Madagascar Background Information

Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896, but regained its 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.

Madagascar Quickstats

  • Population: 19,448,815 (July 2007 est.)
  • Area: 587,040 sq km
  • Density: 32 /km² (171st)
  • GDP (total): $17.270 billion (123rd)
  • GDP (per capita): $905 (169th)
  • Literacy: 68.9%

Languages of Madagascar

Useful to know

  • Currency: Malagasy ariary (MGA)
  • Dial code: +261

International Trade

External sites

More Resources

Recent blog posts