Mayotte is an overseas department and region of France consisting of a main island, Grande-Terre (or Maore), a smaller island, Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), and several islets around these two. The archipelago is located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean, namely between northwestern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. Mayotte's area is 374 square kilometres and, with its estimated 194,000 people, is very densely populated at 520 per km2.
Its biggest city and prefecture is Mamoudzou. The territory is geographically part of the Comoro Islands, but the people of Mayotte chose to remain politically a part of France in the 1975 referendum. The territory is also known as Maore, the native name of its main island, especially by advocates of its inclusion in the Union of Comoros. In a 2009 referendum, the population overwhelmingly approved accession to status of department (95.2% voted in favour of departmental status). Mayotte became an overseas department on 31 March 2011 and will become an Outermost region of the European Union on 1 January 2014.