In 2017, Mauritius had a population density of 650 residents per km2. About 90 percent of the population lives on the main island. The population consists of people of European, African, Indian and Chinese origin.
According to Countryaah, 41 percent of the population lives in urban areas, the majority in a belt from Port Louis in the northwest to Curepipe in the middle of the island. The largest cities are the capital Port Louis (148,100 residents, 2018), Vacoas-Phoenix (106,200) and Beau Bassin-Rose Hill (104,400).
The official language is English, but in practice French is used at least as widely in public contexts. A large number of languages are represented (mainly Indian) among the population. As a lingua franca works Mauritian, a French-based Creole language.
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When the first Arab sailors arrived in Mauritius sometime before the 16th century, the island was uninhabited. Portuguese arrived in the 16th century and Frenchmen in the 18th century. In 1810, Britain conquered the island. When the slave trade ceased in 1835, Indians were imported instead of slaves from the African mainland to work on the sugar plantations. Today, Hinduism (2010) is comprised of an estimated two fifths of the population. About one-third are said to be Christian, and the largest community among them is the Catholic Church, which was established in the country in 1722 and today comprises about a quarter of the population, while Protestants’ share of the population is about one-tenth. The Muslims in the country make up about one-sixth of the population. Nine out of ten Muslims are Sunni and the rest are Shia.
There are no references to any higher powers in the Constitution, which means that the Republic of Mauritius rests on secular grounds. Together with other laws, the constitution guarantees freedom of religion, something that the government also actively promotes. The religious communities that existed in the country before independence in 1968 are officially recognized by government decrees and receive financial contributions from the state every year. The size of the grant is determined by the number of members. New religious organizations must be registered to be tax exempt. There are no barriers for foreign religious organizations to carry out missions.
Among the religious holidays which are national holidays are both Hindu and Islamic and Christian holidays.