Census 1997



Basic Data


Census Date 29th August 1997
Total Land Area 455.0 km2
Mahé Group 152.5 km2
Praslin Group 39.8 km2
La Digue Group 14.6 km2
Other Islands 248.1 km2
Population Density 167 per km2
Number of Islands 116
     Granitic Islands 43
     Coralline Islands 73
Population 75876
Mahé Group 67338  (88.7%)
Praslin Group 6091  (8.0%)
La Digue Group 1998  (2.6%)
Other Islands 449  (0.6%)
Population Greater Victoria (1) 24707  (32.6%)


Fertility The average number of children born in the lifetime of a woman is 2.2


Mortality Infant mortality rates per 1000 live births:
     Males: 8.6
     Females: 6.5
     Both sexes: 8.1
Crude death rate: 7.8 per 1000


Population Growth Crude birth rate: 19.1 per 1000
Rate of natural increase: 11.3 per 1000
Population growth rate per annum:
     Males: 0.41%
     Females: 0.96%    
     Both sexes: 0.69%
     Seychellois by birth: 0.75%
     Seychellois by descent: 1.66%
     Seychellois by naturalisation: 1.93%
     Expatriates: -20.40%


Age Dependency Ratio 58% (1997 census figures)
Child Woman Ratio 334 per 1000 women


(1) Those living in the central districts include: English River, Mt Buxton, St Louis, Bel Air, Mt Fleuri, Roche Caiman, Les Mamelles and Plaisance


Life expectancy at birth (2) Males: 65.6 years
Females: 74.7 years


Sex Ratio 981 males per 1000 females


Age 28.7% of the population is under 15 years old
7.6% of the population is 64 years and above
Nationality 2.7% of the population is Non-Seychellois


Number of houses 17599
Number of households 17878
Average household size 4.2
% Households having electricity 92
% Households having treated water 82


% Population in the Labour Force 49
% Labour Force fully employed 86
% Labour Force seeking jobs 14
% Economically Inactive 47


(2) Population projections 1994- 1999


Demography & Social Characteristics


Population Size

A total of 75876 persons were enumerated for the 1997 Census. This represents a 2% increase over the previous census count 3 years earlier, and amounts to an average annual increase of about 0.7 percent.



The gender composition has been consistently well balanced over the last couple of decades. However, the trend indicates a slow rise in the percentage of female population while that of the male decreases. Of the enumerated population, 49.5% were males and 50.5% were females.



The population of Seychelles continues to age. The percentage of the population aged less than 20 years decreased from 40.2% in 1994 to 38.6% in 1997. On the other hand the older age bracket of 65 years or more has increased from 7.3% to 7.6% over the same period. The median age has reached to 26.4.


Distribution & Density

Between the last 2 censuses, administrative district boundaries have been redefined and the number of administrative divisions has increased from 22 to 25 electoral districts. The district found with the highest proportion of the population is Anse Boileau. La Digue was found to be the smallest district in terms of population size.



97.3% of the enumerated population are Seychellois. 94.3% are Seychellois by birth, 2.3% are Seychellois by descent and 0.7% by naturalisation or registration.


See Table: Population by district & broad age groups, Census 1997



Economic Characteristics


Labour Force Participation

A total of 37409 persons make up the labour force. This accounts for about 64% of the population aged 12 plus. Out of the economically active population, some 10% (3810 persons) were unemployed job seekers. The working population, which includes all persons either fully or partially employed, amounts to 33559 persons. 


Labour Participation Rates by Gender

A look at the gender indicates a higher participation rate for males than for females. Male participation in the labour force is higher by about 9%. Over 21% of males over 15 are inactive compared to 32% of females in the same age group. However, unemployment rates differ by only 1% comparing males and females.


Age Dependency

The age dependency ratio, which is a measure of the proportion of the population in the non-working ages to those in the working ages, was measured at 56.4%. 


Employment Status

Over 79% of the working population are employees. The public and private sectors each employ about one third of the working population, whereas the parastatal sector accounts for 11.5% of the same population.



Education levels among the working population continue to improve. 2.8% of the working population had not had any schooling compared to 3.9% in 1994. The proportion represented by those who attained only primary school education has also reduced from over 20% to 17.6% for the same population. Over third of the working population have attained upper secondary education. This includes fifth year secondary as well as National youth Service graduates.



Social and other public services is the single most important sector, employing 36% of the working population. The tourism sector accounts for 16% of the working population. While females participation have decreased in the agricultural and fishing sectors, the opposite is true for the manufacturing, domestic and social & other services sectors. The proportion represented by the domestic sector has recorded the highest increase (13%) among all sectors. The proportion of expatriate workers has increased in the trade, tourism, business and social services sectors. Contrary to popular belief, the 1997 figures suggest a decrease in the overall population of expatriate workers in the working population.



The largest single occupational group is the elementary workers and labourers. 17.8% of the working population falls in this group. 5539 persons (16.5%) of the working population are employed in scientific, professional and associate professional jobs, while legislators, senior officials and managers represent of the same population. One out of five of the female workers are professionals and associate professionals and over 22% work in the protective service. The proportion of women working as machine operators or drivers has increased from 0.8% in 1994 to 1.7% in 1997.


See Table: Population aged 12  & over by economic status & broad age groups, Census 1997






A total of 17,878 households were enumerated, representing a 4.5% increase in the number of households over the 1994 census. With the enumerated population at 75,876, this gives an average household size of 4.2 persons compared to 4.3 persons in 1994. 


Housing Stock

The household stock is estimated to have increased by a total of 791 dwellings (4.7%) between 1994 to 1997. Among all electoral districts, Plaisance recorded the highest number of households (890) followed by Mont Fleuri (880). Roche Caiman and Port Glaud districts are at the lower extreme with 456 households each.


Construction of Dwellings

A look at the houses by construction material shows that the majority of houses in Seychelles (7 out of 10) are mainly made of stone and/or blocks. One out of four houses is constructed of wood and /or iron. 


Water Supply

The proportion of households that have tapped water in the home has steadily increased from 47% in 1977, 75% in 1987 and 82% in 1994. As at 1997, 85% of all households had access to tapped water within the home. Conversely, the proportion of households getting water from the public standpipe or from river or wells is on the decrease. In 1997, 11% of households were getting water from rivers, streams or wells compared to 16% in 1994.  The last census reported only 1% of households obtaining water from the public standpipe.


Electricity Supply

A total of 16488 (92%) of all households were reported to have access to electricity. In 1987, only three quarters of all households had access to electricity and as at census 1977 less than half of all households were connected. 


Toilet Facilities

In 1987, less than two thirds of households were reported to have a flush toilet. This figure has increased to 78% in 1994 and in 1997, up to 86% of households have flush toilets, 9% have pit latrines and some 2% were reported to have no toilet facilities in the home.


See Table: Housing stock & number of households by district, Census 1994 & 1997





The number of households that were rearing livestock in 1994 was over two and a half times that in 1997. Relative to the total number of households, the figure fell from 30% in 1994 to 11% in 1997. Of the 2245 households that had carried out farming activities, 1185  (53%) sold their produce, of which 77% cultivated mainly for sale and 18% sold the surplus only. As for the households that reared livestock, 1243 (63%) of them sold their animals, of which three quarters mainly reared for sale and 22% reported that they only sold the surplus.


See Table: Households engaged in agricultural activities by type of activity, Census 1994 & 1997



Information has been extracted from the National Housing Census 1997 Booklet. More detailed information, tables and graphs can be obtained from the booklet. See Statistical Publications.