Geography of Madagascar

Location:Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
Geographic coordinates:20 00 S, 47 00 E
Map references:Africa
Area:total: 587,040 sq km
land: 581,540 sq km
water: 5,500 sq km
Area - comparative:slightly less than twice the size of Arizona
Land boundaries:0 km
Coastline:4,828 km
Maritime claims: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 deep isobath
Climate:tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
Terrain:narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m
Natural resources:graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
Land use:arable land: 5.03%
permanent crops: 1.02%
other: 93.95% (2005)
Irrigated land:10,860 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:periodic cyclones, drought, and locust infestation
Environment - current issues: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
Environment - international agreements: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
Geography - note:world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel

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

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