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Basic Facts
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
Gevernment typerepublic
Capital name: Antananarivo
geographic coordinates: 18 52 S, 47 30 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Flag descriptiontwo equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side
CurrencyMadagascar ariary (MGA)
Internet country code.mg
Ports and terminalsAntsiranana, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara
Agriculture productscoffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products
Industriesmeat processing, seafood, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism
Geography
LocationSouthern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
Coordinates20 00 S, 47 00 E
ContinentAfrica
Area total: 587,040 sq km
land: 581,540 sq km
water: 5,500 sq km
Boundaries0 km
Coastline4,828 km
Climatetropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
Terrainnarrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center
Natural resourcesgraphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
Natural hazardsperiodic cyclones, drought, and locust infestation
People
Population18,595,469 (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsMalayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Religionsindigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%
LanguagesFrench (official), Malagasy (official)

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