The country has an area of 718 square miles and a population of 1.3 million. In the 2000 census, 50 percent of the population claimed to be Hindu, 32 percent Christian, and 17 percent Muslim; other religious groups, such as Buddhist and animist, constitute 1 percent. Seventy-three percent of Christians are Roman Catholic. The remaining 27 percent are members of the following groups: Seventh-day Adventist, Assemblies of God, Church of England, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Evangelical, Jehovah's Witnesses, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Sunnis account for more than 90 percent of Muslims; a minority are Shi'a.
On the main island, the north is primarily Hindu, while the center is mainly Catholic. There are large populations of Muslims and Catholics in the cities of Port Louis, Quatre Bornes, and Curepipe. Most mosques and churches are concentrated in these areas. The island of Rodrigues is 92 percent Catholic.
The country has tightly knit ethnic groups, known as "communities." There is a strong correlation between religious affiliation and ethnicity. Citizens of Indian ethnicity usually are Hindu or Muslim. Those of Chinese ancestry generally practice either Buddhism or Catholicism. Creoles and citizens of European descent usually are Christian.