Port-Louis, Mauritius - Mauritius is among the 10 countries having the highest population density in the world with 672 persons per square kilometre in 2012, according to the Family Planning and Demographic Yearbook 2012, published Friday by the Health Ministry in Port-Louis. The document outlines data on population trends, vital rates, family planning and health service points.
It said that Mauritius is witnessing a demographic shift with the declining fertility rate and increasing life expectancy.
'In the last 15 years, the total fertility rate has steadily decreased to below replacement fertility level of 2.1, that is, the rate required for a population to replace itself. In 2012, the total fertility rate was 1.41 which is the lowest figure in Africa and comparable to developed countries,' it stated.
Statistical projections show that the population growth rate will follow a negative trend as from year 2032 and the total population of Mauritius will decrease from 1,305,310 in 2027 to 1,303,313 in 2032 and may reach 1,188,403 in 2052.
Furthermore, it underlined that the age structure of the population is changing from a young to an ageing one.
It said the proportion of the elderly population, aged 60 years and above, has increased from 5.4 per cent of the total population in Mauritius in 1962 to 12.3 in 2012, compared to 9.1 per cent in the year 2000 and showing an average increase of about one per cent per year. By year 2052, this proportion is projected to be 30.2 per cent.
The population continues to show an ageing trend as the percentage of population aged 60 years and over was 12.3 per cent in 2012
Meanwhile, the sex ratio of the population stood at 970 males per 1,000 females and the urban population was estimated at 42.7 per cent in 2012. The estimated number of married women aged 15-49 for year 2012 was 209,230, representing 32.8 per cent of the total female population.
It also observed that the average life span for a Mauritian was 73.64 years during the period 2010-2012.
Life expectancy at birth for women was about seven years longer than that of men (77.15 years for females and 70.13 years for males).
The crude birth rate was 11 per 1,000 population in 2012, compared to 13.2 in 2007.
The total fertility rate, which is the average number of children born to a woman assuming that she survives to the end of her child-bearing age, was 1.41 in 2012 compared with 1.63 in 2007.
Infant mortality rate which is often indicative of the general level of health care in a country declined from 15.3 in 2007 to 13.4 in 2012.