Seychelles: Country and Foreign Investment
Population, Language and Culture
The population of the Seychelles is approximately 95,000 (2016 estimate); of these, about 80,000 live on Mahé. Most of the rest live on the islands of Praslin and La Digue; the other islands, especially the Coralline Islands, are sparsely inhabited.
The indigenous population is a fusion of African, Malagasy (Austronesian) and French strains. The official languages are Seselwa (Seychellois Creole, based on French and also known as Kreol), English and French. Of these, Seselwa is the most widely used by locals. Business is conducted in French and English.
The islands were known to the Arabs from the 9th century, and after visits by the Portuguese, French and English, the French gained control of them until 1814, when British ownership was confirmed. The islands became a British colony in 1903.
The abolition of slavery in 1835 was economically disastrous, but there was gradual progress over the next 100 years, with the population growing from 4,000 in 1840 to 44,000 in 1962. Independence was granted only in 1976, and the islands have developed rapidly since then under a stable government. A total of 46% of the land area is demarcated as National Park or Nature Reserve.