Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Mauritius : Creoles

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 2008
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Mauritius : Creoles, 2008, available at: [accessed 24 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Mauritian Creoles, constituting about 27 per cent of the population, reflect mixtures of African, French and Indian origins across a broad range. The Creole language, a patois of French and Afro-Malagasy languages, is spoken by virtually all Mauritians and is the 'ancestral language' of 36 per cent of the population.

Historical context

Black Creoles especially have been subject to discrimination. Many neighbourhoods are ethnically segregated, with low- status Creoles invariably in the poorest housing.

The Creole language was long considered socially inferior to French and English. Yet it has since gained status. Since the mid-1980s it has become a language of instruction for the first three grades of primary school.

Current issues

Declining world sugar and textile prices have hurt the predominantly Creole lower class of Mauritius.

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