Photos of Maldives

Grand Friday Mosque in Male was built in 1656 by Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar. It is the largest mosque in the Maldives and includes an Islamic Center.



A sultanate since the 12th century, the Maldives became a British protectorate in 1887 and 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. After political demonstrations in the capital Male in 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 2008, a constituent assembly -- termed the "Special Majlis" -- finalized a new constitution ratified by GAYOOM. The first-ever presidential elections under a multi-candidate, multi-party system were held later that year. GAYOOM was defeated in a runoff by Mohamed NASHEED, a political activist whom the regime had jailed several years earlier. In 2012, after several weeks of street protests in response to a top judge's arrest, NASHEED resigned the presidency and handed over power to Vice President Mohammed WAHEED Hassan Maniku. A government-appointed Commission of National Inquiry concluded that there was no evidence of a coup, but NASHEED contended 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. In 2018, YAMEEN lost his reelection bid to parliamentarian Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH. YAMEEN was arrested and jailed in 2022 on corruption charges. Maldives' fourth democratic election was held in September 2023. The winner, Male City Mayor Dr. Mohamed MUIZZU, campaigned on a platform of Maldivian sovereignty, vowing to remove Indian military personnel from the country. MUIZZU represents a joint Progressive Pary of Maldives and People's National Congress (PPM/PNC) coalition.  

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Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India

Geographic coordinates

3 15 N, 73 00 E


total: 298 sq km

land: 298 sq km

water: 0 sq km

comparison ranking: total 209

Area - comparative

about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 0 km


644 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines


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


flat coral atolls, with white sandy beaches; sits atop the submarine volcanic Chagos-Laccadive Ridge


highest point: 8th tee, golf course, Villingi Island 5 m

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 2 m

Land use

agricultural land: 23.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 10% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 10% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.3% (2018 est.)

forest: 3% (2018 est.)

other: 73.7% (2018 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

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


total: 388,858

male: 197,739

female: 191,119 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 177; male 176; total 177


noun: Maldivian(s)

adjective: Maldivian

Ethnic groups

homogeneous mixture of Sinhalese, Dravidian, Arab, Australasian, and African resulting from historical changes in regional hegemony over marine trade routes


Dhivehi (official, closely related to Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English (spoken by most government officials)


Sunni Muslim (official)

Age structure

0-14 years: 22.4% (male 44,321/female 42,626)

15-64 years: 71.5% (male 143,021/female 135,044)

65 years and over: 6.1% (2024 est.) (male 10,397/female 13,449)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 35.6

youth dependency ratio: 29.5

elderly dependency ratio: 6.2

potential support ratio: 16.2 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 31.9 years (2024 est.)

male: 31.3 years

female: 32.4 years

comparison ranking: total 120

Population growth rate

-0.2% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 210

Birth rate

15.1 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 108

Death rate

4.3 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 210

Net migration rate

-12.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 225

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


urban population: 42% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 2.34% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

177,000 MALE (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female

total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

23.2 years (2016/17 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

57 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 95

Infant mortality rate

total: 24.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 27.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 21.3 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 62

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.4 years (2024 est.)

male: 75.1 years

female: 79.9 years

comparison ranking: total population 90

Total fertility rate

1.7 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 165

Gross reproduction rate

0.83 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 99.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 1% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0.4% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

11.4% of GDP (2020)

Physician density

2.05 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

4.3 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 99.1% of population

total: 99.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0.9% of population

total: 0.5% of population (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

8.6% (2016)

comparison ranking: 149

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.38 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.33 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.59 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.45 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 142

Tobacco use

total: 25.2% (2020 est.)

male: 44.4% (2020 est.)

female: 6% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 50

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

14.8% (2016/17)

comparison ranking: 34

Child marriage

women married by age 18: 2.2%

men married by age 18: 2.2% (2017 est.)

Education expenditures

5.8% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 50


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.9%

male: 97.6%

female: 98.4% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 12 years

female: 14 years (2019)


Environment - current issues

rising sea levels threaten land; 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, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


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

Land use

agricultural land: 23.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 10% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 10% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.3% (2018 est.)

forest: 3% (2018 est.)

other: 73.7% (2018 est.)


urban population: 42% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 2.34% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 183

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 79

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 13 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 1.44 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.14 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 211,506 tons (2015 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 10 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 300,000 cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 0 cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

30 million cubic meters (2020 est.)


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


name: Male

geographic coordinates: 4 10 N, 73 30 E

time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: derived from the Sanskrit word "mahaalay" meaning "big house"

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)


26 July 1965 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 26 July (1965)


history: many previous; latest ratified 7 August 2008

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

Legal system

Islamic (sharia) legal system with English common law influences, primarily in commercial matters

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


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


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Mohamed MUIZZU (since 17 November 2023)

head of government: President Mohamed MUIZZU (since 17 November 2023)

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); first round held on 9 September 2023 and runoff held on 30 September 2023 (next to be held in 2028)

election results:
Mohamed MUIZZU elected president in the second round; percent of vote in first round - Mohamed MUIZZU (PNC) 46.1%, Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH (MDP) 39.1%, Ilyas LABEEB (DEMS) 7.1%, other 7.7%; percent of vote in the second round - Mohamed MUIZZU 54%, Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH 46%

2018: Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH elected president in first round; Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH (MDP) 58.3%, Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom (PPM) 41.7%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral People's Assembly or People's Majlis (93 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 21 April 2024 (next to be held in 2029)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PNC 66, MDP 12, MDA 2, JP 1, MNP 1, independent 11; composition - men 90, women 3, percentage women 3.3%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 6 justices

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission - a 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]
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party or DRP [Ibrahim Mohamed SOLITH]
Maldives Development Alliance or MDA [Ahmed Shiyam MOHAMED]
Maldivian Democratic Party or MDP [Mohamed NASHEED]
Maldives Third Way Democrats or MTD [Ahmed ADEEB]
People's National Congress or PNC [Abdul Raheem ABDULLA]
People's National Front [Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom]
Republican (Jumhooree) Party or JP [Qasim IBRAHIM]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission:

Ambassador Abdul GHAFOOR Mohamed (since 15 June 2023)

chancery: 1100 H Street NW, Suite 250, Washington, D.C. 20005

telephone: [1] (202) 516-5458

email address and website:

The Embassy (

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Hugo Yue-Ho YON (since 6 September 2023); note - Ambassador YON is the first resident US ambassador to the Republic of Maldives

embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka; note - as of early November 2023, the US has no consular or diplomatic offices in Maldives; the US Mission to Maldives operates from US Embassy Colombo, Sri Lanka

telephone: [94] (11) 249-8500

FAX: [94] (11) 243-7345

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"


Economic overview

upper middle-income Indian Ocean island economy; major tourism, fishing, and shipping industries; high public debt; systemic corruption; crippled by COVID-19; ongoing deflation; poverty has tripled since pandemic began

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$11.142 billion (2022 est.)
$9.781 billion (2021 est.)
$7.104 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 162

Real GDP growth rate

13.91% (2022 est.)
37.69% (2021 est.)
-32.91% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 7

Real GDP per capita

$21,300 (2022 est.)
$18,800 (2021 est.)
$13,800 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 90

GDP (official exchange rate)

$6.171 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.33% (2022 est.)
0.54% (2021 est.)
-1.37% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 36

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: CCC (2020)

Moody's rating: B3 (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3% (2015 est.)

industry: 16% (2015 est.)

services: 81% (2015 est.)

comparison rankings: services 30; industry 174; agriculture 149

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: (2016 est.) NA

government consumption: (2016 est.) NA

investment in fixed capital: (2016 est.) NA

investment in inventories: (2016 est.) NA

exports of goods and services: 93.6% (2016 est.)

imports of goods and services: 89% (2016 est.)

Agricultural products

fruits, vegetables, nuts, other meats, tomatoes, bananas, maize, pulses, coconuts, papayas (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


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

Industrial production growth rate

25.2% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 4

Labor force

261,000 (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 170

Unemployment rate

4.39% (2022 est.)
5.12% (2021 est.)
5.48% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 89

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 17.7% (2021 est.)

male: 19.9%

female: 12.6%

comparison ranking: total 96

Population below poverty line

5.4% (2019 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

29.3 (2019 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 152

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.8%

highest 10%: 23.3% (2019 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


0.08% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.09% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.13% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $993 million (2020 est.)

expenditures: $1.797 billion (2020 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-10.1% (of GDP) (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 211

Public debt

63.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
61.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 67

Taxes and other revenues

26.4% (of GDP) (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 38

Current account balance

-$1.033 billion (2022 est.)
-$455.003 million (2021 est.)
-$1.327 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 125


$5.096 billion (2022 est.)
$3.985 billion (2021 est.)
$1.787 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 138

Exports - partners

India 71%, Thailand 12%, Germany 3%, Oman 2%, UK 2% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

aircraft, fish, natural gas, scrap iron, refined petroleum (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$4.904 billion (2022 est.)
$3.484 billion (2021 est.)
$2.449 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 152

Imports - partners

India 16%, China 16%, UAE 10%, Oman 9%, Malaysia 6% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, ships, aircraft, plastic products, broadcasting equipment (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$832.094 million (2022 est.)
$805.808 million (2021 est.)
$984.931 million (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 147

Debt - external

$848.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$696.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 167

Exchange rates

rufiyaa (MVR) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
15.387 (2022 est.)
15.373 (2021 est.)
15.381 (2020 est.)
15.382 (2019 est.)
15.391 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2022 est.)


installed generating capacity: 566,000 kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 821.397 million kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 25.867 million kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 29; consumption 164; installed generating capacity 149

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 93.2% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 6.6% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

wind: 0.2% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)


imports: 1 metric tons (2022 est.)


refined petroleum consumption: 14,000 bbl/day (2022 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

2.247 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 2.247 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 157

Energy consumption per capita

56.264 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 89


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 13,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 184

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 715,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 137 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 170

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: with its economy so heavily dependent on tourism, the Maldives has suffered heavy economic as well as health casualties during the pandemic; the country had a relatively short period of lock down and was willing to welcome visitors back as early as July 2020; but the effective shutdown of international air travel for most of the year resulted in the bottom falling out of the Maldives’ tourism industry, taking GDP down 32% in the process; the economy fared better in 2021, with a return to growth, yet it may still be a few years before the country’s key industries can return to the same level of prosperity that they previously enjoyed; the country’s high number of tourists and expatriate workers has inflated the penetration rate for mobile services, making it one of the highest in the world; that rate crashed in 2020 as demand for SIM cards (primarily prepaid) dried up; however, the number of contract subscribers increased as locals took advantage of competitive pricing offers from operators; with commercial 5G services already launched and fiber networks rapidly expanding around the country, the Maldives is primed to deliver world-class telecommunications services to its domestic and international customers (2021)

domestic: fixed-line is at nearly 3 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular subscriptions stands at nearly 135 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 960; landing points for Dhiraagu Cable Network, NaSCOM, Dhiraagu-SLT Submarine Cable Networks and WARF submarine cables providing connections to 8 points in Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka; satellite earth station - 3 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2019)

Broadcast media

state-owned radio and TV monopoly until recently; 4 state-operated and 7 privately owned TV stations and 4 state-operated and 7 privately owned radio stations (2019)

Internet users

total: 447,200 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 86% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 169

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 63,685 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 139


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 36

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,147,247 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 7.75 million (2018)


19 (2024)

comparison ranking: 140


total: 93 km

paved: 93 km (2018) - 60 km in Malée; 16 km on Addu Atolis; 17 km on Laamu

note: island roads are mainly compacted coral

comparison ranking: total 216

Merchant marine

total: 82 (2023)

by type: general cargo 30, oil tanker 20, other 32

comparison ranking: total 98


total ports: 1 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 0

small: 0

very small: 1

ports with oil terminals: 1

key ports: Male

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF): the MNDF has combined force structure with seven services divided into Combat and Maneuver Forces (Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Fire and Rescue Service) and Support Services (Service Corps, Defense Intelligence Service, Medical Corps, Adjutant General's Corps); there is also a separate Special Forces command and a Special Protection Service (2024)

note: the Maldives Police Service is responsible for internal security and reports to the Ministry of Homeland Security and Technology 

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 3-4,000 personnel (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

India has provided most of the equipment in the MNDF's inventory (2023)

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 (2023)

Military - note

the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) is responsible for defending and safeguarding the Maldives' territorial integrity, economic exclusion zone, and people; it is also responsible for disaster relief, and if requested, assisting the Maldives Police Service in maintaining internal security and law and order; the MNDF is organized into four area commands and a functional Special Forces command; the head of the MNDF reports to the Minister of Defense (2023)


Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues