An island country in the Indian Ocean, about 850 km (550 miles) east of Madagascar; population 1,300,000 (estimated 2015); languages, English (official), French (official), French Creole, Indian languages; capital, Port Louis.
Previously uninhabited, Mauritius was discovered by the Portuguese in the early 16th century. It was held by the Dutch 1598–1710 and then by the French until 1810, when it was ceded to Britain. Mauritius became independent as a member of the Commonwealth in 1968
Named by the Dutch in honour of Prince Maurice of Nassau, a stadtholder of the United Provinces.