maldivesCountry: MALDIVES

Capital: Male

Geographic Coordinates: 3 15 N, 73 00 E

Population: 395,650 (July 2010 est.)

Main Religion: Islam

Language: Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials

Government Type: Republic

Head of State: President Mohamed "Anni" NASHEED (since 11 November 2008) 

Main Industries:  tourism, fish processing, shipping, boat building, coconut processing, garments, woven mats, rope, handicrafts, coral and sand mining

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $4,200 (2009 est.)

Currency Code:  Rufiyaa (MVR)

Life Expectancy: 68 years (men), 69 years (women) (UN)

Environment - current issues: Depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching

Issues facing Women and Children:

  • 30% of Maldivian children under five are underweight. The same data shows 25% of children under five to be stunted and 13% wasted, highlighting challenges related to chronic malnutrition likely originating at birth or early on in a child's life.
  • Domestic law in the Maldives has not afforded women in detention protection from arbitrary abuse by the police and security services remain inadequate.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press: Haveeru Daily Online, Aafathis News, Miadhu News, Minivan Daily; Radio and TV: Television Maldives (TVM), Voice of Maldives

Interesting fact: None of the coral islands measures more than 1.8 metres (six feet) above sea level. As global warming causes sea levels to rise, the Maldives could simply be swamped and disappear.

Famous for: snorkeling, diving, whale and dolphin watching, Kuredu Island, Komandoo Island, maavaharu (ambergris) and coco de mer, coir rope making.


Official Tourism Website: