Considering its limited and confining island characteristics, Madagascar’s population continues to grow at alarming rates, placing increasing demands on the island and its resources. The fertility rate was as high as 4.24 children per woman as of 2015, despite a decrease over the last ten years, and more than 40 percent of the population is under 14 years of age. While the island is still predominantly rural, the largest city and capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo, hosting over 1 million inhabitants.
Madagascar is still in the midst of overcoming a political crisis. While a new president was democratically elected in 2014, concerns about political corruption still exist, and attempts have been made to impeach him. It seems as if the political and economic crises of earlier years will continue. However, for the time being, President Rajaonarimampianina remains in power and the economy seems to be improving. The GDP growth rate has been increasing since 2010 and with that, slight improvements to GDP per capita have been made, and hopefully these gains can stabilize over the next few years. Yet, inflation remains a problem, directly affecting inhabitants and their ability to purchase food. While a large portion of GDP comes from agriculture, the demand for agricultural land and the nutritional needs of the country are in direct competition with preservation goals and tourism. Preserving the biological diversity - one of the country’s most precious resources – will be a challenge given the political and economic climate – especially when conditions of widespread hunger and malnutrition exist.