island sovereign state off the coast of Southeast Africa, in the Indian Ocean
(Redirected from Malagasy people)

Madagascar is a large island nation in the Indian Ocean. It is off of the East coast of Africa and its capital is Antananarivo. Twenty-two million people live there. It is the world's fourth largest island.[10]

Republic of Madagascar
  • Repoblikan'i Madagasikara  (Malagasy)
  • République de Madagascar  (French)
  • "Fitiavana, Tanindrazana, Fandrosoana" (Malagasy)
  • "Amour, Patrie, Progrès" (French)
  • "Love, Land of Our Ancestors, Progress"[1]
Anthem: Ry Tanindrazanay malala ô!
Oh, Beloved Land of our Ancestors!
Location of  Madagascar  (dark blue) – in Africa  (light blue & dark grey) – in the African Union  (light blue)
Location of  Madagascar  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

and largest city
18°55′S 47°31′E / 18.917°S 47.517°E / -18.917; 47.517
Official languages
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential constitutional republic
• President
Andry Rajoelina
Christian Ntsay
National Assembly
• from France
26 June 1960
17 November 2010
• Total
587,041 km2 (226,658 sq mi) (46th)
• Water
5,501 km2 (2,124 sq mi)
• Water (%)
• 2021 estimate
28,915,653[4][5] (52nd)
• 1993 census
• Density
35.2/km2 (91.2/sq mi) (174th)
GDP (PPP)2017 estimate
• Total
$40.055 billion[6]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2017 estimate
• Total
$10.372 billion[6]
• Per capita
Gini (2010)44.1[7]
HDI (2015)Increase 0.512[8]
low · 158th
CurrencyMalagasy ariary (MGA)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (not observed[9])
Driving sideright
Calling code+261[9]
ISO 3166 codeMG

The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French.

Pre-human history


About two hundred million years ago, Madagascar was a part of a huge supercontinent called Pangaea. When this broke up, Madagascar was attached to what is now the Indian subcontinent. Madagascar broke away from India and moved closer to Africa.[11]

The long history of separation from other continents has allowed plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation. Many of its animals came from Africa, because the island is closer to Africa than to India. Many of these endemic Malagasy animals have died out since the arrival of humans, particularly the megafauna.

Despite this, and massive deforestation, Madagascar is still home to an incredible array of wildlife. Most of the wildlife is unique.[12]



Madagascar is home to many species that were not known to Europeans about until around 1679 when Dutch explorers went there. They do not exist elsewhere in Africa. They only exist in Madagascar. In fact, most of the mammals living in Madagascar do not live anywhere else in the world.[13]

Many species in Madagascar are in danger because much of the forest has been cut down.[14] Forests are cut down so the land can grow crops such as coffee, which is an important export crop for Madagascar.



Agriculture is a big part of the economy in Madagascar, including the growing of coffee and vanilla. Madagascar sells more vanilla than any other country in the world.[15] Madagascar also makes money from tourism.[16]


Map of the Regions of Madagascar and former provinces of Madagascar

In 2004 Madagascar was divided into 22 regions. It used to be divided into 6 provinces.[17]

Human history


People have probably lived in Madagascar for at least 2000 years.[18]

France took over the city of Antananarivo in 1895, and added Madagascar as a colony two years later.[19] Madagascar became independent on 26 June, 1960.



  1. Le Comité Consultatif Constitutionnel (1 October 2010). "Projet de Constitution de la Quatrième République de Madagascar" (PDF) (in French). Madagascar Tribune. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  2. "MADAGASCAR: general data". Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  3. "Demonyms – Names of Nationalities". Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  4. "World Population Prospects 2022". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  5. "World Population Prospects 2022: Demographic indicators by region, subregion and country, annually for 1950-2100" (XSLX). ("Total Population, as of 1 July (thousands)"). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Madagascar". International Monetary Fund.
  7. "Gini Index". World Bank. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  8. "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bradt (2011), p. 2.
  10. "CIA - The World Factbook -- Madagascar". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on August 25, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  11. "Giant palm tree puzzles botanists". 17 January 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  12. Benstead, Jonathan P.; Goodman, Steven D. (2003). The natural history of Madagascar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-30306-3.
  13. "Dark history of Madagascar - Times Online". Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  14. "Deforestation In Madagascar". Archived from the original on June 6, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  15. Saholiarisoa, Sanja. "Reuters AlertNet - Cyclones, politics to hurt Madagascar vanilla". Archived from the original on June 20, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  16. "Economy of Madagascar". Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  17. Deschamps (1965), pp. 268, 274.
  18. "Dark history of Madagascar - Times Online". Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  19. "History of Madagascar - Lonely Planet Travel Information". Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2010.

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