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Mayotte - People

Mayotte’s population has seen a threefold increase since 1985 and stands at 212,645 according to the latest census conducted by INSEE in August 2012. The Mahorais population is the result of a mix between the populations of Bantu origin and the different waves of immigration, mainly Malagasy. Among the minorities on the island, the Indian community occupies an important place.

In 2015-2016, Mayotte counted nearly 89,500 pupils in 229 schools. The school population has increased by 5% per year on average in recent years. Since 2007, the main ambition of the academy is to allow a better mastery of French, which involves the gradual integration of children under the age of six. 3,100 3-year-olds were thus pre-schooled in 2009, reaching 5,500 4-year-olds and 6,000 6-year-olds enrolled in pre-primary education.

The Social Security system introduced in April 2004 enabled the introduction of health insurance under the same conditions as the basic social security system of mainland France. In particular, it lays down the rules governing co-payments to be paid by the insured person and thus the reimbursement of the cost of consultations with doctors, the purchase of medicines, etc.

In 50 years, the population of Mayotte multiplied by 10-fold, reaching 212 645 inhabitants (census 2012). The average density on the archipelago is 603 inhabitants per km² compared with 112 for metropolitan France. This population is increasingly concentrated around an urban center: Mamoudzou, capital of the island, absorbs more than 57 000 inhabitants.

Since the 1950s, population growth in Mayotte has been driven by a very high birth rate, and by immigration from most of the neighboring islands. Although this growth remains steady, a slowdown has been observed since 1997, due to the decline in the fertility rate of women. Mayotte is the youngest department in France: half of the population is under 17 and a half (compared with 23 in Guyana and 39 in metropolitan France). Six out of ten Mahorais are under 25 years of age; Three in ten are under 10 years of age.

Mayotte has a high level of clandestine immigration, mainly from the Comoros and the Anjouan island (the nearest, 70 km away). The government has stepped up its fight against illegal immigration (surveillance radars). 18,763 deported foreigners were thus implemented in 2015. At the same time, enhanced regional cooperation with the Comoros is under way in order to create mechanisms for joint development in agriculture, health, justice and primary education. The set aimed at a concerted management of migratory flows.

Two-thirds of the island’s population are under 30 according to the 2007 census. However, this sharp increase, which is due to an extremely high birth rate, a low mortality rate and a high level of immigration, has been slowing down since 1997. The average annual population growth rate (+2.7%), measured between 2007 and 2012, does nevertheless remain higher than in Réunion (+1.5%), but is close to the rate in the Comoros (+2.4%). According to census operations, net migration was widely positive between 1997 and 2002, but the latest available statistics show that it became negative between 2002 and 2007. Population density (570 inhabitants per km² in 2012) is the highest in the region after Mauritius (640 inhabitants per km²) and the highest among French departments, excluding Île-de-France. The share of population of foreign nationality reached 40.7% in July 2007, roughly a third were born in Mayotte.

Comoros is one of the poorest countries in the world while Mayotte, 70km away, is part of the European Union (EU) and is rich. With the economic disparity between the two islands widening, an increasing number of impoverished Comoran migrants are braving the ocean swells in search of a better life. A child born on Mayotte is granted local citizenship, opening the door to the bigger prize of French and EU citizenship. About 7,400 babies are born on Mayotte every year, 5,000 of them at the hospital in Momoudz, the capital, which has the highest birth rate in the EU.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2017 18:27:51 ZULU