Outer Islands of Mauritius (French: Îles éparses de Maurice) is the single first-order administrative division of the country and consists of the islands of Mauritius and several outlying islands. It is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands. The Constitution of Mauritius provides that the country includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agaléga, Saint Brandon (Cargados Carajos), Tromelin and the Chagos Archipelago, including Diego Garcia and any other island comprised in the State of Mauritius. The Government of Mauritius claims sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago, which the United Kingdom split from its territories to create the British Indian Ocean Territory before its independence in 1968. Additionally, France shares a sovereignty claim over Tromelin, an uninhabited islet between Madagascar and Mauritius' main island.
The total land area of the country is 2040 km2 (excluding the Chagos Archipelago), that is the 169th largest nation in the world by size. Mauritian territory also incorporates the island of Rodrigues, which is situated some 560 kilometers to the east and is 104 km2 in area. Rodrigues used to be the country's tenth district, it gained autonomous status in 2002. The twin islands of Agaléga have a total land area of 2,600 hectares and are situated some 1,000 km to the north of Mauritius. Saint Brandon is situated some 430 km to the north-east of Mauritius; it is an archipelago comprising a number of sand-banks, shoals and islets. Just off the Mauritian coast lie some 49 tiny uninhabited islands and islets (see Islets of Mauritius), some of which are used as natural reserves for the protection of endangered species.
The nation's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) covers about 2.3 million km2 of the Indian Ocean, including approximately 400,000 km2 jointly
managed with the Seychelles. Four fishing banks fall within EEZ limits: the Soudan Banks (including East Soudan Bank); Nazareth Bank; Saya de Malha Bank; and Hawkins Bank. In 2011 the United Nations endorsed the joint submission of Mauritius and Seychelles to extend their continental shelf of 396,000 km2 in the Mascarene region which gives the two countries sovereign right to jointly manage and exploit the seabed and subsoil of the joint area.