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Mahé (SEZ)

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*From October 2017

Seychelles Travel Guide The Complete Guide to the Seychelles

Map of the Seychelles

Population and People

What is the Population of the Seychelles?

The Seychelles has a population of approximately 90,000 people who mostly live on eight of the Seychelles' 115 islands. 90% of the population live on the main island of Mahé. The next-largest populations are on Praslin and La Digue respectively. In total, eight of the Seychelles' islands are permanently inhabited.

 

The Seychelles People: Multi-ethnic, Peaceful, Harmonious

90% of the population of the Seychelles are of Creole descent, usually from French colonial settlers and African slave labourers. Most of the remaining 10% of residents are of European origin.

Since their discovery, the Seychelles have attracted people from all over the world. The multi-ethnic roots of the Seychelles people stretch far and wide, including France, India, the UK, China, the Arab world, and other parts of Africa. Almost every imaginable ethnic and national group can be found in the cultural melting pot of the Seychelles, and each has left its own mark on the country's vibrant, peaceful society. Nowadays, all citizens enjoy equal footing, whether they are a descendent of slaves, adventurers, exiles, or pirates. Seychelles people therefore tend to have a wide range of skin colours, and often bright or blue eyes - probably a remnant of the French settlers who mainly came from the northern Atlantic coast.



Many families who live in the Seychelles these days have unmarried parents, and the children are frequently raised by their grandparents, as a large proportion of Seychellois men and women are employed professionally. It is also not uncommon for men to have more than one female partner, even those who are married, so women sometimes have children with different fathers. Besides this exception, 21st-century Seychellois societal norms are similar to those in Europe. The modern-day Seychelles are also a rich country, especially compared to other African nations, and the GDP per capita is even higher than in some European countries.

The average age in the Seychelles is 32 years old, and the country enjoys a population growth rate of 0.4%. Those who travel to the Seychelles will often find that the locals are friendly towards foreigners, and generally helpful and courteous. The everyday pace of life is much slower in the Seychelles, however, so there is little of the familiar hustle and bustle of western cities on show.


Fisherman paddling at sunsetPaddling at sunset near Mahé (© Dennis Schmelz)
 

What Languages do they speak in the Seychelles?

There are three official languages in the Seychelles: Creole, English, and French. The most common language spoken by the Seychellois population is their own Creole variant, Seychellois Creole, or Seselwa. This language is a mix of African languages such as Swahili and Malagasy, but with large French influences.

 

Religion in the Seychelles

The main religion in the Seychelles is Roman Catholicism, with 82% of the population belonging to this religion. Around 6.4% of the Seychellois are Anglican Christian, while the next-largest religions are Hinduism (2%) and Islam (1%). Around 2% also belong to a variety of smaller Christian churches such as the Adventists, or to the Bahai religion. (Figures correct as of January 2016).

ImageMosque in the Seychelles' capital, Victoria
ImageCatholic Church in Victoria
Exterior of a Hindu temple in the SeychellesHindu Temple in Victoria
 

Other Beliefs

Despite the prevalence of religion, other spiritual beliefs such as witchcraft, magic, superstition, and divination have a prominent place in Seychellois culture. It is not uncommon to visit a "tonton" - a wizard who helps Seychellois make important decisions, for example during illness or with personal problems. The use of talismans is also widespread.