Demographics of Réunion
This article concerns the demography of Réunion. Nationals of Réunion are Réunionese. The official language is French, and Réunionese Creole is widely spoken. The population of Réunion is 720,934 as of 2000.
As of 2000, estimates put the population of Réunion at 720,934, with a growth rate of 1.63%. The birth rate was estimated at 21.84 births per 1,000 population, and the death rate at 5.55 deaths per 1,000 population in the same year. The net migration rate was zero in 2000. The following table describes age structure and sex ratios in Réunion.
|Age band (years)||Percentage population||Sex ratio (male/female)|
|1671||90||1830||101 300||1961||349 282|
|1696||269||1848||110 300||1967||416 525|
|1704||734||1849||120 900||1974||476 675|
|1713||1 171||1860||200 000||1982||515 814|
|1717||2 000||1870||212 000||1990||597 823|
|1724||12 550||1887||163 881||1999||706 300|
|1764||25 000||1897||173 192||2006||781 962|
|1777||35 100||1926||182 637||2007||790 500|
|1789||61 300||1946||241 708||2008||802 001|
|1826||87 100||1954||274 370|
|Official data from INSEE by census or estimate; estimates shown in italics.|
Childbirth and life expectancy
Estimates from the year 2000 suggest that there are 8.67 deaths in every 1,000 live births. At birth, life expectancy is 72.68 years (69.28 years for male children, and 76.24 for female). The fertility rate is 2.61 children born for every woman.
French is the only official language of Reunion. Although not official, Réunion Creole is also commonly spoken by the majority of the population. One can hear it in any administration or office, but education is only in French.
Tamil is taught as optional language in some schools. Due to the diverse population, other languages such as Mandarin, Hakka and Cantonese are also spoken by members of the Chinese community, but fewer people speak these languages as younger generations start to converse in French. The number of speakers of Indian languages (mostly Urdu and Gujarati) is also dropping sharply. Arabic is taught in mosques and spoken by a small community of Arabs.
France, like most other European countries, no longer publishes literacy rate statistics. For this reason, there are no up-to-date literacy rate statistics for Réunion.
Ethnic groups present include people of European, African, Malagasy, Indians and Chinese origin as well as many of mixed race. Local names for these are used: Yabs, Cafres, Malbars and Zarabes (both ethnic groups of Indian origin) and Chinois (Réunion).
It is not known exactly how many people there are of each ethnicity since there is a ban on ethnic censuses in France, which applies in Réunion because it is a part of the 1958 constitution. According to estimates, whites make up approximately one-quarter of the population, Indians make up roughly a quarter, and people of Chinese ancestry form roughly 3%. The percentages for mixed race people and those of Afro-Malagasy origins vary wildly in estimates. There are also some people of Vietnamese ancestry on the island, though they are very few in number.
People of Tamil and Gujarati origin make up the majority of the Indo-Réunionnais people; Bihari and other origins form the remainder of the population. The island's community of Muslims from North Western India and elsewhere is also commonly referred to as Zarab.
Creoles (a name given to those born on the island, of various ethnic origins), make up the majority of the population. Groups that are not creole include people from Metropolitan France (known as zoreils) and those from Mayotte and the Comoros.
In 2005, a genetic study was done on mixed race people of Réunion. From this sample, the following were found: For maternal (mitochondrial) DNA, the haplogroups are Indian (44%), East Asian (27%), European/Middle Eastern (19%) or African (10%). The Indian lineages are M2, M6 and U2i, the East Asian ones are E1, D5a, M7c, and F (E1 and M7c also found only in South East Asia and in Madagscar), the European/Middle Eastern ones are U2e, T1, J, H, and I, and the African ones are L1b1, L2a1, L3b, and L3e1.
For paternal (Y-chromosome) DNA, the haplogroups are European/Middle Eastern (85%) or East Asian (15%). The European lineages are R1b and I, the Middle Eastern one E1b1b1c (formerly E3b3) (also found in Northeast Africa), and the East Asian ones are R1a (found in many parts of the world including Europe and Central and Southern Asia but the particular sequence has been found in Asia) and O3. 
- World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision[dead link]
- "Ethnologue report (language code:rcf)". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- "NRI" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- "SSRN-Why France Needs to Collect Data on Racial Identity - In a French Way by David Oppenheimer". Papers.ssrn.com. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- Clicanoo. "La Réunion Métisse".
- "Anthropometric evaluations of body composition of undergraduate students at the University of La Réunion".
- [dead link]
- Gemma Berniell-Lee, Stéphanie Plaza, Elena Bosch, Francesc Calafell, Eric Jourdan, Maya Cesari, Gérard Lefranc, and David Comas (2008). "Admixture and Sexual Bias in the Population Settlement of La Réunion Island (Indian Ocean)". American Journal of Physical Anthropology (WILEY-LISS, INC.) 136 (1): 100–107. doi:10.1002/ajpa.20783. Retrieved 2010-07-09.