Mayotte is an overseas department and region of France, as well as a single geographical collectivity, formally known as the Department of Mayotte (French: Département de Mayotte). It is situated in the Indian Ocean's Mozambique Channel, off the coast of Southeastern Africa, between northwestern Madagascar and Northeastern Mozambique. Mayotte is made up of two islands: Grande-Terre (or Maore) and Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), as well as various islets in between. Mayotte is the most affluent territory in the Mozambique Channel, making it a popular spot for illegal immigrants.
Mayotte has a surface area of 374 square kilometers (144 square miles) with a population of 299,348 people, according to government projections for January 2022. (2,073 per sq mi). Mamoudzou is the largest city and prefecture on Grande-Terre. On the neighboring island of Petite-Terre, the Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport is situated. Maore, the native name of its major island, is also used to refer to the area.
Mayotte is a French overseas department as well as one of the country's 18 regions, having the same status as the departments of Metropolitan France. It is a European Union outpost and, as a French overseas department, a member of the eurozone.
French is the official language, and a growing proportion of the population speaks it as a second language, with 63 percent of those 14 and older claiming that they could speak it in the 2007 census. Mayotte's native languages are Shimaore, which is the most widely spoken, and Kibushi, a Malagasy language with two varieties: Kibushi Kisakalava, which is most closely related to the Sakalava dialect of Malagasy, and Kibushi Kiantalaotsi, which is most closely related to the dialect spoken by the Kiantalaotras of Madagascar. Shimaore has had an impact on both of them.
The island was colonized by people from neighboring East Africa, and then by Arabs who introduced Islam. In 1500, a sultanate was created. Today, Muslims constitute the great majority of the population. Mayotte was taken in the nineteenth century by Andriantsoly, the former monarch of Iboina in Madagascar.
Mayotte seceded from the Comoros and joined France when the Comoros proclaimed independence in a referendum in 1974. Mayotte became an overseas department on March 31, 2011, and an outermost area of the European Union on January 1, 2014, after an overwhelming vote in favor of the department status in March 2009.
The new department is confronted with several issues and obstacles. According to an INSEE report published in 2018, 84 percent of the population lives below the poverty line (set at €959 per month and per household), compared to 16 percent in metropolitan France, 40 percent of dwellings are corrugated sheet metal shacks, 29 percent of households lack running water, and 34 percent of people aged 15 to 64 are unemployed. With an annual population growth rate of 3.8 percent in 2019, half of the population was under the age of 17. Furthermore, due to huge illegal immigration from nearby islands, 48 percent of the population is made up of foreign people.