Madagascar, or the Big Island, lies in the Indian Ocean, 400 km off the African coast from which it is separated by the Mozambique Channel.
587 000 km ², length from north to south 1500 km and width from east to west 500 km.
21 million people according to estimates made in 2010, no general census has been conducted over the past twenty years.
36 inhabitants per square kilometre.
118 as well as minority communities like the Comoros, the Indo-Pakistani and Chinese. The French are the largest European community with nearly 25,000 citizens.
Antananarivo with 1.5 million inhabitants, and about 3.5 million people to the Grand Tana (the city and its suburbs).
Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) to the north, Mahajanga (Mahajanga) northwest, Tamatave (Toamasina, the first port in the country) on the east coast, Antsirabe and Fianarantsoa in south-central and Tulear (Toliara) to the southwest.
Independent republic with presidential character endowed with the following institutions: Senate, National Assembly and Prime Minister.
The official Malagasy (spoken throughout the island), regional dialects, and French.
Ariary (MGA) has officially replaced the Malagasy Franc since 2005.
A large part of the population (about 44%) practice ancestor worship and rituals that accompany it. Catholicism and Protestantism represent approximately 22% of the population. A small minority of Muslims (not exceeding 2% of the population).
Madagascar is at the 146th world rank in terms of human development index, it is one of the ten countries the poorest of the world.