Seychelles : Society

Society

Population density (per sq. km): 
204
Life expectancy: 
73 years
Primary enrolment: 
94% (2011)
Population: 

93,000 (2013); 88 per cent on Mahé, seven per cent on Praslin, three per cent on La Digue and two per cent on the other islands, with 53 per cent living in urban areas; growth 1.3 per cent p.a. 1990–2013; birth rate 17 per 1,000 people; life expectancy 73 years.

The population is of mixed African, French, Indian, Chinese and Arab descent. There are small minorities of Europeans, Indians and Chinese.

Language: 

The official languages are Creole, English and French. Seychellois Creole (Kreol Seselwa) is French-based and very widely used.

Religion: 

Mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 76 per cent, Anglicans six per cent, and small numbers of other Christians); Hindus two per cent and Muslims one per cent (2010 census). Belief in the supernatural and gris-gris (the old magic of spirits) often coexists with Christian and other beliefs. Sorcery was outlawed in 1958.

Health: 

Public spending on health was four per cent of GDP in 2012. A network of polyclinics provides general medical care, dentistry and other services. There are also private general practitioners. The public health service depends heavily on medical personnel from overseas. There is no malaria, yellow fever or bilharzia. Some 96 per cent of the population uses an improved drinking water source and 97 per cent have access to adequate sanitation facilities (2012). Infant mortality was 12 per 1,000 live births in 2013 (43 in 1978).

Education: 

Public spending on education was four per cent of GDP in 2011. There are ten years of compulsory education starting at the age of six. Primary school comprises six years and secondary five, with cycles of three and two years. Some 94 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2010). The school year starts in January. Teaching is in Creole, French and English.

The Seychelles Polytechnic opened in January 1983 at Anse Royale on the island of Mahé. It offers courses in business and the visual arts to diploma level and has been providing first-year degree courses in conjunction with the University of Manchester, UK, since 2001. The Seychelles Institute of Technology was established in Providence, Mahé, in 2005–06, incorporating the technical studies programmes of the polytechnic. Other important tertiary institutions include the National Institute of Education, National Institute for Health and Social Studies, Agricultural and Horticultural Training Centre, Maritime Training Centre and Seychelles Tourism Academy. The female–male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 3.40:1 (2011). Literacy among people aged 15–24 is 99 per cent (2010).

Media: 

The Rising Sun and Seychelles Nation (state-owned) are published daily. Weeklies include Le Nouveau Seychelles, The People (owned by the People’s Party) and Regar (Seychelles National Party).

The Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation provides public radio and TV services in Creole, French and English. Multichannel cable and satellite TV services are also available.

Some 95 per cent of households have TV sets (2010). There are 216 personal computers per 1,000 people (2007).

Communications: 

Country code 248; internet domain ‘.sc’. Payphones are available in most districts on the inner islands. Internet connections are good in Seychelles. There are several internet cafes on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. The main post office is in Victoria.

For every 1,000 people there are 234 landlines, 1,473 mobile phone subscriptions and 504 internet users (2013).

Public holidays: 

New Year (two days), Labour Day (1 May), Liberation Day (anniversary of the 1977 coup, 5 June), National Day (18 June), Independence Day (29 June), Assumption (15 August), All Saints’ Day (1 November), Immaculate Conception (8 December) and Christmas Day. Religious festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday, Easter Monday and Corpus Christi.