Officially the Union of the Comoros, is an independent country made up of three islands in Southeastern Africa, located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean. Its capital and largest city is Moroni.
The religion of the majority of the population, and the official state religion, is Sunni Islam. Comoros proclaimed its independence from France on 6 July 1975. A member of the Arab League, it is the only country in the Arab world which is entirely in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a member state of the African Union, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the Indian Ocean Commission. The country has three official languages: Shikomori, French and Arabic.
The sovereign state consists of three major islands and numerous smaller islands, all of the volcanic Comoro Islands with the exception of Mayotte. Mayotte voted against independence from France in a referendum in 1974, and continues to be administered by France as an overseas department. France has vetoed United Nations Security Council resolutions that would affirm Comorian sovereignty over the island. Mayotte became an overseas department and a region of France in 2011 following a referendum which was passed overwhelmingly.
At 1,861 km2 (719 sq mi), the Comoros is the fourth-smallest African country by area. Its population is estimated at 850,886 residents as of 2019.
The Comoros was likely first settled by Austronesian/Malagasy peoples, followed by Bantu speakers from East Africa, and seafaring Arab traders. It became part of the French colonial empire during the 19th century, before its independence in 1975. It has experienced more than 20 coups or attempted coups, with various heads of state assassinated. Along with this constant political instability, it has one of the worst levels of income inequality of any nation, and ranks in the worst quartile on the Human Development Index. As of 2008, about half the population lived below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.
The Comoros consists of the four main islands: Ngazidja (French: Grande Comore), Mwali (French: Mohéli), Nzwani (French: Anjouan) and Maore (French: Mayotte), the contested island of Mayotte is administered by France. Nearest Countries to the Comoros are Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, and the Seychelles.
The combined area of the volcanic archipelago (including Mayotte) is 2,235 km², compared, the island nation is slightly smaller than Luxembourg or also slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Rhode Island.
Comoros has a population of 770,000 (2015). Capital and largest city is Moroni on Grande Comore.
Spoken languages are Comorian (Comorian Swahili, a Bantu language), French, and Arabic. Islam is the official state religion, 98% of the population are Sunni Muslims.