Demographics of Réunion

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This article concerns the demography of Réunion. Nationals of Réunion are Réunionese. The official language is French, and Réunionese Creole is widely spoken. The population of Réunion is 720,934 as of 2000.



As of 2000, estimates put the population of Réunion at 720,934, with a growth rate of 1.63%. The birth rate was estimated at 21.84 births per 1,000 population, and the death rate at 5.55 deaths per 1,000 population in the same year. The net migration rate was zero in 2000. The following table describes age structure and sex ratios in Réunion.

Historical population

Childbirth and life expectancy

Estimates from the year 2000 suggest that there are 8.67 deaths in every 1,000 live births. At birth, life expectancy is 72.68 years (69.28 years for male children, and 76.24 for female). The fertility rate is 2.61 children born for every woman.


The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism with Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism also represented, among others.


French is the only official language of Reunion. Although not official, Réunion Creole is also commonly spoken by the majority of the population. One can hear it in any administration or office, but education is only in French.[1]

Tamil is taught as optional language in some schools.[2] Due to the diverse population, other languages such as Mandarin, Hakka and Cantonese are also spoken by members of the Chinese community, but fewer people speak these languages as younger generations start to converse in French. The number of speakers of Indian languages (mostly Urdu and Gujarati) is also dropping sharply. Arabic is taught in mosques and spoken by a small community of Arabs.

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