A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Single-party rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was reelected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James Alix MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term; he was reelected in May 2011 and again in December 2015.



archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates

4 35 S, 55 40 E

Map references



total: 455 sq km
land: 455 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km


491 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)


Mahe Group is volcanic with a narrow coastal strip and rocky, hilly interior; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs


mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m

Natural resources

fish, coconuts (copra), cinnamon trees

Land use

agricultural land: 6.5%
arable land 2.2%; permanent crops 4.3%; permanent pasture 0%
forest: 88.5%
other: 5% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

3 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; occasional short droughts

Environment - current issues

water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater

Environment - international agreements

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

Geography - note

smallest African country; the constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155 islands: 42 granitic and 113 coralline; by far the largest island is Mahe, which is home to about 90% of the population and the site of the capital city of Victoria

People and Society


93,186 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychellois

Ethnic groups

mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab


Seychellois Creole (official) 89.1%, English (official) 5.1%, French (official) 0.7%, other 3.8%, unspecified 1.4% (2010 est.)


Roman Catholic 76.2%, Protestant 10.6% (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecoastal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6), other Christian 2.4%, Hindu 2.4%, Muslim 1.6%, other non-Christian 1.1%, unspecified 4.8%, none 0.9% (2010 est.)

Demographic profile

Seychelles has no indigenous population and was first permanently settled by a small group of French planters, African slaves, and South Indians in 1770. Seychelles’ modern population is composed of the descendants of French and later British settlers, Africans, and Indian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern traders and is concentrated on three of its 155 islands – the vast majority on Mahe and lesser numbers on Praslin and La Digue. Seychelles’ population grew rapidly during the second half of the 20th century, largely due to natural increase, but the pace has slowed because of fertility decline. The total fertility rate dropped sharply from 4.0 children per woman in 1980 to 1.9 in 2015, mainly as a result of a family planning program, free education and health care, and increased female labor force participation. Life expectancy has increased steadily, but women on average live 9 years longer than men, a difference that is higher than that typical of developed countries.
The combination of reduced fertility and increased longevity has resulted in an aging population, which will put pressure on the government’s provision of pensions and health care. Seychelles’ sustained investment in social welfare services, such as free primary health care and education up to the post-secondary level, have enabled the country to achieve a high human development index score – among the highest in Africa. Despite some of its health and education indicators being nearly on par with Western countries, Seychelles has a high level of income inequality.
An increasing number of migrant workers – mainly young men – have been coming to Seychelles in recent years to work in the construction and tourism industries. As of 2011, foreign workers made up nearly a quarter of the workforce. Indians are the largest non-Seychellois population – representing half of the country’s foreigners – followed by Malagasy.

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.19% (male 9,650/female 9,164)
15-24 years: 13.58% (male 6,641/female 6,016)
25-54 years: 49.36% (male 24,335/female 21,660)
55-64 years: 9.36% (male 4,483/female 4,235)
65 years and over: 7.51% (male 2,763/female 4,239) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 43.5%
youth dependency ratio: 33.6%
elderly dependency ratio: 9.9%
potential support ratio: 10.1% (2015 est.)

Population growth rate

0.8% (2016 est.)

Median age

total: 34.9 years
male: 34.4 years
female: 35.5 years (2016 est.)

Birth rate

13.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

6.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Major urban areas - population

VICTORIA (capital) 26,000 (2014)


urban population: 53.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.14% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 10.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74.7 years
male: 70.2 years
female: 79.4 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.86 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Health expenditures

3.4% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

1.07 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

3.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

urban: 95.7% of population
rural: 95.7% of population
total: 95.7% of population
urban: 4.3% of population
rural: 4.3% of population
total: 4.3% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 98.4% of population
rural: 98.4% of population
total: 98.4% of population
urban: 1.6% of population
rural: 1.6% of population
total: 1.6% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Obesity - adult prevalence rate

26.9% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

3.6% (2012)

Education expenditures

3.6% of GDP (2011)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3% (2012 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 15 years (2014)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 11%
male: 8.4%
female: 14.2% (2011 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles
local long form: Republic of Seychelles
local short form: Seychelles
etymology: named by French Captain Corneille Nicholas MORPHEY after Jean Moreau de SECHELLES, the finance minister of France, in 1756

Government type

presidential republic


name: Victoria
geographic coordinates: 4 37 S, 55 27 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

25 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Royale, Au Cap, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand Anse Mahe, Grand Anse Praslin, Inner Islands, La Riviere Anglaise, Les Mamalles, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe Larue, Port Glaud, Roche Caiman, Saint Louis, Takamaka


29 June 1976 (from the UK)

National holiday

Constitution Day, 18 June (1993); Independence Day (National Day), 29 June (1976)


previous 1970, 1979; latest drafted May 1993, approved by referendum 18 June 1993, effective 23 June 1993; amended several times, last in 2011 (2016)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Seychelles
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Danny FAURE (PL) (since 16 October 2016); Vice President Vincent MERITON (since 28 October 2016); note - James Alix MICHEL resigned the presidency effective 16 October 2016; the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Danny FAURE (PL) (since 16 October 2016); Vice President Vincent MERITON (since 28 October 2016); note - James Alix MICHEL resigned the presidency effective 16 October 2016
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 more terms); election last held on 3-5 December 2015 with runoff on 16-18 December 2015 (next expected in December 2020)
election results: President James Alix MICHEL reelected president; percent of vote in second round - James Alix MICHEL (PP) 50.2%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN (SNP) 49.8%

National symbol(s)

coco de mer (sea coconut); national colors: blue, yellow, red, white, green

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (up to 35 seats - the Assembly elected in September 2016 has 33 members; 25 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and up to 10 members elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 8-10 September 2016 (next to be held in 2021); note - the National Assembly was dissolved in July 2011 resulting in early elections
election results: percent of vote by party - LDS 49.6%, PL 49.2%, other 1.2%; seats by party - LDS 19, PL 14

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Seychelles Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 4 justices); Supreme Court of Seychelles (consists of the chief justice and 9 puisine judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 3 Supreme Court judges)
judge selection and term of office: all judges appointed by the president of the republic upon the recommendation of the Constitutional Appointments Committee, a 3-member body, with 1 member appointed by the president of the republic, 1 by the opposition leader in the National Assembly, and 1 by the other 2 appointees; judges appointed until retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts of Seychelles; Family Tribunal for issues such as domestic violence, and child custody and maintenance; Employment Tribunal for labor-related disputes

Political parties and leaders

People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL [James Alix MICHEL] (formerly SPPF)
Popular Democratic Movement or PDM [Francesca MONNAIE]
Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO)
Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy or SPSD
Seychellois Democratic Alliance (Linyon Demokratik Seselwa) or LDS [Roger MANCIENNE] (alliance consisting of SNP, Seychelloise Alliance, SPSD, and SUP)
Seychelloise Alliance (Lalyans Seselwa) [Patrick PILLAY]
Seselwa (Seychelles) United Party or SUP [Robert ERNESTA] (formerly the New Democratic Party or NDP)

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Marie-Louise POTTER (since 19 September 2012)
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the US Ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles

Flag description

five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment

National anthem

name: "Koste Seselwa" (Seychellois Unite)
lyrics/music: David Francois Marc ANDRE and George Charles Robert PAYET
note: adopted 1996


Economy - overview

Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the pre-independence, near-subsistence level, moving the island into the upper-middle-income group of countries. Growth has been led by the

In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufa

In 2008, having depleted its foreign exchange reserves, Seychelles defaulted on interest payments due on a $230 million Eurobond, requested assistance from the IMF, and immediately enacted a number of significant structural reforms, including liberalizati

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.419 billion (2015 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2.608 billion (2016 est.)
$2.487 billion (2015 est.)
$2.352 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP - real growth rate

4.9% (2016 est.)
5.7% (2015 est.)
6.2% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$28,000 (2016 est.)
$27,000 (2015 est.)
$25,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

13.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
14.7% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 53.9%
government consumption: 25.2%
investment in fixed capital: 39.5%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 63.4%
imports of goods and services: -82% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.6%
industry: 13.9%
services: 83.5% (2016 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

2.7% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), copra, bananas; tuna


fishing, tourism, beverages

Labor force

39,560 (2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 3%
industry: 23%
services: 74% (2006)

Unemployment rate

3% (2014 est.)
3.3% (2013 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.7%
highest 10%: 15.4% (2007)


revenues: $487.3 million
expenditures: $457.3 million (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

34.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

2.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Public debt

59.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
63.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.5% (2016 est.)
4% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

11.17% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

12.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.36% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$546.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$492.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$613.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$564.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$515.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$491.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares


Current account balance

-$265 million (2016 est.)
-$253 million (2015 est.)


$422.3 million (2016 est.)
$449.4 million (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

canned tuna, frozen fish, petroleum products (reexports)

Exports - partners

France 18.2%, UK 17.9%, Mauritius 10%, Japan 9.2%, Italy 7.8%, Spain 4.5% (2015)


$873.7 million (2016 est.)
$922.4 million (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals, other manufactured goods

Imports - partners

Saudi Arabia 22.5%, Spain 11.1%, Singapore 7.4%, China 4.5%, South Africa 4.1%, France 4% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$590.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$536.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$2.552 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.758 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar -
13.34 (2016 est.)
13.314 (2015 est.)
13.314 (2014 est.)
12.747 (2013 est.)
13.7 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 2,795
electrification - total population: 97%
electrification - urban areas: 97%
electrification - rural areas: 97% (2012)

Electricity - production

400 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

300 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

100,000 kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

6,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

5,956 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

1.4 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 21,341
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 23 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 148,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 160 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: effective system
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 180 telephones per 100 persons; radiotelephone communications between islands in the archipelago
international: country code - 248; direct radiotelephone communications with adjacent island countries and African coastal countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2015)

Broadcast media

the government operates the only terrestrial TV station, which provides local programming and airs broadcasts from international services; multi-channel cable and satellite TV are available through 2 providers; the government operates 1 AM and 1 FM radio (2016)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 54,000
percent of population: 58.1% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 497,496
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 19,234,992 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

S7 (2016)


14 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 5 (2013)


1 (2013)


total: 526 km
paved: 514 km
unpaved: 12 km (2015)

Merchant marine

total: 9
by type: cargo 1, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 1, Nigeria 1, South Africa 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Victoria


Military branches

Seychelles People's Defense Forces (SPDF): Army (includes infantry, Special Forces (Tazar)), Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing) (2015)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2012)

Military expenditures

0.89% of GDP (2012)
0.82% of GDP (2011)
0.89% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)