Mauritius People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


1,386,129 (July 2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 156


noun: Mauritian(s)

adjective: Mauritian

Ethnic groups

Indo-Mauritian (compose approximately two thirds of the total population), Creole, Sino-Mauritian, Franco-Mauritian

note: Mauritius has not had a question on ethnicity on its national census since 1972


Creole 86.5%, Bhojpuri 5.3%, French 4.1%, two languages 1.4%, other 2.6% (includes English, the official language of the National Assembly, which is spoken by less than 1% of the population), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)


Hindu 48.5%, Roman Catholic 26.3%, Muslim 17.3%, other Christian 6.4%, other 0.6%, none 0.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)

Demographic profile

Mauritius has transitioned from a country of high fertility and high mortality rates in the 1950s and mid-1960s to one with among the lowest population growth rates in the developing world today. After World War II, Mauritius’ population began to expand quickly due to increased fertility and a dramatic drop in mortality rates as a result of improved health care and the eradication of malaria. This period of heightened population growth – reaching about 3% a year – was followed by one of the world’s most rapid birth rate declines.

The total fertility rate fell from 6.2 children per women in 1963 to 3.2 in 1972 – largely the result of improved educational attainment, especially among young women, accompanied by later marriage and the adoption of family planning methods. The family planning programs’ success was due to support from the government and eventually the traditionally pronatalist religious communities, which both recognized that controlling population growth was necessary because of Mauritius’ small size and limited resources. Mauritius’ fertility rate has consistently been below replacement level since the late 1990s, a rate that is substantially lower than nearby countries in southern Africa.

With no indigenous population, Mauritius’ ethnic mix is a product of more than two centuries of European colonialism and continued international labor migration. Sugar production relied on slave labor mainly from Madagascar, Mozambique, and East Africa from the early 18th century until its abolition in 1835, when slaves were replaced with indentured Indians. Most of the influx of indentured labor – peaking between the late 1830s and early 1860 – settled permanently creating massive population growth of more than 7% a year and reshaping the island’s social and cultural composition. While Indians represented about 12% of Mauritius’ population in 1837, they and their descendants accounted for roughly two-thirds by the end of the 19th century. Most were Hindus, but the majority of the free Indian traders were Muslims.

Mauritius again turned to overseas labor when its success in clothing and textile exports led to a labor shortage in the mid-1980s. Clothing manufacturers brought in contract workers (increasingly women) from China, India, and, to a lesser extent Bangladesh and Madagascar, who worked longer hours for lower wages under poor conditions and were viewed as more productive than locals. Downturns in the sugar and textile industries in the mid-2000s and a lack of highly qualified domestic workers for Mauritius’ growing services sector led to the emigration of low-skilled workers and a reliance on skilled foreign labor. Since 2007, Mauritius has pursued a circular migration program to enable citizens to acquire new skills and savings abroad and then return home to start businesses and to invest in the country’s development.

Age structure

0-14 years: 19.44% (male 137,010/female 131,113)

15-24 years: 14.06% (male 98,480/female 95,472)

25-54 years: 43.11% (male 297,527/female 297,158)

55-64 years: 12.31% (male 80,952/female 88,785)

65 years and over: 11.08% (male 63,230/female 89,638) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 41.5

youth dependency ratio: 23.7

elderly dependency ratio: 17.7

potential support ratio: 5.6 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 36.3 years

male: 35 years

female: 37.6 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 80

Population growth rate

0.52% (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155

Birth rate

12.44 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 151

Death rate

7.23 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Population distribution

population density is one of the highest in the world; urban cluster are found throught the main island, with a greater density in and around Port Luis; population on Rodrigues Island is spread across the island with a slightly denser cluster on the north coast as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 40.8% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.28% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

149,000 PORT LOUIS (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

61 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 87

Infant mortality rate

total: 10.82 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.11 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 8.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 134

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 76.7 years

male: 73.29 years

female: 80.29 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 97

Total fertility rate

1.73 children born/woman (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163

Contraceptive prevalence rate

63.8% (2014)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

5.8% (2018)

Physicians density

2.6 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

3.4 beds/1,000 population (2019)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 99.2% of population

total: 99.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 0.8% of population

total: 0.5% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

1.7% (2020)

country comparison to the world: 27

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

14,000 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 93

HIV/AIDS - deaths

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

10.8% (2016)

country comparison to the world: 137

Education expenditures

4.7% of GDP (2019)

country comparison to the world: 73


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 91.3%

male: 93.4%

female: 89.4% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 16 years (2017)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 21.8%

male: 16.8%

female: 28.4% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

NOTE: The information regarding Mauritius on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Mauritius 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mauritius 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.