Rodrigues named after Dom Diogo Rodrigues is a semi-autonomous island part of the Republic of Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean, about 650 kilometres (400 mi) east of Mauritius. It is part of the Mascarene Islands which include Mauritius, Cargados Carajos shoals and the French island Réunion, other nearby island countries and territories include Tromelin, Agalega, Comoros, Mayotte and the Seychelles to the far north-west. The area of Rodrigues is 108 km. It is of volcanic origin surrounded by coral reef, and just off its coast lie some tiny uninhabited islands and islets. The island used to be the tenth district of Mauritius before it gained autonomous status in 2001 and is governed by the Rodrigues Regional Assembly. The capital of the island is Port Mathurin.
As of 2011, the island's population was about 37,922. Its inhabitants are Mauritian citizens. English is the official language of the island, though people also speak French, Indian languages and some oriental languages are also spoken, the lingua franca is Rodriguan Creole. The main religion is Roman Catholicism with small minorities of other religions. Most of the inhabitants are of mixed African and French descent. Its economy is based mainly on fishing, farming, handicraft and a developing tourism sector