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Madagascar: National Accounts and Budget
Country Study > Chapter 4 > The Economy > National Accounts and Budget


Economists note that Madagascar's economy severely deteriorated from the 1960s to the late 1980s, particularly as a result of the misguided economic policies of the Ratsiraka regime. Whereas the growth rate in the gross domestic productto the tenth poorest in 1991 (GNP per capita of US$210).

Going beyond the traditional indicators of GDP and GNP per capita, however, Madagascar is doing better than might be thought. For example, according to the Human Development Report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1993, Madagascar ranked 128th in the world (and seventeenth in Africa) in terms of "human development." This category represents a composite score of several indicators of development, such as life expectancy and literacy. The UNDP report further notes that, despite a slight drop in the early 1990s, Madagascar's human development steadily advanced during the decades of the 1970s and the 1980s.

The Zafy regime tried to balance the need for economic growth with a desire to enhance social welfare after the turbulent transition period of the early 1990s by putting together a Public Investment Program for 1994-96. The priorities of the US$326 million budget are clearly demonstrated by the breakdown of investments according to four broad categories: infrastructure (US$160 million -- 49 percent), with transportation receiving the largest share of US$87 million; producing sector (US$79 million -- 24 percent), with US$53.5 million of this devoted to agriculture; social assistance, including education, health care, and social assistance (US$52.2 million -- 16 percent); and public administration (US$32.4 million -- 10 percent). An overriding interest in development as opposed to security is clearly demonstrated by the relatively small amount of investment funds (US$2 million -- 0.6 percent) allocated to the Malagasy Armed Forces. Finally, the percentage of investment funds slated for each of the individual regions suggests an awareness of the need to favor those that historically have been neglected. The breakdown of investments by region in order of importance is as follows: Antsiranana (28 percent), Toliara (21 percent), Mahajanga (18 percent), Toamasina (15 percent), Antananarivo (10 percent), and Fianarantsoa (9 percent).

Data as of August 1994

Last Updated: August 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Madagascar was first published in 1994. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 31 of 55


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