Mauritius officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues [560 kilometres (350 mi) east of Mauritius], and the outer islands.
The islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Réunion, a French overseas department. The area of the country is 2,040 km². The capital and largest city is Port Louis. Mauritius was a British colonial possession from 1810 to 1968, the year of its independence. The government uses English as the main language.