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Flag of Mauritius.svg
Total population
c. 1.6 million
(Mauritian ancestry and citizenship worldwide)
Regions with significant populations
 Mauritius1.3 million[1]
 United Kingdom70,123[5] [6]
 South Africa14,043[9]
 United States2,983
Other countries combined5,609

Mauritians (singular Mauritian; French: Mauricien; Creole: Morisien) are nationals or natives of the Republic of Mauritius and their descendants. Mauritius is a multi-ethnic society. The majority of Mauritians are descended from Indians, while large minorities are also descended from Africans, Chinese and Europeans.


Mauritian Creoles trace their origins to the plantation owners and slaves who were brought to work the sugar fields. When slavery was abolished on 1 February 1835, an attempt was made to secure a cheap source of adaptable labour for intensive sugar plantations in Mauritius. Indentured labour began with Chinese, Malay, African and Malagasy labourers, but ultimately, it was India which supplied the much needed laborers to Mauritius. This period of intensive use of Indian labour took place during British rule, with many brutal episodes and a long struggle by the indentured for respect. The term applied to the indentured during this period, and which has since become a derogatory term for Mauritians of Asian descent, was coolie. The island soon became the key-point in the trade of indentured laborers, as thousands of Indians set forth from Calcutta or Karikal; not only did they modify the social, political and economic physiognomies of the island, but some also went farther, to the West Indies.

Indo-Mauritians are descended from Indian immigrants who arrived in the 19th century via the Aapravasi Ghat in order to work as indentured laborers after slavery was abolished in 1835. Included in the Indo-Mauritian community are Muslims (about 17% of the population) from the Indian subcontinent. The Franco-Mauritian elite controlled nearly all of the large sugar estates and was active in business and banking. As the Indian population became numerically dominant and the voting franchise was extended, political power shifted from the Franco-Mauritians and their Creole allies to the Indo-Mauritians.

The meeting of a mosaic of people from India, China, Africa and Europe began a process of hybridisation and intercultural frictions and dialogues, which poet Khal Torabully has termed "coolitude".[10] This social reality is a major reference for identity opened to otherness and is widely used in Mauritius where it represents a humanism of diversity.

Subsequent to a Constitutional amendment in 1982, there is no need for Mauritians to reveal their ethnic identities for the purpose of population census. Official statistics on ethnicity are not available. The 1972 census was the last one to measure ethnicity.[11][12]

Demographics of Mauritius[edit]

Ethnic groups of Mauritius
Ethnic group[13] Percent of population
Creoles (including mixed-race Creoles)
Ethnic groups of Mauritius[13]
Ethnic group % of population
Indian 68%
African 27%
Chinese 3%
French 2%

Mauritian diaspora[edit]

The Mauritian diaspora consists of Mauritian emigrants and their descendants in various countries around the world, mainly Great Britain (United Kingdom), Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France and Ireland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (January–June 2012). "Population and vital statistics Republic of Mauritius" (PDF). Government of Mauritius. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Mauritius-born Community: Historical Background". Australian Government, Department of Immigration and Border Protection (2011 census). 19 November 2013. Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  4. ^ <> >
  5. ^ Erwin Dopf. "UN UK". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  6. ^ Erwin Dopf. "Migration Observatory UK". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  7. ^ Erwin Dopf. "Presentation of Mauritius". Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  8. ^ < />>
  9. ^ "United Nations Population Division | Department of Economic and Social Affairs" />>>
  10. ^ Khal Torabully, Coolitude: An Anthology of the Indian Labour Diaspora (with Marina Carter, Anthem Press, London, 2002) ISBN 1-84331-003-1
  11. ^ La Redaction (5 June 2008). "A critical appraisal of the Best Loser System". L'Express (Mauritius). Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  12. ^ M. Rafic Soormally (10 September 2012). "Debate on Best Loser System". Le Défi Media Group. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  13. ^ a b "The World FactBook - Mauritius", The World Factbook, CIA, retrieved July 12, 2018 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.