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North America
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Administrative divisions (GPS Maps)


People and Society






A sultanate since the 12th century, the Maldives became a British protectorate in 1887. It became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM dominated the islands' political scene for 30 years, elected to six successive terms by single-party referendums. Following riots in the capital Male in August 2003, the president and his government pledged to embark upon democratic reforms including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms. Progress was sluggish, however, and many promised reforms were slow to be realized. Nonetheless, political parties were legalized in 2005. In June 2008, a constituent assembly - termed the "Special Majlis" - finalized a new constitution, which was ratified by the president in August. 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 former regime. President NASHEED faced a number of challenges including strengthening democracy and combating poverty and drug abuse. In early February 2012, after several weeks of street protests following his sacking of a top judge, NASHEED resigned the presidency and handed over power to Vice President Mohammed WAHEED Hassan Maniku. Maldives officials have played a prominent role in international climate change discussions (due to the islands' low elevation and the threat from sea-level rise) on the United Nations Human Rights Council, and in encouraging regional cooperation, especially between India and Pakistan.


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People And Society

Noun Maldivian(s)
Adjective Maldivian

Ethnic groups
South Indians, Sinhalese, Arabs

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

Sunni Muslim (official)

Population World Ranking: 176
394,451 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
21.5% (male 43,332/female 41,642)
15-64 years
74.4% (male 177,365/female 116,552)
65 years and over
4.1% (male 7,888/female 8,220) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 26.5 years
Male 26.9 years
Female 25.8 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 204
-0.127% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 132
15.12 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 207
3.76 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 213
-12.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 40% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
4.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
MALE (capital) 120,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1.48 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.94 male(s)/female
Total population
1.34 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 100
60 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 76
Total 26.46 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 28.92 deaths/1,000 live births
23.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 100
Total population 74.69 years
Male 72.44 years
Female 77.05 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 155
1.79 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 122
5.6% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
1.595 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density
2.6 beds/1,000 population (2005)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 139
Less than 0.1% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 162
Fewer than 100 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 121
Fewer than 100 (2009 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 25
25.7% (2001)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 5
11.2% of GDP (2009)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 93.8%
Male 93%
Female 94.7% (2006 Census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 12 years
Male 13 years
Female 12 years (2006)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 42
Total 22.2%
Male 15.5%
Female 30.5% (2006)


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  Maldives (Male):

  GPS points from Maldives (Male)

Warenfuri Maldives (general)

South Maalhosmadulu Baa Atholhu

Naifaro Maldives (general)

Haddumati Atoll Laamu Atholhu

Meedhoo Maldives (general)

Toddu Atoll Maldives (general)

Gan Channel Maldives (general)

Kurimbe Maldives (general)
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