The population of Mauritius in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 1,221,000, which placed it as number 149 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 6% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 26% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 99 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 0.96%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 1,340,000. The population density in 2002 was 595 per sq km (1,540 per sq mi).
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 41% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Port Louis, had a population of 172,000 in that year. Other cities and their estimated populations were Beau Bassin/Rose Hill, 93,684; Quatre-Bornes, 70,997; Curepipe, 74,214; and Vacoas– Phoenix, 91,114. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 1.6%.