Maldives 2003Maldives

 Maldives | | | | | |
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Maldives - Introduction 2003
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Background: The Maldives were long a sultanate first under Dutch and then under British protection. They became a republic in 1968 three years after independence. Tourism and fishing are being developed on the archipelago.

Maldives - Geography 2003
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Location: Southern Asia group of atolls in the Indian Ocean south-southwest of India

Geographic coordinates: 3 15 N 73 00 E

Map referenceAsia

Total: 300 km²
Water: 0 km²
Land: 300 km²
Comparative: about 1.7 times the size of Washington DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 644 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea: 12 NM
Exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Contiguous zone: 24 NM

Climate: tropical; hot humid; dry northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy southwest monsoon (June to August)

Terrain: flat with white sandy beaches

Extremes lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m

Natural resources: fish
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 3.33%
Permanent crops: 6.67%
Other: 90% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise

Note: 1190 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

Maldives - People 2003
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Population: 329,684 (July 2003 est.)
Growth rate: 2.91% (2003 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Maldivian
Adjective: Maldivian

Ethnic groups: South Indians Sinhalese Arabs

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

Religions: Sunni Muslim

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 44.9% (male 75,991; female 71,826)
15-64 years: 52.1% (male 87,734; female 84,150)
65 years and over: 3% (male 5,073; female 4,910) (2003 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age
Total: 17.3 years
Male: 17.2 years
Female: 17.4 years (2002)

Population growth rate: 2.91% (2003 est.)

Birth rate: 36.71 births/1000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate: 7.65 deaths/1000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (2003 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male/female
65 years and over: 1.03 male/female
Total population: 1.05 male/female (2003 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate
Total: 60.13 deaths/1000 live births
Female: 61.07 deaths/1000 live births (2003 est.)
Male: 59.23 deaths/1000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 63.3 years
Male: 62.07 years
Female: 64.6 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.26 children born/woman (2003 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.)
People living with hivaids: less than 100 (2001 est.)
Deaths: NA

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 97.2%
Male: 97.1%
Female: 97.3% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Maldives - Government 2003
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Maldives
Conventional short form: Maldives
Local short form: Dhivehi Raajje
Local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa

Government type: republic

Capital: Male

Administrative divisions: 19 atolls (atholhu singular and plural) and 1 other first-order administrative division*; Alifu Baa Dhaalu Faafu Gaafu Alifu Gaafu Dhaalu Gnaviyani Haa Alifu Haa Dhaalu Kaafu Laamu Lhaviyani Maale* Meemu Noonu Raa Seenu Shaviyani Thaa Vaavu

Dependent areas

Independence: 26 July 1965 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day 26 July (1965)

Constitution: adopted January 1998

Legal system: based on Islamic law with admixtures of English common law primarily in commercial matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM (since 11 November 1978); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
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 16 October 1998 (next to be held NA October 2003)
Election results: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM reelected in referendum held 17 October 2003; percent of popular vote - Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM 90.3%
Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president; note - need not be members of Majlis
Head of government: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM (since 11 November 1978); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Legislative branch
Elections: last held 20 November 1999 (next to be held NA November 2004)
Election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 42

Judicial branch: High Court

Political parties and leaders: although political parties are not banned none exist


Diplomatic representation
In the us: Maldives does not have an embassy in the US but does have a Permanent Mission to the UN in New York; permanent representative is Dr. Mohamed LATHEEF
From the us: the US does not have an embassy in Maldives; the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka is accredited to Maldives and makes periodic visits there

Flag descriptionflag of Maldives: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Maldives - Economy 2003
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Economy overview: 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. Almost 400,000 tourists visited the islands in 1998. 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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2.3% (2002 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 20%
Industry: 18%
Services: 62% (2000 est.)

Agriculture products: coconuts corn sweet potatoes; fish

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

Industrial production growth rate: 4.4% (1996 est.)

Labor force: 88,000 (2000)
By occupation agriculture: 22%
By occupation industry: 18%
By occupation services: 60% (1995)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NEGL%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $224 million (excluding foreign grants)
Expenditures: $282 million, including capital expenditures of $80 million (2002 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 1% (2002 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $110 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: fish clothing
Partners: US 51.7% Sri Lanka 16.2% Thailand 9.3% Japan 7.6% UK 4.6% (2002)

Imports: $395 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: consumer goods intermediate and capital goods petroleum products
Partners: Singapore 25.6% Sri Lanka 15% UAE 14.5% India 6.6% Malaysia 5.7% Thailand 4% (2002)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $281 million (2003 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: rufiyaa per US dollar - 12.8 (2002) 12.24 (2001) 11.77 (2000) 11.77 (1999) 11.77 (1998)

Maldives - Energy 2003
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 117 million kWh (2001)
By source fossil fuel: 100%
By source hydro: 0%
By source other: 0% (2001)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 108.8 million kWh (2001)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2001)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2001)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Maldives - Communication 2003
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 1290 (1997)

Telephone system
General assessment: minimal domestic and international facilities
Domestic: interatoll communication through microwave links; all inhabited islands are connected with telephone and fax service
International: satellite earth station - 3 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .mv

Internet users: 6,000 (2001)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Maldives - Military 2003
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $34.46 million (FY02)
Percent of gdp: 8.6% (FY02)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Maldives - Transportation 2003
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 5 (2002)
With paved runways total: 2
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 3
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 3 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 2
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 3
914 to 1523 m: 3 (2002)



Railways: 0 km


Waterways: none

Merchant marine
Total: 15 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 42,689 GRT/56,132 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 13, petroleum tanker 1, short-sea passenger 1 (2002 est.)

Ports and terminals

Maldives - Transnational issues 2003
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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