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22,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
 
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16,390 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
 
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-$2.106 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
-$2.368 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$1.173 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
$881.4 million (2009 est.)
 
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coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products
 
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France 26.3%, US 9.2%, China 8.5%, Netherlands 6.4%, Germany 5.6%, Canada 4.4%, Spain 4.3% (2010)
 
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$3.453 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
$3.211 billion (2009 est.)
 
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capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food
 
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China 14.6%, France 11.4%, South Africa 6.4%, India 5.4%, Bahrain 4.6%, US 4.3%, Singapore 4.1% (2010)
 
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$1.172 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
$1.136 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$2.265 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
$2.214 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA
 
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$NA
 
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Malagasy ariary (MGA) per US dollar -
2,062.5 (2010)
1,956.2 (2009)
1,654.78 (2008)
1,880 (2007)
2,161.4 (2006)
 
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Communications

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172,200 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 130
 
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8.242 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 80
 
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general assessment: system is above average for the region; Antananarivo's main telephone exchange modernized in the late 1990s, but the rest of the analogue-based telephone system is poorly developed; have been adding fixed line connections since 2005
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 30 per 100 persons
international: country code - 261; SEACOM undersea fiber-optic cable and the Lion undersea cable connecting to Reunion and Mauritius; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region) (2009)
 
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state-owned Radio Nationale Malagasy (RNM) and Television Malagasy (TVM) have an extensive national network reach; privately-owned radio and TV broadcasters in cities and major towns; state-run radio predominates in rural areas; relays of 2 international broadcasters are available in Antananarivo (2007)
 
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.mg
 
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27,606 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 99
 
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319,900 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 127
 
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Transportation

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84 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 67
 
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total: 27
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 57
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 35
under 914 m: 20 (2010)
 
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total: 854 km
country comparison to the world: 97
narrow gauge: 854 km 1.000-m gauge (2010)
 
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total: 65,663 km
country comparison to the world: 69
paved: 7,617 km
unpaved: 58,046 km (2003)
 
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600 km (432 km navigable) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 79
 
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total: 8
country comparison to the world: 123
by type: cargo 4, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2 (2010)
 
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Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara (Tulear)
 
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Military

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People's Armed Forces: Intervention Force, Development Force, and Aeronaval Force (navy and air); National Gendarmerie
 
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18-25 years of age for male-only voluntary military service; no conscription; service obligation - 18 months (either military or equivalent civil service); 20-30 years of age for National Gendarmerie recruits (35 years of age for those with military experience) (2010)
 
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males age 16-49: 4,900,729
females age 16-49: 4,909,061 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 3,390,071
females age 16-49: 3,682,180 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 248,184
female: 246,769 (2010 est.)
 
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1% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 131
 
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Transnational Issues

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claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France); the vegetated drying cays of Banc du Geyser, which were claimed by Madagascar in 1976, also fall within the EEZ claims of the Comoros and France (Glorioso Islands, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands)
 
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current situation: Madagascar is a source country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; sex and labor trafficking have increased, particularly due to a lack of economic development and a decline in the rule of law during the current political crisis, which began in March 2009; children, mostly from rural areas, are subjected to domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced labor in mining, fishing, and agriculture within the country
tier rating: Tier 3 - combating human trafficking has not been a priority of the de facto government, despite the growing size of the problem both internally and transnationally; the authorities' anti-trafficking efforts were negligible during the past year; they failed to prosecute or convict trafficking offenders, to identify and refer repatriated victims to necessary services, and to prevent the increased trafficking of Malagasy citizens; lack of awareness on the coverage and application of the anti-trafficking law, and the continued arrest and punishment of potential underage children in prostitution by local law enforcement, contributes to the dismal state of anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in Madagascar (2011)
 
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illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for heroin
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