overseas region and department
flag coat of arms
|motto(s): |florebo quocumque ferar
(i will flourish wherever i am brought
|coordinates: 21°06′52″s 55°31′57″e / 21°06′52″s 55°31′57″e / -21.11444; 55.53250(january 2019)|
| • total||866,506|
| • density||350/km2 (890/sq mi)|
|time zone||utc+04:00 (ret)|
|iso 3166 code|
|gdp (2017)||ranked 13th|
|total||€19.7 billion (us$22.3 bn)|
|per capita||€22,900 (us$25,900)|
réunion (french: la réunion [la ʁe.y.njɔ̃] (listen); previously Île bourbon) is an overseas department and region of the french republic and an island in the indian ocean, east of madagascar and 175 km (109 mi) southwest of mauritius. as of january 2019 , it had a population of 866,506.
the island has been inhabited since the 16th century, when people from france and madagascar settled there. slavery was abolished on 20 december 1848 (a date celebrated yearly on the island), when the french second republic abolished slavery in the french colonies. however, later on indentured workers were brought to réunion from south india, among other places. the island became an overseas department of france in 1946.
as in france, the official language is french. in addition, the majority of the region's population speaks réunion creole.
administratively, réunion is one of the overseas departments of france. like the other four overseas departments, it is also one of the 18 regions of france, with the modified status of overseas region, and an integral part of the republic with the same status as metropolitan france. réunion is an outermost region of the european union and, as an overseas department of france, part of the eurozone.