Maldives Flag Icon

Maldives Country Guide

Explore Maldives in Asia

Maldives with the capital city Malé is located in Asia (Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean). It covers some 301 square kilometres (about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC) with 379,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Maldives

The landscape offers flat, with white sandy beaches. The average density of population is approximately 1,263 per km². The notable climate conditions in Maldives can be described as tropical with hot, humid, dry, northeast monsoon (November to March), rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August). Potential threats by nature are tsunamis or low elevation of islands makes them sensitive to sea level rise.

To reach someone in Maldives dial +960 prior to a number. There are 49,913 installed telephones. And there are 461,149 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".mv". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Maldives

Red with a large green rectangle in the center bearing a vertical white crescent moon; the closed side of the crescent is on the hoist side of the flag; red recalls those who have sacrificed their lives in defense of their country, the green rectangle represents peace and prosperity, and the white crescent signifies Islam.

A sultanate since the 12th century, the Maldives became a British protectorate in 1887. It became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM dominated the islands' political scene for 30 years, elected to six successive terms by single-party referendums. Following political demonstrations in the capital Male in August 2003, the president and his government pledged to embark upon democratic reforms including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms. Progress was sluggish, however, and many promised reforms were slow to be realized. Nonetheless, political parties were legalized in 2005. In June 2008, a constituent assembly - termed the "Special Majlis" - finalized a new constitution, which was ratified by the president in August. The first-ever presidential elections under a multi-candidate, multi-party system were held in October 2008. GAYOOM was defeated in a runoff poll by Mohamed NASHEED, a political activist who had been jailed several years earlier by the former regime. President NASHEED faced a number of challenges including strengthening democracy and combating poverty and drug abuse. In early February 2012, after several weeks of street protests following his sacking of a top judge, NASHEED resigned the presidency and handed over power to Vice President Mohammed WAHEED Hassan Maniku. In mid-2012, the Commission of National Inquiry was set by the Government to probe events leading to the regime change. Though no evidence of a coup was found, the report recommended the need to strengthen the country's democratic institutions to avert similar events in the future, and to further investigate alleged police misconduct during the crisis. Maldives officials have played a prominent role in international climate change discussions (due to the islands' low elevation and the threat from sea-level rise) on the United Nations Human Rights Council, and in encouraging regional cooperation, especially between India and Pakistan.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Asia
Capital: Malé
Size 300 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 116 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC
Population 379,000
Currency Name: Rufiyaa, Currency Code: MVR
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .mv
Telephone Country Prefix +960
Mobile Phone Connections 461,149
Landline Phone Connections 49,913

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 298 (sq km) 210

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 393,988 176
Population growth rate -0.11 (%) 207
Birth rate 15.38 (births/1,000 population) 131
Death rate 3.80 (deaths/1,000 population) 209
Net migration rate -12.65 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 214
Maternal mortality rate 60.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 100
Infant mortality rate 25.50 (deaths/1,000 live births) 74
Life expectancy at birth 74.92 (years) 102
Total fertility rate 1.78 (children born/woman) 156
Health expenditures 6.30 (% of GDP) 100
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.10 (%) 149
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 100 161
HIV/AIDS - deaths 100 145
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 12.90 (%) 126
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 17.80 (%) 41
Education expenditures 7.20 (% of GDP) 23
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 22.2 (%) 49


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 3,106,000,000 181
GDP - real growth rate 3.50 (%) 96
GDP - per capita (PPP) 9,400 122
Labor force 152,500 177
Unemployment rate 28.00 (%) 176
Taxes and other revenues 28.9 (% of GDP) 100
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -12.60 (% of GDP) 212
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.10 (%) 143
Central bank discount rate 6.96 (%) 43
Commercial bank prime lending rate 10.20 (%) 87
Stock of narrow money 547,100,000 158
Stock of broad money 1,298,000,000 161
Stock of domestic credit 1,559,000,000 143
Industrial production growth rate -0.90 (%) 152
Current account balance -600,000,000 100
Exports 283,000,000 180
Imports 1,406,000,000 173
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 356,000,000 152
Debt - external 890,800,000 161


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 300,000,000 (kWh) 171
Electricity - consumption 279,000,000 (kWh) 177
Electricity - installed generating capacity 62010 (kW) 176
Electricity - from fossil fuels 100.0 (% of total installed capacity) 26
Refined petroleum products - consumption 6,875 (bbl/day) 163
Refined petroleum products - imports 6,088 (bbl/day) 147
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 919,000 (Mt) 167


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 24,100 183
Telephones - mobile cellular 530,400 164
Internet hosts 3,296 153
Internet users 86,400 164


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 6 172
Roadways 88 (km) 215
Merchant marine 18 97


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 5.00 (% of GDP) 16

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

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