20°S 47°E / 20°S 47°E / -20; 47

Republic of Madagascar
  • Repoblikan'i Madagasikara (Malagasy)
  • République de Madagascar (French)
  • Fitiavana, Tanindrazana, Fandrosoana (Malagasy)
  • Amour, Patrie, Progrès (French)
  • "Love, Fatherland, Progress"[1]
Anthem: Ry Tanindrazanay malala ô! (Malagasy)
Ô Terre de nos ancêtres bien-aimés! (French)
"Oh, beloved land of our ancestors!"
Location of Madagascar (dark green)
Location of Madagascar (dark green)
and largest city
18°55′S 47°31′E / 18.917°S 47.517°E / -18.917; 47.517
Official languagesMalagasy • French
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential republic
• President
Andry Rajoelina
Christian Ntsay
National Assembly
6 August 1896
• Republic proclaimed
14 October 1958
26 June 1960
• Total
587,041 km2 (226,658 sq mi) (46th)
• Water
5,501 km2 (2,124 sq mi)
• Water (%)
• 2023 estimate
28,812,195[8] (52nd)
• Density
47.7/km2 (123.5/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase$51.8 billion[9] (117th)
• Per capita
Increase$1,790[9] (182nd)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase$15.10 billion[9] (139th)
• Per capita
Increase$522[9] (188th)
Gini (2012)Positive decrease 42.6[10]
HDI (2021)Steady 0.501[11]
low · 173rd
CurrencyAriary (MGA)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (not observed[12])
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+261[12]
ISO 3166 codeMG

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar,[a] is an island country lying off the southeastern coast of Africa. It is the world's fourth largest island, the second-largest island country and the 46th largest country in the world.[13] Its capital and largest city is Antananarivo.

Madagascar consists of an eponymous main island and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from Africa during the Early Jurassic, around 180 million years ago, and split from the Indian subcontinent around 90 million years ago,[14] allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation; consequently, it is a biodiversity hotspot and one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries, with over 90% of wildlife being endemic. The island has a subtropical to tropical maritime climate.

Madagascar was first settled during or before the mid first millennium AD by Austronesian peoples,[15] presumably arriving on outrigger canoes from present-day Indonesia.[16][17][18] These were joined around the ninth century AD by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa.[19] Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. Subsequently, the Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into 18 or more subgroups, of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands.

Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting sociopolitical alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of it was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles. The Monarchy was ended in 1897 by the annexation by France, from which Madagascar gained independence in 1960. The country has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed republics, and has been governed as a constitutional democracy since 1992. Following a political crisis and military coup in 2009, Madagascar underwent a protracted transition towards its fourth and current republic, with constitutional governance being restored in January 2014.

Madagascar is a member of the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state. Christianity is the country's predominant religion, but a significant minority still practice traditional faiths. Madagascar is classified as a least developed country by the UN.[20] Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education, health and private enterprise, are key elements of its development strategy. Despite substantial economic growth since the early 2000s, income disparities have widened, and quality of life remains low for the majority of the population. Madagascar is experiencing an ongoing famine, which experts argue is the first to be caused entirely by climate change.[21]

  1. ^ Le Comité Consultatif Constitutionnel (1 October 2010). "Projet de Constitution de la Quatrième République de Madagascar" (PDF) (in French). Madagascar Tribune. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  2. ^ "MADAGASCAR: general data". Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Madagascar". Global Religious Futures. Pew Research Center. Archived from the original on 14 May 2021. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Demonyms – Names of Nationalities". Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Malagasy – National Geographic Style Manual". Archived from the original on 27 December 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  6. ^ "The beginning of the Merina Kingdom". Mada Magazine. 4 August 2015. Archived from the original on 17 August 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  7. ^ "Madagascar". Lonely Planet. Archived from the original on 30 March 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Madagascar". The World Factbook (2023 ed.). Central Intelligence Agency. 11 April 2023. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2022". International Monetary Fund. October 2022. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Gini Index coefficient". CIA Factbook. Archived from the original on 7 July 2021. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  12. ^ a b Bradt (2011), p. 2.
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference world-atlas was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ Raval, U.; Veeraswamy, K. (1 July 2003). "India-Madagascar Separation: Breakup Along a Pre-existing Mobile Belt and Chipping of the Craton". Gondwana Research. 6 (3): 467–485. Bibcode:2003GondR...6..467R. doi:10.1016/S1342-937X(05)70999-0.
  15. ^ Mitchell, Peter (1 October 2020). "Settling Madagascar: When Did People First Colonize the World's Largest Island?". The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. 15 (4): 576–595. doi:10.1080/15564894.2019.1582567. ISSN 1556-4894. S2CID 195555955. Archived from the original on 6 December 2021. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  16. ^ Heiske, Margit; Alva, Omar; Pereda-Loth, Veronica; Van Schalkwyk, Matthew; Radimilahy, Chantal; Letellier, Thierry; Rakotarisoa, Jean-Aimé; Pierron, Denis (2021). "Genetic evidence and historical theories of the Asian and African origins of the present Malagasy population". Human Molecular Genetics. 30 (R1): R72–R78. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddab018. PMID 33481023.
  17. ^ Mohr, Charles (1 February 1971). "In French‐Tinied Madagascar, African and Asian Cultures Meet". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  18. ^ "MADAGASCAR: Aepyornis Island". TIME. 23 March 1942. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  19. ^ Pierron, Denis; Razafindrazaka, Harilanto; Pagani, Luca; Ricaut, François-Xavier; Antao, Tiago; Capredon, Mélanie; Sambo, Clément; Radimilahy, Chantal; Rakotoarisoa, Jean-Aimé; Blench, Roger M.; Letellier, Thierry (21 January 2014). "Genome-wide evidence of Austronesian–Bantu admixture and cultural reversion in a hunter-gatherer group of Madagascar". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111 (3): 936–941. Bibcode:2014PNAS..111..936P. doi:10.1073/pnas.1321860111. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 3903192. PMID 24395773.
  20. ^ "About LDCs". UN-OHRLLS. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Climate, Not Conflict. Madagascar's Famine is the First in Modern History to be Solely Caused by Global Warming". Time. Retrieved 15 November 2022.

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