Mayotte, officially the Department of Mayotte, is an overseas department and region of France, consisting of the islands of Grande-Terre (also known as Maore) and Petite-Terre (also known as Pamanzi) and several smaller islets. The most populous city in Mayotte is its capital city, Mamoudzou, to the east of the island. With a population of around 55,000, it has more occupants than the next three most populated cities (Koungou, Dzaoudzi, and Dembeni) combined.
In July 2007, the population of Mayotte was estimated at 209,000. At the time, 45.8% of the population was recorded under the age of 14. A further 52.4% ranged from 15 to 64, and only 1.8% of the population of Mayotte were over sixty-five. Life expectancy for males is an average of 59.94 years, and females 64.45.
A 2002 census recorded that there were 160,301 people living in Mayotte. This broke down as follows:
- 64.7% Mahorans, born in Mayotte
- 28.1% immigrants from the Comoros
- 3.9% born elsewhere in the French Republic
- 2.8% immigrants from Madagascar
- 0.5% from elsewhere
Despite being a department of France, the vast majority of Mayotte’s population do not speak French as a first language. The majority language is Shimaore, a language related closely to those found in the neighbouring Comoros islands. Kibushi, a Malagasy language, is the second most widely spoken.
3.9% of the population are French nationals born elsewhere in the French Republic. A difference in lifestyles, higher levels of economic wealth and a lack of understanding of the local languages has reinforced a division between them and the local Mahorans.
The Maore, or Mawuti (meaning "island of death") sultanate was set up on the island in 1500. Three years later in 1503, the island was discovered by Portuguese explorers, however they showed little interest and opted not to colonize.
After changing hands three separate times between 1832 and 1835, Mayotte regained its independence in 1836, only to be purchased 5 years later by the French. Since then, it's the only island in the archipelago that has voted overwhelmingly again and again to forego independence and retain its link with the French Republic.
After a referendum in March of 2009, the residents of Mayotte voted at a resounding 95.5% in favor of changing the island's status from a French “overseas community” to its 101st “overseas department." This was enacted in 2011.
The population of Mayotte has grown consistently at an average rate of around 5% since the 1950s. It is projected to continue to grow, albeit at a reduced rate, for the foreseeable future.
The Department of Mayotte – or simply, Mayotte – is an overseas department and region of France. It is located in the Indian Channel and is part of the Comoros archipelago. Mayotte is made up of one main island, one smaller island, and islets.
Mayotte has a total land area of about 144 square miles. The population of Mayotte is 270,372, which puts the population density at a high 1,900 inhabitants per square mile. Based on the official INSEE estimate, this is a record-high population for the department.
Mayotte is the poorest department of France. However, many immigrants from other Mozambique Channel nations enter Mayotte illegally, as it is one of the most prosperous regions in the area.
Since the late 1950s, the population has risen significantly at the time of each census. With a population of just 23,364 in 1958, the population has grown ten times over based on the estimates for 2019.
The prefecture – or capital – of Mayotte is Mamoudzou. Over 71,000 people live in this area, according to the last census taken in 2017. Mamoudzou took the title of capital from Dzaoudzi in 1977.
Over 58% of the inhabitants of this region were born in Mayotte. Nearly 36% were born in foreign countries, including the Union of the Comoros and Madagascar. A majority of inhabitants are Comorians, including Iranian traders, Malagasy, and Arabs. The official language of the area is French. However, there are other languages spoken throughout the region, including Kibushi, Shimaore, Arabic, and other dialects.
When it comes to religion, about 97% of the population is Muslim. The remaining percentage practice some form of Christianity.