Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



A sultanate since the 12th century, the Maldives archipelago became a British protectorate in 1887. Three years after independence in 1965, the islands established themselves as a republic.



total: 298 sq km
land: 298 sq km
water: 0 sq km


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

Natural resources


People and Society


389,568 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

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


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


Sunni Muslim (official)

Population growth rate

-0.17% (2023 est.)


Government type

presidential republic


name: Male

Executive branch

chief of state: President Ibrahim "Ibu" Mohamed SOLIH (since 17 November 2018); Vice President Faisal NASEEM (since 17 November 2018); the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ibrahim "Ibu" Mohamed SOLIH (since 17 November 2018); Vice President Faisal NASEEM (since 17 November 2018)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament or People's Majlis (87 seats - includes 2 seats added by the Elections Commission in late 2018; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)


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)

$9.785 billion (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$18,800 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

papayas, vegetables, roots/tubers nes, nuts, fruit, other meat, tomatoes, coconuts, bananas, maize


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


$3.95 billion (2021 est.)

Exports - partners

Thailand 24%, United States 13%, China 12%, France 11%, Germany 11%, Italy 5%, United Kingdom 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

fish products, natural gas, scrap iron, jewelry, liquid pumps (2019)


$3.501 billion (2021 est.)

Imports - partners

United Arab Emirates 24%, China 16%, Singapore 14%, India 11%, Malaysia 6%, Thailand 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, fruits, furniture, broadcasting equipment, lumber (2019)

Exchange rates

rufiyaa (MVR) per US dollar -
15.373 (2021 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023