World Factbook

Seychelles

Introduction

Africa :: Seychelles

Background:
A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term; he was reelected in May 2011.

Geography

Location:
archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates:
4 35 S, 55 40 E

Map references:
Africa

Area:
Total: 455 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 199
Land: 455 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
491 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:
tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)

Terrain:
Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m

Natural resources:
fish, copra, cinnamon trees

Land use:
Arable land: 2.17%
Permanent crops: 4.35%
Other: 93.48% (2011)

Irrigated land:
2.6 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:
lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; occasional short droughts

Environment - current issues:
water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater

Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:
41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
Adjective: Seychellois

Ethnic groups:
mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab

Languages:
Creole 91.8%, English (official) 4.9%, other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 82.3%, Protestant 7.5% (Anglican 6.4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.1%), other Christian 3.4%, Hindu 2.1%, Muslim 1.1%, other non-Christian 1.5%, unspecified 1.5%, none 0.6% (2002 census)

Population:
90,846 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 197

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.2% (male 9,852/female 9,364)
15-24 years: 14.6% (male 6,932/female 6,293)
25-54 years: 49.3% (male 23,471/female 21,306)
55-64 years: 7.8% (male 3,663/female 3,378)
65 years and over: 7.3% (male 2,520/female 4,067) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 42.6 %
Youth dependency ratio: 31.6 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 11 %
Potential support ratio: 9.1 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 33.4 years
Male: 33 years
Female: 34 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.9% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 125

Birth rate:
14.85 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 135

Death rate:
6.89 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 135

Net migration rate:
1.01 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 56

Urbanization:
Urban population: 53.6% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 1.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
VICTORIA (capital) 26,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.61 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 11.06 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 136
Male: 13.85 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 8.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 74.01 years
Country comparison to the world: 116
Male: 69.4 years
Female: 78.76 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.89 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 141

Health expenditures:
3.4% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 177

Physicians density:
1.51 physicians/1,000 population (2004)

Hospital bed density:
3.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 100% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 98% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 2% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
23.9% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 70

Education expenditures:
4.8% of GDP (2006)
Country comparison to the world: 80

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 91.8%
Male: 91.4%
Female: 92.3% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 14 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 20.3% (2002)
Country comparison to the world: 56

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
Conventional short form: Seychelles
Local long form: Republic of Seychelles
Local short form: Seychelles

Government type:
republic

Capital:
Name: Victoria
Geographic coordinates: 4 37 S, 55 27 E
Time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
25 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Royale, Au Cap, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand Anse Mahe, Grand Anse Praslin, Inner Islands, La Riviere Anglaise, Les Mamalles, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe Larue, Port Glaud, Roche Caiman, Saint Louis, Takamaka

Independence:
29 June 1976 (from the UK)

National holiday:
Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)

Constitution:
18 June 1993

Legal system:
mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); Vice President Danny FAURE (since 1 July 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); Vice President Danny FAURE (since 1 July 2010)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for two more terms); election last held on 19-21 May 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
Election results: President James MICHEL elected president; percent of vote - James MICHEL 55.5%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN 41.4%, Philippe BOULLE 1.7%, Ralph VOLCERE 1.5%; note - this was the second election in which President James MICHEL participated; he was originally sworn in as president after former president France Albert RENE stepped down in April 2004

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (34 seats; 25 members elected by popular vote, 9 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 10% of the vote; members to serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held on 29 September - 1 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); note - the National Assembly was dissolved in July 2011 resulting in early elections
Election results: percent of vote by party - PL 88.6%, PDM 10.9%, independents 0.6%; seats by party - PL 31, vacant - 3; note - the ruling SPPF changed its name to People's Party (Party Lepep) in June 2009; the SNP and NDP boycotted the 2011 elections

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Seychelles Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 4 justices; Supreme Court of Seychelles (consists of the chief justice and 5 pusine judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 3 Supreme Court judges)
Judge selection and term of office: all judges appointed by the president of the republic upon the recommendation of the Constitutional Appointments Committee, a 3-member body, with 1 member appointed by the president of the republic, 1 by the opposition leader in the National Assembly, and 1 by the other 2 appointees; judges appointed until retirement at age 70
Subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts of Seychelles; Family Tribunal for issues such as domestic violence, and child custody and maintenance

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party or DP [James MANCHAM, Paul CHOW]
New Democratic Party or NDP
People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL [France Albert RENE]
Popular Democratic Movement or PDM
Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO)

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Roman Catholic Church
Other: trade unions

International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, CD, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Marie-Louise Cecile POTTER
Chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
Telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786
Consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles

National anthem:
Name: "Koste Seselwa" (Seychellois Unite)

Lyrics/music: David Francois Marc ANDRE and George Charles Robert PAYET
note: adopted 1996

Economy

Economy - overview:
since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the pre-independence, near-subsistence level, moving the island into the upper-middle-income group of countries. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, and by tuna fishing. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing. In July 2008 the government defaulted on a Euro amortizing note worth roughly US$80 million, leading to a downgrading of Seychelles credit rating. In an effort to obtain loans to service its debt, Seychelles in November 2008 signed a standby arrangement with the IMF that mandated floating the exchange rate, removing foreign exchange controls, cutting government spending, and tightening monetary policy. In response to Seychelles' successful implementation of these policies, the IMF upgraded Seychelles to a three-year extended fund facility (EFF) of $31 million in December 2009. In 2008, GDP fell more than 1% due to declining tourism and the initial effects of liberalization, but the economy recovered in 2010-11 after the reforms took hold and tourism increased. Growth slowed again in 2012 with flagging tourism from Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Seychelles is attempting to implement further structural reforms, including overhauling the tax system, reorganizing of state enterprises, and deregulating the finance and communications sectors.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$2.355 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 188
$2.292 billion (2011 est.)
$2.182 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.031 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
2.8% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 113
5% (2011 est.)
5.6% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$25,600 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61
$25,200 (2011 est.)
$24,300 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
18.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 82
11.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
8.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 99.1%
Government consumption: 13.4%
Investment in fixed capital: 37.2%
Investment in inventories: 0%
Exports of goods and services: 41.1%
Imports of goods and services: -101.2%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 2%
Industry: 18.7%
Services: 79.3% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), copra, bananas; poultry; tuna

Industries:
fishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages

Industrial production growth rate:
4% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 73

Labor force:
39,560 (2006)
Country comparison to the world: 197

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 3%
Industry: 23%
Services: 74% (2006)

Unemployment rate:
2% (2006 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 14

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 4.7%
Highest 10%: 15.4% (2007)

Budget:
Revenues: $438.3 million
Expenditures: $415.4 million (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
42.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 35

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
2.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 21

Public debt:
61.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 44
74.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
7.1% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 177
2.6% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
11.17% (31 December 2010 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
12.19% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 72
11.19% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$301.5 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 169
$302.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$553.4 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 175
$598.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$408.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 178
$422.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Current account balance:
-$179.8 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 76
-$211.1 million (2011 est.)

Exports:
$493.3 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 172
$478 million (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)

Exports - partners:
France 27.8%, UK 17.7%, Japan 15.3%, Italy 10.7% (2012)

Imports:
$889.6 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 181
$879.6 million (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals, other manufactured goods

Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 23.2%, Spain 11.9%, France 5.8% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$318.7 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152
$290.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.776 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 147
$1.779 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar -
13.704 (2012 est.)
12.381 (2011 est.)
12.068 (2010 est.)
13.61 (2009)
8 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
245 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 175

Electricity - consumption:
227.9 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 181

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 125

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 128

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
95,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 169

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 36

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 172

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 195

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 183

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 183

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 177

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 118

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 182

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 128

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
7,793 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 159

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 129

Refined petroleum products - imports:
6,923 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 141

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 186

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 190

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 173

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 125

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 188

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
1.245 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 160

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
27,900 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 180

Telephones - mobile cellular:
126,600 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 187

Telephone system:
General assessment: effective system
Domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 170 telephones per 100 persons; radiotelephone communications between islands in the archipelago
International: country code - 248; direct radiotelephone communications with adjacent island countries and African coastal countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media:
the government operates the only terrestrial TV station, which provides local programming and airs broadcasts from international services; multi-channel cable and satellite TV are available; the government operates 1 AM and 1 FM radio station; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are accessible in Victoria (2007)

Internet country code:
.sc

Internet hosts:
247 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 195

Internet users:
32,000 (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 180

Transportation

Airports:
14 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 150

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2
Under 914 m:
5 (2013)

Heliports:
1 (2013)

Roadways:
Total: 508 km
Country comparison to the world: 194
Paved: 490 km
Unpaved: 18 km (2003)

Merchant marine:
Total: 9
Country comparison to the world: 118
By type: cargo 1, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, petroleum tanker 1
Foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 1, Nigeria 1, South Africa 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Victoria

Military

Military branches:
Seychelles Defense Force: Army, Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing), National Guard (2005)

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 26,257
Females age 16-49: 23,996 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 20,231
Females age 16-49: 19,891 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 686
Female: 650 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.8% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 148

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)

Trafficking in persons:
Current situation: Seychelles is a source and destination country for Seychellois children and foreign women subjected to sex trafficking; Seychellois girls and, to a lesser extent, boys are forced into prostitution in nightclubs, bars, guest houses, hotels, brothels, private homes, and on the streets by peers, family members, and pimps; foreign tourists, sailors, and migrant workers contribute to the demand for commercial sex acts in Seychelles; some of the large population of foreign migrant workers reportedly experience the underpayment of wages and substandard housing
Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Seychelles does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has failed to report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking offenses; the government also has not identified or provided protective services to any trafficking victims and punished victims for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked, although it has acknowledged the need for specialized training of officials in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting trafficking offenses, it did not provide any such training during the reporting period (2013)

Flag of Seychelles



Flag description:
five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment