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Sub-Saharan Africa


Madagascar is not included in the Gender Inequality Index. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.


Madagascar has a Workplace Index score of 5.9, a Marketplace Index score of 3.6 and a Community and Environment Index score of 6.3 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, census data divide the population of Madagascar into eighteen official ethnic groups. Exact demographic data on ethnic and religious groups in Madagascar is unavailable but the largest ethnic groups are Merina, a Malayo-Indonesian community, Côtier (a collective term for coastal communities, predominantly of mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian and Arab descent) and Betsileo (like Merina, a highland-dwelling Malayo-Indonesian group), with smaller minorities of Comorans, Creole, French and Indians. The Karana minority, with historic roots in India, number at least 20,000. Many of them are not recognized as Malagasy citizens and are therefore stateless. There have also long been tensions between the two largest groups Merina and Côtier.  Most groups, including Merina, were stratified by castes. Descendants of slaves are usually distinguished from ‘freemen and women’, who may be further divided (as with Merina) between descendants of nobles and commoners. These patterns have interacted with schooling and other stratifying institutions in complex ways. The distinction between slave and non-slave has also carried over into socio-economic status today. Declining purchasing power and joblessness are reviving ethnic animosities, but there is even more animosity towards those identifiable as ‘strangers’. Muslim people of the Comoros Islands were once the second largest non-Malagasy minority. After the majority returned to Comoros Islands in the 1970s, there remained some 20,000 who had opted for Madagascar citizenship, mostly living in the capital city. Immigrants in the twentieth century, people of both South Asian origin (about 10,000) and Chinese origin (about 10,000), operate small shops and other businesses, both registered and ‘parallel market’.

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Madagascar ranks 58 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch

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