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Madagascar is the worlds fourth largest island located 20 N and 47 E just off the shore of Mozambique Southern Africa The area of the island is 587040 kilometers with 4828 kilometers of coastline and it is slightly larger than twice the size of Arizona Madagascar is a high plateau with a narrow coastal plain and mountains on the top Their main natural resources consist of graphite chromite coal bauxite salt quartz tar sands semiprecious stones mica fish and hydropower The land is 441 arable land 093 is permanent crops and 9466 other Madagascar has a population of 16979744 people which means there is 30 people per square kilometer Of the population 45 of people are between 0-14 years 519 of people are between 15-64 years and 31 of people are 64 and over The population growth rate is 303 per year the birth rate is 4216 births per 1000 population per year and the death rate is 1188 deaths per 1000 population per year The life expectancy for people of Madagascar is 5386 for males and 5853 for females The rate for the number of people over 15 who can read and right is 689 The official name of Madagascar is the Republic of Madagascar The official languages are French and Malagasy Native The main religions are 52 Local-Traditional Beliefs 41 are Christian and 7 are Islamic Their type of government is a republic in which their capital is located in Antananarivo Madagascar divides the country into 6 provinces they are Antananarivo Antsiranana Fianarantsoa Mahajanga Toamasina and Tolaira Madagascar was formerly an independent kingdom before the 1880s Madagascar became a French colony in 1886 but regained its independence 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 was returned to the presidency The 2001 presidential election was contested
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