Union des Comores (Union of the Comoros)
Reference work entry


  • Capital: Moroni

  • Population estimate, 2015: 788,000

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 1,456

  • HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.503/159

  • Internet domain extension: .km

Civil Aviation

There is an international airport at Moroni (International Prince Said Ibrahim). In 2009 it handled 149,071 passengers (98,638 international) and 627 tonnes of freight.


There is a tropical climate, affected by Indian monsoon winds from the north, which gives a wet season from Nov. to April. Moroni, Jan. 81 °F (27.2 °C), July 75 °F (23.9 °C). Annual rainfall, 113″ (2,825 mm).

Constitution and Government

At a referendum on 23 Dec. 2001, 77% of voters approved a new constitution that keeps the three islands as one country while granting each one greater autonomy. The President of the Union is Head of State. The presidency rotates every 4 years among the three main islands. There used to be a Federal Assembly comprised of 42 democratically elected officials and a 15-member Senate chosen by an electoral college, but these were dissolved after the 1999 coup. A new 33-member Federal Parliament was established following the elections of April 2004. In 2004 there were 15 deputies selected by the individual islands’ parliaments and 18 by universal suffrage but this was changed to nine selected by the individual islands’ parliaments and 24 by universal suffrage for the 2009 elections.


The unit of currency is the Comorian franc (KMF) of 100 centimes.


Agriculture accounted for 46.3% of GDP in 2009, industry 12.1% and services 41.6%.


The estimated economically active population in 2010 was 342,000 (53% males).


There has not been a daily newspaper since Le Matin des Comores ceased publication in 2006. Le Canal, which is published in Mayotte, is distributed in the Comoros. There were five non-dailies in 2008. Al-Watwan is published 4 days a week in French and 1 day a week in Arabic.


Islam is the official religion: 98% of the population are Muslims; there is a small Christian minority. Following the coup of April 1999 the federal government discouraged the practice of religions other than Islam, with Christians especially facing restrictions on worship.


In 2005 there were 849 km of roads.


In Jan. 2009 there were 184 ships of 300 GT or over registered, totalling 625,000 GT.

Social Statistics

2008 births (estimates), 21,000; deaths, 4,000. Estimated birth rate in 2008 was 32.4 per 1,000 population; estimated death rate, 6.7. Annual population growth rate, 2000–08, 2.2%. Infant mortality, 63 per 1,000 live births (2010). Expectation of life in 2013 was 59.5 years among males and 62.3 among females. Fertility rate, 2008, 4.0 children per woman.


In 2011 there were 23,600 landline telephone subscriptions (equivalent to 31.3 per 1,000 inhabitants) and 216,400 mobile phone subscriptions (or 287.1 per 1,000 inhabitants). Fixed internet subscriptions totalled 1,600 in 2009 (2.3 per 1,000 inhabitants).

Territory and Population

The Comoros consists of three islands in the Indian Ocean between the African mainland and Madagascar with a total area of 1,862 km2 (719 sq. miles). The population at the 2003 census was 575,660 (285,590 males), giving a density of 309 per km2. In 2011, 28.3% of the population were urban. Population of the chief towns (2003 census): Moroni, 40,050; Mutsamudu, 20,828; Fomboni, 12,881; Domoni, 10,073. The indigenous population are a mixture of Malagasy, African, Malay and Arab peoples; the vast majority speak Comorian, an Arabized dialect of Swahili and one of the three official languages, but a small proportion speak one of the other official languages, French and Arabic, or Makua (a Bantu language).


In 2010 there were 15,000 international tourists, bringing revenue of US$35 m.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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