Maio, Cape Verde

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For other uses, see Maio (disambiguation).
Native name: Dja r’ Mai’
Image-Locator map of Maio, Cape Verde.png
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 15°13′33″N 23°9′56″W / 15.22583°N 23.16556°W / 15.22583; -23.16556
Area 269 km2 (104 sq mi)
Length 31 km (19.3 mi)
Width 25 km (15.5 mi)
Highest elevation 436 m (1,430 ft)
Highest point Monte Penoso
Cape Verde
Concelhos (Municipalities) Maio
Largest settlement Vila do Maio

Maio (in Cape Verdean Creole: Dja r’ Mai) is the easternmost of the Sotavento islands of Cape Verde. Maio is located south of the island of Boa Vista and east of Santiago. The island is known for its sandy beaches and large forest, which is unusual for Cape Verde. Administratively, the island forms one concelho (municipality): Maio.


The island was named Maio (Portuguese for "May") after its first sighting on May 1, 1460.

The inconclusive Battle of Maio was fought between British and French frigate squadrons off the island's southern coast on 23 January 1814 in the last stages of the Napoleonic Wars.


The island covers an area of 269 km². The tallest mountain on the island (436 m) is on the east coast, in a mountain range named Monte Penoso. Terras Salgadas is a plain filled with salt, in the far north. The northernmost point on the island is Ponta Cais. Bays includes Galeão and Santana to the north. The island’s main town is Vila do Maio, also known as Porto Inglês, near which its airport, Maio Airport lies.


As of 1832, the population was estimated at 2,500.[1]

Population of Maio, Cape Verde (1940—2010)
1940[2] 1950[2] 1960[2] 1970[2] 1980[2] 1990[2] 2000[3] 2010[4]
2237 1924 2680 3466 4098 4969 6754 8303


The island prospered around salt collecting, with a little agriculture and grazing, but none of the industries are now profitable.


Main article: Maio Island League


  1. ^ Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Source: Statoids
  3. ^ Source: Instituto Nacional de Estatísticas.
  4. ^ Source: projection to 2010 from the Instituto Nacional de Estatísticas.

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Coordinates: 15°13′33″N 23°9′56″W / 15.22583°N 23.16556°W / 15.22583; -23.16556