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ECONOMY
 

 

ECONOMY

 


 

Seychelles is one of the smallest independent countries in the world. It is an archipelago of some 115 islands scattered over 1 million square kilometers of sea in the middle of the western Indian Ocean. The country's total land area is only 455 square kilometers (177 square miles), and there is very limited cultivable land. There are no known mineral resources.

It is a "minuscule economy", whose GDP* in 2011 is 13,118.90 million SR* (equivalent to USD 1,059.7 million) it is "insignificant compared with that of most countries".

In spite of severe constraints imposed upon the Seychelles economy by its limited resources and geographical isolation, the economic situation of the Seychelles is one that many developing countries could envy. Even at 150,031 rupees (equivalent to USD12,119) in 2011, its GDP per capita* is the highest in Africa.

Similarly, the social indicators are good by international standards. Seychelles has made significant progress in the country's social condition and the social indicators are generally good and comparatively favorable with those of the higher income countries. The country's success in improving the social conditions of its population is partly rooted in the welfare-state role assumed by the government over the last two decades. There is a comprehensive social safety net, whereby the government has sought to minimize income disparities, subsidized housing to low-income and large families, to provide equal and universal access to health care and education for all citizens without charge and guaranteed a minimum income to the elderly, the unemployed and the poor. Life expectancy has increased and infant mortality rates have been reduced over the last fifteen years. Overall literacy rates are at 94%, and primary school enrolment rates are estimated to be close to 100%. Housing ownership reached an estimated 70% in 2003.

According to the Human Development Report 2011 by the UNDP, the Human Development Index of Seychelles ranked 52 among 173 countries; it is within the High Human Development Countries group.

* Source from Seychelles in Figures – 2012 Edition by National Bureau of Statistics, Seychelles