The Republic of Mauritius is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, to the east of Madagascar. Mauritius is the main island, ringed to the north by a number of smaller islands, namely Rodrigues, Agalega and St Brandon. The island of Mauritius is located in the southwest part of the Indian Ocean, some 800 km from the southeast coast of Madagascar. With a land area of 1,860 square kilometres and a population estimated at 1.3 million inhabitants, Mauritius has a high population density officially estimated, in 2000, at more than 585 people per square kilometre. The 1990 census showed 1,031,526 people were living on the island of Mauritius, 34,292 in Rodrigues and 170 on the outer islands. The annual population growth rate during the 1990s remained at about 1.1 percent, with most people living in the strip of towns between the capital Port Louis and the district of Plaine Wilhems.