Home>>Country Information>>

Display this page in a new window                                 Bookmark this page
   
 

Maldives

 
Flag of Maldives
Click to enlarge
 

Coordinates:
03.25 N  73.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Maldives

Click to see on Google Maps

 

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Maldives Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The Maldives was long a sultanate, first under Dutch and then under British protection. It became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. Since 1978, President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM - currently in his sixth term in office - has dominated the islands' political scene. Following riots in the capital Male in August 2004, the president and his government have pledged to embark upon democratic reforms, including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms. Tourism and fishing are being developed on the archipelago.
   Geography    Maldives Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
3 15 N, 73 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 300 sq km
land: 300 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
644 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
flat, with white sandy beaches
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 13.33%
permanent crops: 30%
other: 56.67% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); archipelago with strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean
   People    Maldives Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
359,008 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 43.4% (male 80,113/female 75,763)
15-64 years: 53.5% (male 98,040/female 94,029)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 5,477/female 5,586) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 17.9 years
male: 17.8 years
female: 18 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.78% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
34.81 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.06 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 54.89 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 54.01 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 55.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 64.41 years
male: 63.08 years
female: 65.8 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.9 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 100 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Maldivian(s)
adjective: Maldivian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
South Indians, Sinhalese, Arabs
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Sunni Muslim
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.2%
male: 97.1%
female: 97.3% (2003 est.)
   Government    Maldives Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Maldives
conventional short form: Maldives
local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa
local short form: Dhivehi Raajje
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Male
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
19 atolls (atholhu, singular and plural) and the capital city*; Alifu, Baa, Dhaalu, Faafu, Gaafu Alifu, Gaafu Dhaalu, Gnaviyani, Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu, Kaafu, Laamu, Lhaviyani, Maale* (Male), Meemu, Noonu, Raa, Seenu, Shaviyani, Thaa, Vaavu
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
26 July 1965 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 26 July (1965)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
adopted 1 January 1998
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Islamic law with admixtures of English common law primarily in commercial matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM (since 11 November 1978); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM (since 11 November 1978); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president nominated by the Majlis and then the nomination must be ratified by a national referendum (at least a 51% approval margin is required); president elected for a five-year term; election last held 17 October 2003 (next to be held NA 2008)
election results: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM reelected in referendum held 17 October 2003; percent of popular vote - Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM 90.3%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral People's Council or Majlis (50 seats; 42 elected by popular vote, 8 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 22 January 2005 (next to be held NA 2010)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 50
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
High Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
political parties were allowed to register in June 2005; the first entrants are: Adhaalath (Justice) Party or AP [Abdul Majeed Abdul BARI]; Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (Maldivian People's Party) or DRP [Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM]; Islamic Democratic Party or IDP [Omar NASEER]; Maldivian Democratic Party or MDP [Mohamed NASHEED]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
various unregistered political parties
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
AsDB, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed LATHEEF
chancery: 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400E, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 599-6195
FAX: [1] (212) 661-6405
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
the US does not have an embassy in Maldives; Jeffrey J. Lunstead, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, is accredited to Maldives and makes periodic visits there
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
red with a large green rectangle in the center bearing a vertical white crescent; the closed side of the crescent is on the hoist side of the flag
   Economy    Maldives Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Tourism, Maldives' largest industry, accounts for 20% of GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives' foreign exchange receipts. Over 90% of government tax revenue comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes. Fishing is a second leading sector. The Maldivian Government began an economic reform program in 1989 initially by lifting import quotas and opening some exports to the private sector. Subsequently, it has liberalized regulations to allow more foreign investment. Agriculture and manufacturing continue to play a lesser role in the economy, constrained by the limited availability of cultivable land and the shortage of domestic labor. Most staple foods must be imported. Industry, which consists mainly of garment production, boat building, and handicrafts, accounts for about 18% of GDP. Maldivian authorities worry about the impact of erosion and possible global warming on their low-lying country; 80% of the area is one meter or less above sea level. In late December 2004, a major tsunami left more than 100 dead, 12,000 displaced, and property damage exceeding $300 million. Over the past decade, real GDP growth averaged over 7.5% per year. As a result of the tsunami, the GDP contracted by about 5.5% in 2005.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.25 billion (2002 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-5.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3,900 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 20%
industry: 18%
services: 62% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
88,000 (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 22%
industry: 18%
services: 60% (1995)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NEGL% (2003 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.6% (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $265 million (excluding foreign grants)
expenditures: $362 million; including capital expenditures of $80 million (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
fish processing, tourism, shipping, boat building, coconut processing, garments, woven mats, rope, handicrafts, coral and sand mining
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.9% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
135 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
125.6 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$123 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
fish, clothing
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Thailand 30.6%, UK 13.8%, Sri Lanka 13.4%, Japan 13.3%, Algeria 5.8% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$567 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum products, ships, foodstuffs, textiles, clothing, intermediate and capital goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Singapore 26.5%, UAE 10.2%, Sri Lanka 10%, India 9.6%, Malaysia 7.1%, Thailand 5.2%, Bahrain 5.1% (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$316 million (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$NA (2004)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
rufiyaa (MVR)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
rufiyaa per US dollar - 12.8 (2005), 12.8 (2004), 12.8 (2003), 12.8 (2002), 12.24 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Maldives Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
31,500 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
113,200 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: minimal domestic and international facilities
domestic: interatoll communication through microwave links; all inhabited islands are connected with telephone and fax service
international: country code - 960; satellite earth station - 3 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2006)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.mv
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,343 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Maldives Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: NA
note: 10 km of coral roads in city of Male
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 16 ships (1000 GRT or over) 66,804 GRT/84,615 DWT
by type: cargo 12, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1
registered in other countries: 2 (Panama 2) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Male
   Military    Maldives Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
National Security Service includes Security Branch (ground forces), Air Element, Coast Guard
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 71,774
females age 18-49: 69,229 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 56,687
females age 18-49: 54,454 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$45.07 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.5% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Maldives Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
IDPs: 11,000 (December 2004 tsunami victims) (2005)

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook