Country Listing

Comoros Table of Contents



Population: 1991 census, excluding Mahoré, 446,817. Population density varies among islands, ranging from l991 high of 470 persons per square kilometer on Nzwani to 120 persons per square kilometer on Mwali. Population growth rate estimated at 3.55 percent in 1994.

Ethnic Groups: Arabs, descendants of Shirazi settlers; African groups: Cafres and Makoa; Malayo-Indonesian peoples: Oimatsaha, Antalotes, and Sakalava; and Creoles, descendants of French settlers.

Languages: Arabic (official), French (official), and Comoran dialect related to Swahili.

Religion: Sunni Muslim, 86 percent; Roman Catholic, 14 percent.

Education and Literacy: Education compulsory for ages seven through fifteen; about 75 percent of primary-school-age children enrolled in 1993 in schools following French educational system. No university but post-secondary education available. Adult literacy in 1993 only 50 percent.

Health: Health care and most health facilities in poor condition. Malaria endemic; 80 to 90 percent of population affected. Scarcity of safe drinking water and child malnutrition are problem areas. 1994 estimate of life expectancy at birth fifty-eight years. Infant mortality rate estimated at eighty per 1,000 live births in 1994.

Data as of August 1994