The Seychelles archipelago is found in the Western Indian Ocean. It s made up of 115 islands and islets with a total terrestrial area of 445 km2 and Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.3 million km2. The archipelago has 2 distinctive groups of islands. 41 high granitic islands are found in the northern part of the archipelago. The granitic islands are located on the Seychelles Bank, which forms the northern arc of the Mascarene Ridge (Israelson & Wohlfarth, 1999). The remaining 74 islands are of coralline origin. They are mainly located in the south and southeast of the archipelago. All of the granitic islands are found within a radius of 50 km from the main island of Mahé where the capital is found and where most of the population lives. The granitic islands are of Precambrian age (650 million years old) and were created 135 million years ago during the break-up of Gondwanaland (ref). The coralline islands are about 125 million years old and were formed during the period of last reef formation (ref). The islands are tectonically stable. This is supported by the absence of post- Middle Eocene igneous rocks which is evidence that the last major tectonic activity affecting the Seychelles region ended during the Late Eocene (Mart, 1988).

The Seychelles is often considered to be coastal zone its entirety as a result of its small size and homogeneity (Shah, 1995). The islands have a total coastline of about 600 km and no single point of land is more than 4 km from the sea. As a result of the mountainous nature of the granitic islands, where more than 98% of the population lives, the majority of development occurs near the coast (Shah, 1995). The coastal zone is therefore of great social and economic importance in the day to day lives of the inhabitants and for the economy. It is estimated that 90% of the population is concentrated on the narrow coastal strips around the 3 main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue (Shah, 1993). With a land area of 148 km2, Mahé makes up about one third of the total land area of the Seychelles. The narrow coastal belt on the East Coast of Mahe from Victoria to the International Airport, which measures about 7 km long by 1 km wide, inhabits approximately 40% of the population.


Threatened species      (2014):            435     

Forested area (% of land area)           (2012):            88.5    

Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected (%)      (2014):            0.1      

Population using improved drinking water sources (%)        (2012):            96.0    

Population using improved sanitation facilities (%)   (2012):            97.0    

CO2 emission estimates (000 metric tons and metric tons per capita)          (2011):            598/6.5          

Energy supply per capita (Gigajoules)            (2012):            116.0

Land use: agricultural land: 6.5%; arable land 2.2%; permanent crops 4.3%; permanent pasture 0%; forest: 88.5%; other: 5% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land: 3 sq km (2012)

Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Economic indicators

GDP per capita (current US$)     (2013):  15565.4

GNI: Gross national income per capita (current US$)       (2013):  14019.4

Social  indicators

Population growth rate (average annual %)         (2010-2015):      0.6       

Urban population growth rate (average annual %)            (2010-2015):      1.1       

Rural population growth rate (average annual %) (2010-2015):      -0.1      

Urban population (%)     (2014):  53.6 


  1. National Status Report for Seychelles
  2. UN Data
  3. United Nations Statistics Division