- Economy of Réunion
The economy of
Réunionhas traditionally been based on agriculture. Sugarcanehas been the primary crop for more than a century, and in some years it accounts for 85% of exports. The government has been pushing the development of a tourist industry to relieve high unemployment, which amounts to more than 40% of the labor force.
The gap in Réunion between the well-off and the poor is extraordinary and accounts for the persistent social tensions. The white and Indian communities are substantially better off than other segments of the population, often approaching
European standards, whereas minority groups suffer the poverty and unemployment typical of the poorer nations of the African continent. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrated the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. However, this gap has been closing in the last 15 years.Fact|date=March 2008
In 2006 the
GDP per capitaof Réunion at real exchange rates, not at Purchasing power parity(PPP), was 16,244 euros (US$20,406).fr_icon cite web|url=http://www.insee.fr/fr/insee_regions/reunion/rfc/docs/ter2007_11_1_resultats_economiques.pdf|title=11.1 - RÉSULTATS ÉCONOMIQUES|author= INSEERéunion|accessdate=2008-01-13] However, while this is exceptionally high compared with its neighbors in Mauritius, Madagascarand the African continent, it is only 57% of the 28,721 euros per capita GDP of metropolitan Francein 2006. [fr_icon cite web|url=http://www.insee.fr/fr/ffc/docs_ffc/PIB_reg.xls|title=Produits Intérieurs Bruts Régionaux en euros par habitant|author= INSEE|accessdate=2008-01-13] The total GDP of the island was US$15.98 billion in 2006.
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