South Asia :: Maldives
  • Introduction :: Maldives
  • Background:

    A sultanate since the 12th century, the Maldives became a British protectorate in 1887. The islands became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM dominated Maldives' political scene for 30 years, elected to six successive terms by single-party referendums. Following political demonstrations in the capital Male in August 2003, GAYOOM and his government pledged to embark upon a process of liberalization and democratic reforms, including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms. Political parties were legalized in 2005.

    In June 2008, a constituent assembly - termed the "Special Majlis" - finalized a new constitution ratified by GAYOOM in August 2008. 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 GAYOOM regime. In early February 2012, after several weeks of street protests in response to his ordering the arrest of a top judge, NASHEED purportedly resigned the presidency and handed over power to Vice President Mohammed WAHEED Hassan Maniku. A government-appointed Commission of National Inquiry concluded there was no evidence of a coup, but recommended strengthening the country's democratic institutions to avert similar events in the future. NASHEED contends that police and military personnel forced him to resign. NASHEED, WAHEED, and Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom ran in the 2013 elections with YAMEEN ultimately winning the presidency after three rounds of voting. As president, YAMEEN has sought to weaken democratic institutions, curtail civil liberties, jail his political opponents, restrict the press, and exert control over the judiciary to strengthen his hold on power and limit dissent. In February 2018, he declared successive states of emergency in response to a supreme court order to release political prisoners and allow members of parliament who switch parties to retain their seats. Maldivian officials have played a prominent role in international climate change discussions (due to the islands' vulnerability to rising sea-level), though in practice, the YAMEEN government has destroyed mangroves, coral beds, and other natural habitats to make way for development projects.

  • Geography :: Maldives
  • Location:
    Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India
    Geographic coordinates:
    3 15 N, 73 00 E
    Map references:
    Asia
    Area:
    total: 298 sq km
    land: 298 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Area - 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
    measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
    Climate:
    tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)
    Terrain:
    flat, with white sandy beaches
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 1.8 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Indian Ocean
    5 highest point: 8th tee, golf course, Villingi Island
    Natural resources:
    fish
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 23.3% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 10% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 10% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 3.3% (2011 est.)
    forest: 3% (2011 est.)
    other: 73.7% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    0 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    about a third of the population lives in the centrally located capital city of Male and almost a tenth in southern Addu City; the remainder of the populace is spread over the 200 or so populated islands of the archipelago
    Natural hazards:
    tsunamis; low elevation of islands makes them sensitive to sea level rise
    Environment - current issues:
    depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; inadequate sewage treatment; coral reef bleaching
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note:
    smallest Asian country; archipelago of 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean
  • People and Society :: Maldives
  • Population:
    392,473 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Nationality:
    noun: Maldivian(s)
    adjective: Maldivian
    Ethnic groups:
    South Indians, Sinhalese, Arabs
    Languages:
    Dhivehi (official, dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English (spoken by most government officials)
    Religions:
    Sunni Muslim (official)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 21.62% (male 43,293 /female 41,563)
    15-24 years: 19.15% (male 42,849 /female 32,326)
    25-54 years: 48.47% (male 106,083 /female 84,160)
    55-64 years: 6.22% (male 11,888 /female 12,540)
    65 years and over: 4.53% (male 8,101 /female 9,670) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 38 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 32.3 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.7 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 17.7 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 28.6 years
    male: 28.4 years
    female: 28.8 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Population growth rate:
    -0.06% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    Birth rate:
    16.1 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Death rate:
    4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Net migration rate:
    -12.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Population distribution:
    about a third of the population lives in the centrally located capital city of Male and almost a tenth in southern Addu City; the remainder of the populace is spread over the 200 or so populated islands of the archipelago
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 39.8% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 2.93% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    177,000 MALE (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.37 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.34 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1.23 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    23.9 years (2009 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate:
    68 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 21.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 23.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 18.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 76 years (2018 est.)
    male: 73.7 years (2018 est.)
    female: 78.5 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Total fertility rate:
    1.72 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    34.7% (2009)
    Health expenditures:
    13.7% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Physicians density:
    3.61 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    Hospital bed density:
    4.3 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 99.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 97.9% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 98.6% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 2.1% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 1.4% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 97.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 98.3% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 97.9% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 2.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 1.7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 2.1% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    NA
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    8.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    17.8% (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Education expenditures:
    4.3% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 99.3% (2015 est.)
    male: 99.8% (2015 est.)
    female: 98.8% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 12.4% (2014 est.)
    male: 12.5% (2014 est.)
    female: 12.3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
  • Government :: Maldives
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Maldives
    conventional short form: Maldives
    local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa
    local short form: Dhivehi Raajje
    etymology: archipelago apparently named after the main island (and capital) of Male; the word "Maldives" means "the islands (dives) of Male"; alternatively, the name may derive from the Sanskrit word "maladvipa" meaning "garland of islands"; Dhivehi Raajje in Dhivehi means "Kingdom of the Dhivehi people"
    Government type:
    presidential republic
    Capital:
    name: Male
    geographic coordinates: 4 10 N, 73 30 E
    time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions:
    21 administrative atolls (atholhuthah, singular - atholhu); Addu (Addu City), Ariatholhu Dhekunuburi (South Ari Atoll), Ariatholhu Uthuruburi (North Ari Atoll), Faadhippolhu, Felidhuatholhu (Felidhu Atoll), Fuvammulah, Hahdhunmathi, Huvadhuatholhu Dhekunuburi (South Huvadhu Atoll), Huvadhuatholhu Uthuruburi (North Huvadhu Atoll), Kolhumadulu, Maale (Male), Maaleatholhu (Male Atoll), Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi (South Maalhosmadulu), Maalhosmadulu Uthuruburi (North Maalhosmadulu), Miladhunmadulu Dhekunuburi (South Miladhunmadulu), Miladhunmadulu Uthuruburi (North Miladhunmadulu), Mulakatholhu (Mulaku Atoll), Nilandheatholhu Dhekunuburi (South Nilandhe Atoll), Nilandheatholhu Uthuruburi (North Nilandhe Atoll), Thiladhunmathee Dhekunuburi (South Thiladhunmathi), Thiladhunmathee Uthuruburi (North Thiladhunmathi)
    Independence:
    26 July 1965 (from the UK)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 26 July (1965)
    Constitution:
    history: many previous; latest ratified 7 August 2008 (2018)
    amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote by its membership and the signature of the president of the republic; passage of amendments to constitutional articles on rights and freedoms and the terms of office of Parliament and of the president also requires a majority vote in a referendum; amended 2015 (2018)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Maldives
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: unknown
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH (since 19 November 2018); Vice President Abdulla JIHAD (since 21 June 2016); the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH (since 19 November 2018); Vice President Abdulla JIHAD (since 21 June 2016)
    cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by Parliament
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 September 2018 (next to be held in 2023)
    election results: Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH elected president (in 1 round); Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH (MDP) 58.3%, Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom (PPM) 41.7%
    Legislative branch:
    description: unicameral Parliament or People's Majlis (85 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 22 March 2014 (next to be held in 2019)
    election results: percent of vote - MDP 40.8%, PPM 27.7%, JP 13.6%, MDA 4%, AP 2.7% other 0.3%, independent 10.9%; seats by party - PPM 33, MDP 26, JP 15, MDA 5, AP 1, independent 5; composition - men 80, women 5, percent of women 5.9%
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 4 judges); note - only 4 justices as of February 2018; the chief justice and one justice were arrested and imprisoned in early February 2018 following President YAMEEN’s declaration of a state of emergency
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission - a separate 10-member body of selected high government officials and the public - and upon confirmation by voting members of the People's Majlis; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 70
    subordinate courts: High Court; Criminal, Civil, Family, Juvenile, and Drug Courts; Magistrate Courts (on each of the inhabited islands)
    Political parties and leaders:
    Adhaalath (Justice) Party or AP [Sheikh Imran ABDULLA]
    Maldives Development Alliance or MDA [Ahmed Shiyam MOHAMED]
    Maldivian Democratic Party or MDP [Hassan LATHEEF, chairperson]
    Progressive Party of Maldives or PPM [Abdulla YAMEEN]
    Progressive Party of Maldives or PPM - Gayoom faction [Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM]
    Republican (Jumhooree) Party or JP [Qasim IBRAHIM]
    International organization participation:
    ADB, AOSIS, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Ali NASEER Mohamed (since 21 July 2017)
    chancery: 801 Second Avenue, Suite 400E, New York, NY 10017
    telephone: [1] (212) 599-6194 and 599-6195
    FAX: [1] (212) 661-6405
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    the US does not have an embassy in Maldives; US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul KESHAP (since 21 August 2015), is accredited to Maldives
    Flag description:
    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
    National symbol(s):
    coconut palm, yellowfin tuna; national colors: red, green, white
    National anthem:
    name: "Gaumee Salaam" (National Salute)
    lyrics/music: Mohamed Jameel DIDI/Wannakuwattawaduge DON AMARADEVA

    note: lyrics adopted 1948, music adopted 1972; between 1948 and 1972, the lyrics were sung to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne"

  • Economy :: Maldives
  • Economy - overview:

    Maldives has quickly become a middle-income country, driven by the rapid growth of its tourism and fisheries sectors, but the country still contends with a large and growing fiscal deficit. Infrastructure projects, largely funded by China, could add significantly to debt levels. Political turmoil and the declaration of a state of emergency in February 2018 led to the issuance of travel warnings by several countries whose citizens visit Maldives in significant numbers, but the overall impact on tourism revenue was unclear.

    In 2015, Maldives’ Parliament passed a constitutional amendment legalizing foreign ownership of land; foreign land-buyers must reclaim at least 70% of the desired land from the ocean and invest at least $1 billion in a construction project approved by Parliament.

    Diversifying the economy beyond tourism and fishing, reforming public finance, increasing employment opportunities, and combating corruption, cronyism, and a growing drug problem are near-term challenges facing the government. Over the longer term, Maldivian authorities worry about the impact of erosion and possible global warming on their low-lying country; 80% of the area is 1 meter or less above sea level.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $6.901 billion (2017 est.)
    $6.583 billion (2016 est.)
    $6.3 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 168
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $4.505 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    4.8% (2017 est.)
    4.5% (2016 est.)
    2.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $19,200 (2017 est.)
    $18,600 (2016 est.)
    $18,100 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 93
    Gross national saving:
    0.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    -4.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    12.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: NA (2016 est.)
    government consumption: NA (2016 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: NA (2016 est.)
    investment in inventories: NA (2016 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 93.6% (2016 est.)
    imports of goods and services: 89% (2016 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 3% (2015 est.)
    industry: 16% (2015 est.)
    services: 81% (2015 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes; fish
    Industries:
    tourism, fish processing, shipping, boat building, coconut processing, woven mats, rope, handicrafts, coral and sand mining
    Industrial production growth rate:
    14% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Labor force:
    222,200 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 69.5% (2017 est.)
    industry: 22.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 69.5% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    2.9% (2017 est.)
    3.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Population below poverty line:
    15% (2009 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 33.3% (FY09/10)
    highest 10%: 33.3% (FY09/10)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    38.4 (2009 est.)
    37.4 (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Budget:
    revenues: 1.19 billion (2016 est.)
    expenditures: 1.643 billion (2016 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    26.4% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -10.1% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Public debt:
    63.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    61.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    2.3% (2017 est.)
    0.8% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Central bank discount rate:
    7% (30 September 2017)
    7% (30 September 2016)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    10.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
    10.2% (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Stock of narrow money:
    $908.6 million (31 October 2017 est.)
    $865.9 million (31 October 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Stock of broad money:
    $1.982 billion (31 October 2017)
    $2.043 billion (31 October 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $1.559 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $1.601 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $555 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Current account balance:
    -$876 million (2017 est.)
    -$1.033 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Exports:
    $256.2 million (2016 est.)
    $239.8 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    Exports - partners:
    Thailand 42.8%, Sri Lanka 8.7%, Bangladesh 6.4%, France 6.2%, US 6.1%, Germany 5%, Ireland 4.6% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    fish
    Imports:
    $2.125 billion (2016 est.)
    $1.896 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Imports - commodities:
    petroleum products, clothing, intermediate and capital goods
    Imports - partners:
    UAE 17.1%, India 13.5%, Singapore 13.3%, China 10.8%, Sri Lanka 6.7%, Malaysia 6%, Thailand 4.5% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $477.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $575.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Debt - external:
    $848.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $696.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $324 million (31 December 2015)
    $256 million (31 December 2013)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $448 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $307.7 million (31 December 2015)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Exchange rates:
    rufiyaa (MVR) per US dollar -
    15.42 (2017 est.)
    15.35 (2016 est.)
  • Energy :: Maldives
  • Electricity access:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    350 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Electricity - consumption:
    325.5 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    104,000 kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    96.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    3.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    11,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    10,760 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    0 cu m (1 January 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    1.726 million Mt (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
  • Communications :: Maldives
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 20,377 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 900,120 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 229 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: telephone services have improved; inter-atoll communication through microwave links; all inhabited islands and resorts are connected with telephone and fax service (2016)
    domestic: each island now has at least 1 public telephone, and there are mobile-cellular networks with a rapidly expanding subscribership that has reached over 200 per 100 persons (2016)
    international: country code - 960; linked to international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); satellite earth station - 3 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2016)
    Broadcast media:
    state-owned radio and TV monopoly until recently; 1 state-operated and 7 privately owned TV stations and 4 state-operated and 7 privately owned radio stations (2018)
    Internet country code:
    .mv
    Internet users:
    total: 232,210 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 59.1% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 36,001 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 9 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
  • Transportation :: Maldives
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 3 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 15 (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    8Q (2016)
    Airports:
    9 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 7 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 2 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    Railways:
    Roadways:
    total: 93 km (2018)
    paved: 93 km - 60 km in Male; 16 km on Addu Atolis; 17 km on Laamu (2018)

    note: island roads are mainly compacted coral

    country comparison to the world: 216
    Merchant marine:
    total: 66 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 1, container ship 1, general cargo 27, oil tanker 14, other 23 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Male
  • Military and Security :: Maldives
  • Military branches:
    Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF): Marine Corps, Special Protection Group, Coast Guard (2018)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-28 years of age for voluntary service; no conscription; 10th grade or equivalent education required; must not be a member of a political party (2012)
    Military - note:
    Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), with its small size and with little serviceable equipment, is inadequate to prevent external aggression and is primarily tasked to reinforce Maldives Police Service (MPS) and ensure security in the exclusive economic zone (2008)
  • Transnational Issues :: Maldives
  • Disputes - international:
    none
    Trafficking in persons:
    current situation: Maldives is a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and a source country for women and children subjected to labor and sex trafficking; primarily Bangladeshi and Indian migrants working both legally and illegally in the construction and service sectors face conditions of forced labor, including fraudulent recruitment, confiscation of identity and travel documents, nonpayment and withholding of wages, and debt bondage; a small number of women from Asia, Eastern Europe, and former Soviet states are trafficked to Maldives for sexual exploitation; Maldivian women may be subjected to sex trafficking domestically or in Sri Lanka; some Maldivian children are transported to the capital for domestic service, where they may also be victims of sexual abuse and forced labor
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Maldives does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government adopted a national action plan for 2015-19 and is continuing to develop victim identification, protection, and referral procedures, but overall its anti-trafficking efforts did not increase; only five trafficking investigations were conducted, no new prosecutions were initiated for the second consecutive year, and no convictions were made, down from one in 2013; some officials warned businesses in advance of planned raids for suspected trafficking offenses; victim protection deteriorated when the state-run shelter for female victims barred access to victims shortly after opening in January 2014, in part because of bureaucratic disputes, which dissuaded victims from pursuing charges against perpetrators; the government did not prosecute or hold accountable any employers or government officials for withholding passports (2015)