Maldives Geography

Maldives Geography and Population

OFFICIAL NAME: Divehi Raajeyge Jumhooriyya


POPULATION: 359,000 (2007)

AREA: 298 km²

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): maldivian or divehi, english

RELIGION: Sunni Muslims 100%

COIN: rufiyaa


ENGLISH NAME: The Maldives


POPULATION COMPOSITION: Indians, Sinhalese, Arabs

GDP PER residents: $ 2363 (2007)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 68 years, women 67 years (2007)




Maldives, archipelago and independent republic of the Indian Ocean SW of India and Sri Lanka; 1887-1965 the islands were a British protectorate. The island consists of approximately 1200 coral islands, of which approximately 200 are permanently inhabited. The residents are Muslims and the country is administered under Islamic law, sharia. The country receives many charter tourists; the vast majority gather on holiday islands without locals.

  • Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Maldives? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.

National flag

The flag was introduced in 1965. Throughout the ages, the Maldives, like many other Muslim states around the Indian Ocean, had carried a completely red flag. In the early 1900-t. added the green field with the crescent for Islam. Black and white stripes at the flagpole were omitted at independence in 1965; red and green are the traditional Muslim colors.


The Maldives consists of a chain of atolls and coral islands, perched on an underwater ridge; only nine of the islands are larger than 200 ha and the country’s highest natural point is just 5 masl The climate is tropical monsoon climate with rainy season from May to October and with average monthly temperatures of 26-28 °C throughout the year. From the 1990’s, global warming and the risk of rising water levels in the world’s oceans have caused concern in the Maldives. None of the islands are more than 2 m high.

The vegetation is poor in species and there are only a few land animals. The coconut palm grows everywhere and is an important useful plant; Among other things, used wood for shipbuilding. The production of palm sugar is also important. On some islands with wetlands, taro is practiced; millet is grown with a form of sweating technique, the fields being burned and sown just before the monsoon. Livestock farming is limited to chickens and a few goats, while pig farming like dogs is prohibited. The significant high seas fishing is mainly aimed at tuna.

The sexes are fairly equal and divorces are frequent. On average, every man and woman enters into marriage through life with 3.5 partners; polygyny is allowed, but rare. In the event of divorce, the children usually follow the mother. Inheritance law follows Islamic law; all land is state property, while palm trees and trees are private property.

In the past, porcelain snail houses, money-cows, were the country’s most important export commodity, but now the foreign economy is based on tuna fishing and tourism. Tourists are offered white sandy beaches, protected coral reefs and a warm, humid climate all year round; in 2015, the islands were visited by approximately 800,000 tourists. The tourists stay in special areas and have only extremely limited contact with the locals.


Maldives official language is Dhivehi or Divehi ‘øsprog’, a indoarisk language that is closely related to Sinhala, spoken by 290,000 in the Maldives and Minicoy Island (2000). Maldivian has its own script, tana, written from right to left and is almost monopolistic despite attempts in the 1970’s to also use a script based on the Latin alphabet. The language contains many loanwords from Arabic. For culture and traditions of Maldives, please check animalerts.


Islam was introduced in the Maldives in 1153. The islands were never colonized by European powers despite a short-lived Portuguese occupation in the 1500’s. From the middle of the 1600’s. it was under the protection of the rulers of Sri Lanka, first Dutch, then British. In 1887, the island kingdom formally became a British protectorate. The Sultan had to accept a constitution in 1932, and in 1965 it gained full independence from Britain. In 1968, the sultanate was abolished and the republic was introduced. In 1976, the British abandoned their military base, and in 1982, the Maldives became a member of the Commonwealth. A coup attempt was stifled with Indian aid in 1988. The islands were hit hard by the 2004 tsunami disaster, which briefly flooded the entire archipelago and led to extensive reconstruction work.

In 2008, the country’s president since 1978, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, lost the election and had to resign; he was replaced by Mohamed Nasheed. Following a political crisis, Nasheed had to resign in February 2012 following pressure from security forces. He was later arrested. After several cancellations and postponement of the election process, Abdulla Yameen (b. 1959) became the new president after a democratic election in 2013.

Maldives Geography