According to a July 1994 estimate, the nation's population was 72,113--double what it had been in 1951. The growth rate of 0.8 percent annually had slackened from the 2.1 percent rate recorded in the late 1970s. The infant mortality rate in 1994 was estimated at 11.7 per 1,000 live births. There were twenty-two births per 1,000 of population annually and only seven deaths per 1,000; the outward migration rate of seven per 1,000 helped stem population growth.
About 90 percent of all Seychellois live on Mahé; most of the remainder live on Praslin (6,000) and La Digue (1,800). The population of the outer coralline group is only about 400, mostly plantation workers gathering coconuts for copra. To restrict population growth on Mahé, the government has encouraged people to move to Praslin and other islands where water is available.
The birth rate has declined by one-third from thirty-two per 1,000 in 1974 and is relatively lower than most African and Asian countries. By 1980 about one-third of all Seychellois women of reproductive age were reported to be using some form of contraception, which is considered unusually high compared with other African and Asian countries. Death rates are exceptionally low, in part because of the young age structure, but also because of the availability of free medical services to all segments of society, and the healthy climate and living conditions. The average life expectancy at birth in 1994 was 66.1 years for males and 73.4 for females.
|Country Studies main page | Seychelles Country Studies main page|