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Madagascar :: Africa



Madagascar was one of the last major habitable landmasses on earth settled by humans. While there is some evidence of human presence on the island in the millennia B.C., large-scale settlement began between A.D. 350 and 550 with settlers from present-day Indonesia. The island attracted Arab and Persian traders as early as the 7th century, and migrants from Africa arrived around A.D. 1000. Madagascar was a pirate stronghold during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and served as a slave trading center into the 19th century. From the 16th to the late 19th century, a native Merina Kingdom dominated much of Madagascar. The island was conquered by the French in 1896 who made it a colony; independence was regained in 1960. ++ During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA won a second term in 2006 but, following protests in 2009, handed over power to the military, which then conferred the presidency on the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA, in what amounted to a coup d'etat. Following a lengthy mediation process led by the Southern African Development Community, Madagascar held UN-supported presidential and parliamentary elections in 2013. Former de facto finance minister Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA won a runoff election in December 2013 and was inaugurated in January 2014. In January 2019, RAJOELINA was declared the winner of a runoff election against RAVALOMANANA; both RATSIRAKA and RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA also ran in the first round of the election, which took place in November 2018.



Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique

Geographic coordinates:

20 00 S, 47 00 E

Map references:



total: 587,041 sq km
land: 581,540 sq km
water: 5,501 sq km
country comparison to the world: 48

Area - comparative:

almost four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of Arizona

Land boundaries:

0 km


4,828 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or 100 nm from the 2,500-m isobath


tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south


narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center


mean elevation: 615 m
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m

Natural resources:

graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, rare earth elements, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower

Land use:

agricultural land: 71.1% (2011 est.)
arable land: 6% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 64.1% (2011 est.)
forest: 21.5% (2011 est.)
other: 7.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

10,860 sq km (2012)

Population distribution:

most of population lives on the eastern half of the island; significant clustering is found in the central highlands and eastern coastline as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards:

periodic cyclones; drought; and locust infestation ++ volcanism: Madagascar's volcanoes have not erupted in historical times

Environment - current issues:

erosion and soil degredation results from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; agricultural fires; surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes; wildlife preservation (endangered species of flora and fauna unique to the island)

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel; despite Madagascar's close proximity to the African continent, ocean currents isolate the island resulting in high rates of endemic plant and animal species; approximately 90% of the flora and fauna on the island are found nowhere else

People and Society


26,955,737 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53


noun: Malagasy (singular and plural)
adjective: Malagasy

Ethnic groups:

Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran


French (official), Malagasy (official), English


Christian, indigenous, Muslim

Demographic profile:

Madagascar's youthful population – just over 60% are under the age of 25 – and high total fertility rate of more than 4 children per women ensures that the Malagasy population will continue its rapid growth trajectory for the foreseeable future. The population is predominantly rural and poor; chronic malnutrition is prevalent, and large families are the norm. Many young Malagasy girls are withdrawn from school, marry early (often pressured to do so by their parents), and soon begin having children. Early childbearing, coupled with Madagascar's widespread poverty and lack of access to skilled health care providers during delivery, increases the risk of death and serious health problems for young mothers and their babies. ++ Child marriage perpetuates gender inequality and is prevalent among the poor, the uneducated, and rural households – as of 2013, of Malagasy women aged 20 to 24, more than 40% were married and more than a third had given birth by the age of 18. Although the legal age for marriage is 18, parental consent is often given for earlier marriages or the law is flouted, especially in rural areas that make up nearly 65% of the country. Forms of arranged marriage whereby young girls are married to older men in exchange for oxen or money are traditional. If a union does not work out, a girl can be placed in another marriage, but the dowry paid to her family diminishes with each unsuccessful marriage. ++ Madagascar's population consists of 18 main ethnic groups, all of whom speak the same Malagasy language. Most Malagasy are multi-ethnic, however, reflecting the island's diversity of settlers and historical contacts (see Background). Madagascar's legacy of hierarchical societies practicing domestic slavery (most notably the Merina Kingdom of the 16th to the 19th century) is evident today in persistent class tension, with some ethnic groups maintaining a caste system. Slave descendants are vulnerable to unequal access to education and jobs, despite Madagascar's constitutional guarantee of free compulsory primary education and its being party to several international conventions on human rights. Historical distinctions also remain between central highlanders and coastal people.

Age structure:

0-14 years: 38.86% (male 5,278,838/female 5,196,036)
15-24 years: 20.06% (male 2,717,399/female 2,689,874)
25-54 years: 33.02% (male 4,443,147/female 4,456,691)
55-64 years: 4.6% (male 611,364/female 627,315)
65 years and over: 3.47% (male 425,122/female 509,951) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 75.9
youth dependency ratio: 70.5
elderly dependency ratio: 5.5
potential support ratio: 18.3 (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 20.3 years
male: 20.1 years
female: 20.5 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193

Population growth rate:

2.39% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26

Birth rate:

29.9 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Death rate:

6.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87

Population distribution:

most of population lives on the eastern half of the island; significant clustering is found in the central highlands and eastern coastline as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 38.5% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.48% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

3.369 million ANTANANARIVO (capital) (2020)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:

19.5 years (2008/09 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate:

335 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33

Infant mortality rate:

total: 37.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 41.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 34.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 67.3 years
male: 65.7 years
female: 68.9 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182

Total fertility rate:

3.78 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

44.3% (2018)

Drinking water source:

improved: urban: 87.9% of population
rural: 36.3% of population
total: 55.5% of population
unimproved: urban: 12.1% of population
rural: 63.7% of population
total: 44.5% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:

5.5% (2017)

Physicians density:

0.18 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Hospital bed density:

0.2 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Sanitation facility access:

improved: urban: 42.5% of population
rural: 16.6% of population
total: 26.1% of population
unimproved: urban: 57.5% of population
rural: 83.4% of population
total: 73.9% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

39,000 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,400 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

5.3% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 180

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

26.4% (2018)
country comparison to the world: 12

Education expenditures:

2.8% of GDP (2018)
country comparison to the world: 141


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.8%
male: 77.3%
female: 72.4% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 10 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 1%
male: 1%
female: 1% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179


Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar
conventional short form: Madagascar
local long form: Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara
former: Malagasy Republic
etymology: the name "Madageiscar" was first used by the 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco POLO, as a corrupted transliteration of Mogadishu, the Somali port with which POLO confused the island

Government type:

semi-presidential republic


name: Antananarivo
geographic coordinates: 18 55 S, 47 31 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the name, which means "City of the Thousand," was bestowed by 17th century King Adrianjakaking to honor the soldiers assigned to guard the city

Administrative divisions:

6 provinces (faritany); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara


26 June 1960 (from France)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 26 June (1960)


history: previous 1992; latest passed by referendum 17 November 2010, promulgated 11 December 2010
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic in consultation with the cabinet or supported by a least two thirds of both the Senate and National Assembly membership; passage requires at least three-fourths approval of both the Senate and National Assembly and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles, including the form and powers of government, the sovereignty of the state, and the autonomy of Madagascar's collectivities, cannot be amended

Legal system:

civil law system based on the old French civil code and customary law in matters of marriage, family, and obligation

International law organization participation:

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Madagascar; in the case of a child born out of wedlock, the mother must be a citizen
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: unknown


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Andry RAJOELINA (since 21 January 2019)
head of government: Prime Minister Christian NTSAY (since 6 June 2018 and re-appointed 19 July 2019)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 November and 19 December 2018 (next to be held in 2023); prime minister nominated by the National Assembly, appointed by the president
election results: Andry RAJOELINA elected President in second round; percent of vote - Andry RAJOELINA (TGV) 55.7%, Marc RAVALOMANANA 44.3% (TIM)

Legislative branch:

description: bicameral Parliament consists of: Senate or Antenimieran-Doholona (reestablished on 22 January 2016, following the December 2015 senatorial election) (63 seats; 42 members indirectly elected by an electoral college of municipal, communal, regional, and provincial leaders and 21 appointed by the president of the republic; members serve 5-year terms); note - in 2020 Pres RAJOELINA ordered that the senate now have only 18 seats, 6 of which are appointed by the president, the remaining 12 indirectly elected by an electoral college of municipal, communal, regional, and provincial leaders; opposition parties' boycotted this legislative election ++ National Assembly or Antenimierampirenena (151 seats; 87 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 64 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 29 December 2015 (next to be held in 2021) ++ National Assembly - last held on 27 May 2019 (next to be held in 2024)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - HVM 34, TIM 3, MAPAR 2, LEADER-Fanilo 1, independent 2, appointed by the president 21; composition - men 51, women 12, percent of women 19% ++ National Assembly - percent of vote by party -Independent Pro-HVM 18%, MAPAR 17%, MAPAR pro-HVM 16%, VPM-MMM 10%, VERTS 3%, LEADER FANILO 3%, HIARAKA ISIKA 3%, GPS/ARD 7%, INDEPENDENT 9%, TAMBATRA 1%, TIM 13%; composition - men 120, women 31, percent of women 20.5%; note - total National Assembly percent of women 20.1%

Judicial branch:

highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of 11 members; addresses judicial administration issues only); High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 9 members); note - the judiciary includes a High Court of Justice responsible for adjudicating crimes and misdemeanors by government officials, including the president
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court heads elected by the president and judiciary officials to serve 3-year, single renewable terms; High Constitutional Court members appointed - 3 each by the president, by both legislative bodies, and by the Council of Magistrates; members serve single, 7-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance

Political parties and leaders:

Economic liberalism and democratic action for national recovery or LEADER FANILO [Jean Max RAKOTOMAMONJY] ++ FOMBA [Ny Rado RAFALIMANANA] ++ Gideons fighting against poverty in Madagascar (Gedeona Miady amin'ny Fahantrana eto Madagascar) or GFFM [Andre Christian Dieu Donne MAILHOL] ++ Green party or VERTS (Antoko Maintso) [Alexandre GEORGET] ++ I Love Madagascar (Tiako I Madagasikara) or TIM [Marc RAVALOMANANA] ++ Malagasy aware (Malagasy Tonga Saina) or MTS [Roland RATSIRAKA] ++ Malagasy raising together (Malagasy Miara-Miainga) or MMM [Hajo ANDRIANAINARIVELO] ++ New Force for Madagascar (Hery Vaovao ho an'ny Madagasikara) or HVM [Hery Martial RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA Rakotoarimanana] ++ Total Refoundation of Madagascar (Refondation Totale de Madagascar) or RTM [Joseph Martin RANDRIAMAMPIONONA] ++ Vanguard for the renovation of Madagascar (Avant-Garde pour la renovation de Madagascar) or AREMA [Didier RATSIRAKA] ++ Young Malagasies Determined (Malagasy: Tanora malaGasy Vonona) or TGV [Andry RAJOELINA]and MAPAR [Andry RAJOELINA], and IRD (We are all with Andy Rajoelina) [Andry RAJOELINA]

International organization participation:


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Eric ANDRIAMIHAJA Robson (since March 2018)
chancery: 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-5525
FAX: [1] (202) 265-3034
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael PELLETIER (since 14 February 2019)
telephone: [261] 20 23 480 00
embassy: Lot 207A, Point Liberty, Andranoro, Antehiroka, 105 Antananarivo
mailing address: B.P. 620, Antsahavola, Antananarivo
FAX: [261] 20 23 480 35 or [261] 33 44 328 17

Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side; by tradition, red stands for sovereignty, green for hope, white for purity

National symbol(s):

traveller's palm, zebu; national colors: red, green, white

National anthem:

name: "Ry Tanindraza nay malala o" (Oh, Our Beloved Fatherland)
lyrics/music: Pasteur RAHAJASON/Norbert RAHARISOA
note: adopted 1959


Economic overview:

Madagascar is a mostly unregulated economy with many untapped natural resources, but no capital markets, a weak judicial system, poorly enforced contracts, and rampant government corruption. The country faces challenges to improve education, healthcare, and the environment to boost long-term economic growth. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing roughly 80% of the population. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by bushfires, slash-and-burn clearing techniques, and the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns to the agriculture dependent economy. ++ After discarding socialist economic policies in the mid-1990s, Madagascar followed a World Bank- and IMF-led policy of privatization and liberalization until a 2009 coup d'état led many nations, including the United States, to suspend non-humanitarian aid until a democratically-elected president was inaugurated in 2014. The pre-coup strategy had placed the country on a slow and steady growth path from an extremely low starting point. Exports of apparel boomed after gaining duty-free access to the US market in 2000 under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); however, Madagascar's failure to comply with the requirements of the AGOA led to the termination of the country's duty-free access in January 2010, a sharp fall in textile production, a loss of more than 100,000 jobs, and a GDP drop of nearly 11%. ++ Madagascar regained AGOA access in January 2015 and ensuing growth has been slow and fragile. Madagascar produces around 80% of the world's vanilla and its reliance on this commodity for most of its foreign exchange is a significant source of vulnerability. Economic reforms have been modest and the country's financial sector remains weak, limiting the use of monetary policy to control inflation. An ongoing IMF program aims to strengthen financial and investment management capacity.

GDP real growth rate:

4.2% (2017 est.)
4.2% (2016 est.)
3.1% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.6% (2019 est.)
8.6% (2018 est.)
8.5% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$43.868 billion (2019 est.)
$41.859 billion (2018 est.)
$40.032 billion (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$13.964 billion (2019 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$497 (2019 est.)
$487 (2018 est.)
$478 (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars
country comparison to the world: 222

Gross national saving:

14.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
15.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
11.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 24% (2017 est.)
industry: 19.5% (2017 est.)
services: 56.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 67.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 11.2% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 15.1% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 8.8% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 31.5% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -33.7% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

88.5 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products


meat processing, seafood, soap, beer, leather, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism, mining

Industrial production growth rate:

5.2% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54

Labor force:

13.4 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40

Unemployment rate:

1.8% (2017 est.)
1.8% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18

Population below poverty line:

70.7% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 34.7% (2010 est.)


revenues: 1.828 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.136 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

15.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-2.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123

Public debt:

36% of GDP (2017 est.)
38.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Current account balance:

-$35 million (2017 est.)
$57 million (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77


$5.272 billion (2019 est.)
$5.06 billion (2018 est.)
$4.839 billion (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114

Exports - partners:

France 24.8%, US 16.5%, China 6.7%, Germany 6.5%, Japan 6%, Netherlands 4.7% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, clothing, chromite, petroleum products, gems, ilmenite, cobalt, nickel


$5.855 billion (2019 est.)
$5.56 billion (2018 est.)
$5.796 billion (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

Imports - commodities:

capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food

Imports - partners:

China 18.7%, India 9.3%, France 6.4%, South Africa 5.6%, UAE 5.3% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.076 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Debt - external:

$4.089 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.425 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139

Exchange rates:

Malagasy ariary (MGA) per US dollar -
3,116.1 (2017 est.)
3,176.5 (2016 est.)
3,176.5 (2015 est.)
2,933.5 (2014 est.)
2,414.8 (2013 est.)


Electricity access:

population without electricity: 17 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 39% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 64% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 23% (2019)

Electricity - production:

1.706 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142

Electricity - consumption:

1.587 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

675,400 kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

74% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

24% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141

Crude oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158

Crude oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158

Crude oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162

Refined petroleum products - production:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

18,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147

Refined petroleum products - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175

Refined petroleum products - imports:

18,880 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

4.021 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 68,426
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total subscriptions: 10,677,153
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 40.57 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83

Telecommunication systems:

general assessment: system is above average for the region; competition among the four mobile service providers has spurred recent growth in the mobile market and helped the service to be less expensive for the consumer; 3G and LTE services available; Telecom service tax raised to 10% (2020)
domestic: less than 1 per 100 for fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 41 per 100 persons (2019)
international: country code - 261; landing points for the EASSy, METISS, and LION fiber-optic submarine cable systems connecting to numerous Indian Ocean Islands, South Africa, and Eastern African countries; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media:

state-owned Radio Nationale Malagasy (RNM) and Television Malagasy (TVM) have an extensive national network reach; privately owned radio and TV broadcasters in cities and major towns; state-run radio dominates in rural areas; relays of 2 international broadcasters are available in Antananarivo (2019)

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 2,516,994
percent of population: 9.8% (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109

Broadband - fixed subscriptions:

total: 27,211
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144


National air transport system:

number of registered air carriers: 4 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 18
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 541,290 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 16.25 million mt-km (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

5R (2016)


83 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 66

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 26 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 16 (2017)
under 914 m: 1 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 57 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 38 (2013)
under 914 m: 18 (2013)


total: 836 km (2018)
narrow gauge: 836 km 1.000-m gauge (2018)
country comparison to the world: 96


total: 31,640 km (2018)
country comparison to the world: 96


600 km (432 km navigable) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 79

Merchant marine:

total: 28
by type: general cargo 15, oil tanker 2, other 11 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 136

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara (Tulear)

Military and Security

Military and security forces:

People's Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force; National Gendarmerie (operates under the Ministry of Defense) (2019)

Military expenditures:

0.6% of GDP (2019)
0.6% of GDP (2018)
0.6% of GDP (2017)
0.6% of GDP (2016)
0.6% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 143

Military and security service personnel strengths:

the Peoples Armed Forces (PAF) have approximately 21,500 personnel (12,500 Army; 500 Navy; 500 Air Force; 8,000 Gendarmerie) (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:

the PAF's inventory consists mostly of ageing Soviet-era equipment; since 2010, it has received limited amounts of second-hand equipment from South Africa and France (2019)

Military service age and obligation:

Madagascar has an all-volunteer military; 18-25 years of age for males; service obligation 18 months; women are permitted to serve in all branches (2018)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France); the vegetated drying cays of Banc du Geyser, which were claimed by Madagascar in 1976, also fall within the EEZ claims of the Comoros and France (Glorioso Islands, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands)

Illicit drugs:

illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for heroin