Réunion

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Réunion

La Réunion  (French)
Flag of Reunion.svg
Flag
Armoiries Reunion.svg
Coat of arms
Motto(s): 
Departement 974 in France (zoom).svg
CountryFlag of France.svg  France
Prefecture Saint-Denis
Departments 1
Government
   President of Regional Council Didier Robert
Area
  Total2,511 km2 (970 sq mi)
Population
(January 2019) [1]
  Total866,506
  Density350/km2 (890/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Réunionese
Time zone UTC+04 (RET)
ISO 3166 code RE
GDP  (2016) [2] Ranked
Total€19.2 billion (US$21.3 bn)
Per capita€22,400 (US$24,800)
NUTS Region FRY4
Website Prefecture
Regional Council
Departmental Council

Réunion (French : La Réunion, pronounced  [la ʁe.ynjɔ̃] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); previously Île Bourbon) is an overseas department and region of France and an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 km (109 mi) southwest of Mauritius. As of January 2019, it had a population of 866,506. [1]

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Island Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water

An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

Indian Ocean The ocean between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica (or the Southern Ocean)

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi). It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, by Antarctica.

Contents

The island has been inhabited since the 16th century, when people from France and Madagascar settled there. Slavery was abolished on 20 December 1848 (a date celebrated yearly on the island), when the French Second Republic abolished slavery in the French colonies. However, later on indentured workers were brought to Réunion from South India, among other places. The island became an overseas department of France in 1946.

French Second Republic government of France between 1848-1852

The French Second Republic was a short-lived republican government of France under President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. It lasted from the 1848 Revolution to the 1851 coup by which the president made himself Emperor Napoleon III and initiated the Second Empire. It officially adopted the motto of the First Republic, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. The Second Republic witnessed the tension between the "Social and Democratic Republic" and a liberal form of republicanism, which exploded during the June Days uprising of 1848.

South India Group of Southern Indian states

South India is the area including the five Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, as well as the three union territories of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry, occupying 19% of India's area. Covering the southern part of the peninsular Deccan Plateau, South India is bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. The geography of the region is diverse with two mountain ranges–the Western and Eastern Ghats, bordering the plateau heartland. Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Tungabhadra and Vaigai rivers are important non-perennial sources of water. Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Coimbatore Visakhapatnam, Madurai and Kochi are the largest urban areas.

As in France, the official language is French. In addition, the majority of the region's population speaks Réunion Creole.

Réunion Creole creole language spoken on Réunion

Réunion Creole, or Reunionese Creole, is a French-based creole language spoken on Réunion. It is derived mainly from French and includes terms from Malagasy, Hindi, Portuguese, Gujarati and Tamil. In recent years, there has been an effort to develop a spelling dictionary and grammar rules. Partly because of the lack of an official orthography but also because schools are taught in French, Réunion Creole is rarely written. Notably, two translations of the French comic Asterix have been published.

Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other four overseas departments, it is also one of the 18 regions of France, with the modified status of overseas region, and an integral part of the republic with the same status as Metropolitan France. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, part of the Eurozone. [3]

Regions of France France top-level territorial subdivision

France is divided into 18 administrative regions, which are traditionally divided between 13 metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, and 5 overseas regions, located outside the European continent. The 13 metropolitan regions are each further subdivided into 2 to 13 departments, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and hence are also referred to as "overseas departments". The current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, and in 2016 what had been 27 regions was reduced to 18. The overseas regions should not be confused the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status.

Metropolitan France part of France located in Europe

Metropolitan France is the part of France in Europe. It comprises mainland France and nearby islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, and the Mediterranean Sea, including Corsica.

Special member state territories and the European Union

The special territories of the European Union are 31 territories of EU member states which, for historical, geographical, or political reasons, enjoy special status within or outside the European Union. The special territories divided themselves in two categories: 9Outermost Regions (OMR) that form part of the European Union, though they benefit from derogations from some EU laws due to their geographical remoteness from mainland Europe; and 22 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) that do not form part of the European Union, though they cooperate with the EU via the Overseas Countries and Territories Association.

History

An 1816 10-centime coin, Isle de Bourbon 10-cent-1816-Isle-Bourbon.jpg
An 1816 10-centime coin, Isle de Bourbon

Not much is known of Réunion's history prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 16th century. [4] Arab traders were familiar with it by the name Dina Morgabin. [5] The island is possibly featured on a map from 1153 AD by Al Sharif el-Edrisi.[ citation needed ] The island might also have been visited by Swahili or Austronesian (Ancient Indonesian–Malaysian) sailors on their journey to the west from the Malay Archipelago to Madagascar. [4]

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe. It is bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Muhammad al-Idrisi Medieval Arab geographer

Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani as-Sabti, or simply al-Idrisi, was an Arab Muslim geographer, cartographer and Egyptologist who lived in Palermo, Sicily at the court of King Roger II. Muhammed al-Idrisi was born in Ceuta then belonging to the Moroccan Almoravids.

The first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorer Diogo Fernandes Pereira, but the specifics are unclear. The uninhabited island might have been first sighted by the expedition led by Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, who gave his name to the island group around Réunion, the Mascarenes. [6] Réunion itself was dubbed Santa Apolónia after a favourite saint, [5] which suggests that the date of the Portuguese discovery could have been 9 February, her saint day. Diogo Lopes de Sequeira is said to have landed on the islands of Réunion and Rodrigues in 1509.[ citation needed ]

Diogo Fernandes Pereira, sometimes called simply Diogo Fernandes, was a Portuguese 16th-century navigator, originally from Setúbal, Portugal. Diogo Fernandes was the first known European captain to visit the island of Socotra in 1503 and the discoverer of the Mascarenes archipelago in 1507. He may also have been the first European to sail east of Madagascar island.

Pedro Mascarenhas Portuguese explorer and colonial administrator

Dom Pedro Mascarenhas was a Portuguese explorer and colonial administrator. He was the first European to discover the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in 1512. He also encountered the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in 1512, although he may not have been the first Portuguese explorer to do so; earlier expeditions by Diogo Dias and Afonso de Albuquerque along with Diogo Fernandes Pereira may have encountered the islands. In 1528 explorer Diogo Rodrigues named the islands of Réunion, Mauritius, and Rodrigues the Mascarene Islands, after Mascarenhas.

Mascarene Islands archipelago east of Madagascar

The Mascarene Islands or Mascarenes or Mascarenhas Archipelago is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar consisting of Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues. Their name derives from the Portuguese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas, who first visited them in April 1512. The islands share a common geologic origin in the volcanism of the Réunion hotspot beneath the Mascarene Plateau and form a distinct ecoregion with a unique flora and fauna.

By the early 1600s, nominal Portuguese rule had left Santa Apolónia virtually untouched. [6] The island was then occupied by France and administered from Port Louis, Mauritius. Although the first French claims date from 1638, when François Cauche and Salomon Goubert visited in June 1638, [7] the island was officially claimed by Jacques Pronis of France in 1642, when he deported a dozen French mutineers to the island from Madagascar. The convicts were returned to France several years later, and in 1649, the island was named Île Bourbon after the French royal House of Bourbon. Colonisation started in 1665, when the French East India Company sent the first settlers. [6]

Statue of Mahe de La Bourdonnais in Saint-Denis MaheDeLaBourdonnais 2.JPG
Statue of Mahé de La Bourdonnais in Saint-Denis

"Île de la Réunion" was the name given to the island in 1793 by a decree of the Convention Nationale (the elected revolutionary constituent assembly) with the fall of the House of Bourbon in France, and the name commemorates the union of revolutionaries from Marseille with the National Guard in Paris, which took place on 10 August 1792. In 1801, the island was renamed "Île Bonaparte", after First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Napoleonic Wars, the island was invaded by a Royal Navy squadron led by Commodore Josias Rowley in 1810, who used the old name of "Bourbon". When it was restored to France by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the island retained the name of "Bourbon" until the fall of the restored Bourbons during the French Revolution of 1848, when the island was once again given the name "Île de la Réunion". [6]

From the 17th to 19th centuries, French colonisation, supplemented by importing Africans, Chinese and Indians as workers, contributed to ethnic diversity in the population. From 1690, most of the non-Europeans were enslaved. The colony abolished slavery on 20 December 1848. Afterwards, many of the foreign workers came as indentured workers. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 reduced the importance of the island as a stopover on the East Indies trade route.[ citation needed ]

Hindu festival, 19th century Fete des travailleurs indiens.jpg
Hindu festival, 19th century

During the Second World War, Réunion was under the authority of the Vichy regime until 30 November 1942, when Free French forces took over the island with the destroyer Léopard.[ citation needed ]

Réunion became a département d'outre-mer (overseas département) of France on 19 March 1946. INSEE assigned to Réunion the department code 974, and the region code 04 when regional councils were created in 1982 in France, including in existing overseas departments which also became overseas regions.

Over about two decades in the late 20th century (1963–1982), 1,630 children from Réunion were relocated to rural areas of metropolitan France, particularly to Creuse, ostensibly for education and work opportunities. That program was led by influential Gaullist politician Michel Debré, who was an MP for Réunion at the time. Many of these children were abused or disadvantaged by the families with whom they were placed. Known as the Children of Creuse, they and their fate came to light in 2002 when one of them, Jean-Jacques Martial, filed suit against the French state for kidnapping and deportation of a minor. [8] Other similar lawsuits were filed over the following years, but all were dismissed by French courts and finally by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. [9]

In 2005 and 2006, Réunion was hit by a crippling epidemic of chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquitoes. According to the BBC News, 255,000 people on Réunion had contracted the disease as of 26 April 2006. [10] The neighbouring islands of Mauritius and Madagascar also suffered epidemics of this disease during the same year. [11] [12] A few cases also appeared in mainland France, carried by people travelling by airline. The French government of Dominique de Villepin sent an emergency aid package worth €36 million and deployed about 500 troops in an effort to eradicate mosquitoes on the island.[ citation needed ]

Politics

Map of the European Union in the world with overseas countries and territories and outermost regions EU OCT and OMR map en.png
Map of the European Union in the world with overseas countries and territories and outermost regions

Réunion sends seven deputies to the French National Assembly and three senators to the Senate.

Administrative divisions

Administratively, Réunion is divided into 24  communes (municipalities) grouped into four arrondissements. It is also subdivided into 49  cantons, meaningful only for electoral purposes at the departmental or regional level. [13] It is a French overseas department, hence a French overseas region. The low number of communes, compared with French metropolitan departments of similar size and population, is unique: most of its communes encompass several localities, sometimes separated by significant distances.

Municipalities (communes)

The communes voluntarily grouped themselves into five intercommunalities for cooperating in some domains, apart from the four arrondissements to which they belong for purposes of applying national laws and executive regulation. After some changes in the composition, name and status of intercommunalities, all of them operate with the status of agglomeration communities, and apply their own local taxation (in addition to national, regional, departmental, and municipal taxes) and have an autonomous budget decided by the assembly representing all member communes. This budget is also partly funded by the state, the region, the department, and the European Union for some development and investment programs. Every commune in Réunion is now a member of an intercommunality with its own taxation, to which member communes have delegated their authority in various areas.

Foreign relations

Although diplomacy, military, and French government matters are handled by Paris, Réunion is a member of La Francophonie, the Indian Ocean Commission, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Universal Postal Union, the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa, and the World Federation of Trade Unions in its own right.

Geography

La Reunion department location map.svg
La Reunion department relief location map.jpg

The island is 63 km (39 mi) long; 45 km (28 mi) wide; and covers 2,512 km2 (970 sq mi). It is above a hotspot in the Earth's crust. The Piton de la Fournaise, a shield volcano on the eastern end of Réunion Island, rises more than 2,631 m (8,632 ft) above sea level and is sometimes called a sister to Hawaiian volcanoes because of the similarity of climate and volcanic nature. It has erupted more than 100 times since 1640, and is under constant monitoring, most recently erupting on 14 July 2017. [14] During another eruption in April 2007, the lava flow was estimated at 3,000,000 m3 (3,900,000 cu yd) per day. [15] The hotspot that fuels Piton de la Fournaise also created the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues.

The Piton des Neiges volcano, the highest point on the island at 3,070 m (10,070 ft) above sea level, is northwest of the Piton de la Fournaise. Collapsed calderas and canyons are south west of the mountain. While the Piton de la Fournaise is one of Earth's most active volcanoes, the Piton des Neiges is extinct. Its name means "peak of snows" in French, but snowfall on the summit of the mountain is rare. The slopes of both volcanoes are heavily forested. Cultivated land and cities like the capital city of Saint-Denis are concentrated on the surrounding coastal lowlands. Offshore, part of the west coast is characterised by a coral reef system. Réunion also has three calderas: the Cirque de Salazie, the Cirque de Cilaos and the Cirque de Mafate. The last is accessible only on foot or by helicopter.

Climate

Koppen climate classification map of Reunion. Climat Reunion.jpg
Köppen climate classification map of Réunion.

The climate in Réunion is tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation. The weather is cool and dry from May to November, but hot and rainy from November to April. Precipitation levels vary greatly within the island, with the east being much wetter than the west. More than 6 m of rain a year fall on some parts of the east and less than 1 m a year falls on the west coast. [16] Réunion holds the world records for the most rainfall in 12-, 24-, 72- and 96-hour periods. [17]

Beaches

Réunion hosts many tropical and unique beaches. They are often equipped with barbecues, amenities, and parking spaces. Hermitage Beach is the most extensive and best preserved lagoon in Réunion Island and a popular snorkelling location. [18] It is a white sand beach lined with casuarina trees under which the locals often organise picnics. La Plage des Brisants is a well-known surfing spot, with many athletic and leisurely activities taking place. Each November, a film festival is also organised in La Plage des Brisants. Movies are projected on a large screen in front of a crowd. Beaches at Boucan Canot are surrounded by a stretch of restaurants that particularly cater to tourists. L’Etang-Salé on the west coast is a particularly unique beach as it is covered in black sand consisting of tiny fragments of basalt. This occurs when lava contacts water, it cools rapidly and shatters into sand and fragmented debris of various size. Much of the debris is small enough to be considered sand. Grand Anse is a tropical white-sand beach lined with coconut trees in the south of Réunion, with a rock pool built for swimmers, a pétanque playground, and a picnic area. [19]

Environment

Since 2010, Réunion is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers about 40% of the island's area and coincides with the central zone of the Réunion National Park. [21]

Wildlife

Réunion is home to a variety of birds such as the white-tailed tropicbird (French : paille en queue). [22] Its largest land animal is the panther chameleon, Furcifer pardalis. Much of the west coast is ringed by coral reef which harbours, among other animals, sea urchins, conger eels, and parrot fish. Sea turtles and dolphins also inhabit the coastal waters. Humpback whales migrate north to the island from the Antarctic waters annually during the Southern Hemisphere winter (June–September) to breed and feed, and can be routinely observed from the shores of Réunion during this season. At least 19 species formerly endemic to Réunion have become extinct following human colonisation. For example, the Réunion giant tortoise became extinct after being slaughtered in vast numbers by sailors and settlers of the island.

Between 2010 and 2017, 23 shark attacks occurred in the waters of Réunion, of which nine were fatal. [23] In July 2013, the Prefect of Réunion Michel Lalande announced a ban on swimming, surfing, and bodyboarding off more than half of the coast. Lalande also said 45 bull sharks and 45 tiger sharks would be culled, in addition to the 20 already killed as part of scientific research into the illness ciguatera. [24]

Migrations of humpback whales contributed to a boom of whale watching industries on Réunion, and watching rules have been governed by the OMAR (Observatoire Marin de la Réunion) and Globice (Groupe local d'observation et d'identification des cétacés).

Gardening - Bourbon roses

The first members of the "Bourbon" group of garden roses originated on this island (then still Île Bourbon, hence the name) from a spontaneous hybridisation between Damask roses and Rosa chinensis , [25] which had been brought there by the colonists. The first Bourbon roses were discovered on the island in 1817. [26]

Demographics

Manapany Manapany.jpg
Manapany

Ethnic groups present include people of African, Indian, European, Malagasy and Chinese origin. Local names for these are Yabs, Cafres, Malbars and Chinois. All of the ethnic groups comprising the island are immigrant populations that have come to Réunion from Europe, Asia and Africa over the centuries. There are no indigenous people on the island, as it was originally deserted. [27] These populations have mixed from the earliest days of the island's colonial history (the first settlers married women from Madagascar and of Indo-Portuguese heritage), resulting in a majority population of mixed race and of "Creole" culture.

How many people of each ethnicity live in Réunion is not known exactly, since the French census does not ask questions about ethnic origin, [28] which applies in Réunion because it is a part of the 1958 constitution, and also because of the extent of racial mixing on the island. According to estimates, Whites make up roughly one quarter of the population, [29] Malbars make up more than 25% of the population and people of Chinese ancestry form roughly 3%. [30] The percentages for mixed race people and those of Afro-Malagasy origins vary widely in estimates. Also, some people of Vietnamese ancestry live on the island, though they are very few in number. [31] [32] [33]

Tamils are the largest group among the Indian community. [34] The island's community of Muslims from north western India, particularly Gujarat, and elsewhere is commonly referred to as zarabes .

Creoles (a name given to those born on the island, regardless of ethnic origins) make up the majority of the population. Groups that are not Creole include people recently arrived from Metropolitan France (known as zoreilles ) and those from Mayotte and the Comoros.

Historical population

YearPopulationYearPopulationYearPopulation
1671901830101,3001961349,282
16962691848110,3001967416,525
17047341849120,9001974476,675
17131,1711860200,0001982515,814
17172,0001870212,0001990597,823
172412,5501887163,8811999706,300
176425,0001897173,1922006781,962
177735,1001926182,6372011828,581
178961,3001946241,7082016852,924
182687,1001954274,3702019866,506
Official data from INSEE by census or estimate; estimates shown in italics.

Religion

Catholic church of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges in Cilaos Cilaos kirche.jpg
Catholic church of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges in Cilaos

The predominant religion is Christianity, notably Roman Catholicism, with a single (Latin Rite) jurisdiction, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint-Denis-de-La Réunion. Religious Intelligence estimates Christians to be 86.9% of the population, followed by Hindus (6.7%) and Muslims (3.2%). [33] Chinese folk religion and Buddhism are also represented, among others.

Most large towns have a Hindu temple and a mosque. [35]

Culture

Réunionese culture is a blend (métissage) of European, African, Indian, Chinese and insular traditions. The most widely spoken language, Réunion Creole, derives from French.

Language

French is the only official language of Réunion. Although not official, Réunion Creole is the native language of a large part of the population and is spoken alongside French. Creole is used informally and orally in some administration offices whereas the official language of any administration office as well as education is French. [36]

Because of the diverse population, other languages are also spoken such as Comorian language varieties (especially Shimaore), Malagasy by recent immigrants from Mayotte and Madagascar, Mandarin, Hakka and Cantonese by members of the Chinese community, but fewer people speak these languages as younger generations start to converse in French and Réunion Creole. There are significant number of speakers of Indian languages mostly Tamil, Gujarati and Urdu. Arabic is taught in mosques and spoken by a small community of Muslims. English is a compulsory second language as part of the French school curriculum,[ citation needed ] but as in mainland France, English fluency is rare. German and Spanish are offered as a third language. Cantonese, Arabic, Tamil is also taught as an optional language in some schools. [34]

Music

There are two music genres which originated in Réunion: sega, which originated earlier and is also traditional in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Seychelles and maloya, which originated in the 19th century and is only found in Réunion.

Sport

Moringue is a popular combat/dance sport similar to capoeira.

There are several famous Réunionese sportsmen and women like the handballer Jackson Richardson, as well as the karateka Lucie Ignace.

Professional footballers include Dimitri Payet, Florent Sinama Pongolle and Guillaume Hoarau. Laurent Robert and ex-Hibernian and Celtic player Didier Agathe have also featured in movies. Agathe appeared in A Shot at Glory, whilst Robert was in Goal! .

Réunion has a number of contributions to worldwide professional surfing. It has been home to notable pro surfers including Jeremy Flores, Johanne Defay and Justine Mauvin. Famous break St Leu has been host to several world surfing championship competitions.

Since 1992, Réunion has hosted a number of ultramarathons under the umbrella name of the Grand Raid. As of 2018, four different races compose the Grand Raid: the Diagonale des Fous, The Trail de Bourbon, the Mascareignes, and the Zembrocal Trail. [37]

Media

Broadcasting

Réunion has a local public television channel, Réunion 1ère, which now forms part of France Télévision, and also receives France 2, France 3, France 4, France 5 and France 24 from metropolitan France, as well as France Ô, which shows programming from all of the overseas departments and territories. There are also two local private channels, Télé Kréol and Antenne Réunion.

It has a local public radio station, formerly Radio Réunion, but now known as Réunion 1ère, like its television counterpart. It also receives the Radio France networks France Inter, France Musique and France Culture. The first private local radio station, Radio Freedom, was introduced in 1981. They broadcast daily content about weather and local services.

Newspapers

Two main newspapers:

Film

Blogs

Economy

The east dock of Reunion's main seaport in Le Port. LePortEst.JPG
The east dock of Réunion's main seaport in Le Port.
Man sorting Bourbon vanilla. Trieur de vanille - La Reunion.jpg
Man sorting Bourbon vanilla.

In 2016, the GDP of Réunion was estimated at 19.2 billion euros (US$21.3 bn) and the GDP per capita was 22,400 euros (US$24,800). [2] Sugar was traditionally the chief agricultural product and export. Tourism is now an important source of income. [39] The island's remote location combined with its stable political alignment with Europe makes it a key location for satellite receiving stations [40] and naval navigation. [41]

GDP sector composition in 2013 (contribution of each sector to the total gross value added): [42]

Sector% of total GVA
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 1.5%
Detail
Agriculture and forestry1.1%
Fishing 0.3%
Mining and quarrying0.0%
Manufacturing 4.4%
Detail
Food manufacturing
(of which: sugar and rum)
1.8%
(0.4%)
Petroleum and coal products manufacturing0.0%
Non-food and non-petroleum/coal manufacturing 2.6%
Utilities1.8%
Construction5.4%
Market services 51.1%
Detail
Wholesale and retail trade12.1%
Transportation and warehousing3.5%
Accommodation and food services1.6%
Information and communication3.6%
Finance and insurance3.9%
Real estate activities15.2%
Professional, scientific and technical services3.2%
Administrative and support services3.5%
Other (entertainment, repair, personal and laundry services) 4.4%
Non-market services 35.9%
Detail
Public administration and defense10.9%
Education, health care, elderly care, child day-care 24.9%

Unemployment is a major problem on Réunion, although the situation has improved markedly since the beginning of the 2000s: the unemployment rate, which stood above 30% from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, declined to 24.1% in 2007, then rebounded to 29.6% in 2011 due to the 2008 global financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession, but has since 2011 again declined, reaching 22.4% in 2016, [43] its lowest level in 40 years. [44] In 2014, 40% of the population lived below the poverty line (defined by INSEE as 60% of Metropolitan France's median income; in 2014 the poverty line for a family of 2 parents and 2 young children was €2,064 (US$2,743) per month). [45]

Rum distillation is a sugar-based process that contributes to the island's economy. A "Product of France", it is shipped to Europe for bottling, then shipped to consumers around the world.

Public services

Health

In 2005–2006, Réunion experienced an epidemic of chikungunya, a viral disease similar to dengue fever brought in from East Africa, which infected almost a third of the population because of its transmission through mosquitoes. The epidemic has since been eradicated. See the History section for more details.

Transport

Roland Garros Airport serves the island, handling flights to mainland France, India, Madagascar, Mauritius, Tanzania, Comoros, Seychelles, South Africa, China and Thailand. Pierrefonds Airport, a smaller airport, has some flights to Mauritius and Madagascar.

See also

Related Research Articles

Geography of Réunion

Réunion is an island in Southern Africa, in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It is an overseas region of France. The total area of the island is 2,512 km², of which 10 km² is water. The island has a coastline of 207 km. The maritime claims of Réunion include an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles, and a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles (22 km). Reunion is geologically situated in the Somali plate.

Saint-Denis, Réunion Prefecture and commune in Réunion, France

Saint-Denis is the préfecture of the French overseas region and department of Réunion, in the Indian Ocean. It is located at the island's northernmost point, close to the mouth of the Rivière Saint-Denis.

Piton de la Fournaise

Piton de la Fournaise is a shield volcano on the eastern side of Réunion island in the Indian Ocean. It is currently one of the most active volcanoes in the world, along with Kīlauea in the Hawaiian Islands, Stromboli and Etna in Italy and Mount Erebus in Antarctica. A previous eruption began in August 2006 and ended in January 2007. The volcano erupted again in February 2007, on 21 September 2008, on 9 December 2010, which lasted for two days, and on 1 August 2015. The most recent eruption began on 18 February 2019. The volcano is located within Réunion National Park, a World Heritage site.

Piton des Neiges mountain

The Piton des Neiges is a massive 3,069 m (10,069 ft) shield volcano on Réunion, one of the French volcanic islands in the Mascarene Archipelago in the southwestern Indian Ocean. It is located about 800 kilometres (500 mi) east of Madagascar. Piton des Neiges is the highest point on Réunion and is considered to be the highest point in the Indian Ocean. The volcano was formed by the Réunion hotspot and emerged from the sea about two million years ago. Now deeply eroded, the volcano has been inactive for 20,000 years and is surrounded by three massive crater valleys, the Cirques. Piton des Neiges forms the northwestern two thirds of Réunion, with the very active Piton de la Fournaise comprising the rest. As it name suggests, snow is occasionally seen on its summit in winter.

A French creole, or French-based creole language, is a creole language for which French is the lexifier. Most often this lexifier is not modern French but rather a 17th-century koiné of French from Paris, the French Atlantic harbors, and the nascent French colonies. French-based creole languages are spoken natively by millions of people worldwide, primarily in the Americas and on archipelagos throughout the Indian Ocean. This article also contains information on French pidgin languages, contact languages that lack native speakers.

La Possession Commune in Réunion, France

La Possession is a commune in the French overseas department of Réunion. It is located on the northwest side of the island of Réunion, between the capital of Saint-Denis and the commune of Le Port.

Chinois, also referred to by the Réunion Creole name Sinwa or Sinoi, are ethnic Chinese residing in Réunion, a French overseas department in the Indian Ocean. As of 1999, roughly 25,000 lived on the island, making them one of the region's largest Chinese communities along with Chinese South Africans, Chinese people in Madagascar, and Sino-Mauritians.

Outline of Mauritius

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Mauritius:

Bourbonnais Creole is a group of French-based creole languages spoken in the western Indian Ocean. The close relation of the languages is a consequence of the similar historical and cultural backgrounds of the islands. The name is derived from the former name of Réunion Island, which was called Bourbon Island prior to 1793. Another name is Mascarene Creole, derived from the main island group associated with these languages.

Tourism in Réunion

Tourism is an important part of the economy of Réunion, an island and French overseas departement in the Indian Ocean. Despite its many tourism assets, the island's tourist attractions are not well known.

Réunion National Park national park of France

Réunion National Park is a National Park of France located on the island of Réunion, an overseas department in the western Indian Ocean. Established on 5 March 2007, the park protects the endemic ecosystems of Les Hauts, Réunion's mountainous interior, and covers around 42% of the island. Notable endemic species include the Réunion cuckooshrike and the Reunion Island day gecko.

Plaine des Cafres human settlement in France

The Plaine des Cafres is a plateau on Réunion Island, one of the French volcanic islands in the Mascarene Archipelago in the southwestern Indian Ocean. It is part of the commune of Le Tampon.

Cyclone Hyacinthe South-West Indian cyclone in 1980

Tropical Cyclone Hyacinthe was the wettest tropical cyclone on record worldwide. The eighth named storm of the season, Hyacinthe formed on January 15, 1980, to the northeast of Mauritius in the southern Indian Ocean. Initially it moved to the west-southwest, and while slowly intensifying it passed north of the French overseas department of Réunion. On January 19, Météo-France estimated that the storm had intensified to a tropical cyclone. Hyacinthe looped to the south of eastern Madagascar and weakened, although it restrengthened after turning to the east. The storm executed another loop to the southwest of Réunion, passing near the island for a second and later third time. Hyacinthe became extratropical on January 29 after turning southward, dissipating two days later.

Jean-Dominique-Philippe-Auguste Vinson was a French physician and naturalist. His father, François-Auguste Vinson (1791-1851), was a noted physician and politician.

Rivière des Remparts – Rivière Langevin Important Bird Area

Rivière des Remparts – Rivière Langevin Important Bird Area (IBA) is a 7000 ha tract of land on the island of Réunion, a French territory in the western Indian Ocean.

Mauritian Creole language

Mauritian Creole or Morisien or formerly Morisyen is a French-based creole language spoken in Mauritius. In addition to the French base of the language, there are also a number of words from English and from the many African and South Asian languages that have been spoken on the island.

Piton is a rock climbing tool

Réunion is a mafic island formed as a result of the Réunion hotspot in the Indian Ocean, the same hotspot that produced the massive basalt flows of the Deccan Traps, when it was beneath India more than 66 million years ago.

References

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Bibliography

Government
General information

Coordinates: 21°06′52″S55°31′57″E / 21.11444°S 55.53250°E / -21.11444; 55.53250