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Maldives (2003)

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Maldives 2003 year

Administrative divisions 19 atolls (atholhu, singular and plural) and 1 other first-order administrative division*; Alifu, Baa, Dhaalu, Faafu, Gaafu Alifu, Gaafu Dhaalu, Gnaviyani, Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu, Kaafu, Laamu, Lhaviyani, Maale*, Meemu, Noonu, Raa, Seenu, Shaviyani, Thaa, Vaavu
Age structure 0-14 years: 44.9% (male 75,991; female 71,826)

15-64 years: 52.1% (male 87,734; female 84,150)

65 years and over: 3% (male 5,073; female 4,910) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes; fish
Airports 5 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2002)
Area total: 300 sq km

land: 300 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC
Background The Maldives were long a sultanate, first under Dutch and then under British protection. They became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. Tourism and fishing are being developed on the archipelago.
Birth rate 36.71 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $224 million (excluding foreign grants)

expenditures: $282 million, including capital expenditures of $80 million (2002 est.)
Capital Male
Climate tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)
Coastline 644 km
Constitution adopted January 1998
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Maldives

conventional short form: Maldives

local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa

local short form: Dhivehi Raajje
Currency rufiyaa (MVR)
Death rate 7.65 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $281 million (2003 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US the US does not have an embassy in Maldives; the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka is accredited to Maldives and makes periodic visits there
Diplomatic representation in the US Maldives does not have an embassy in the US, but does have a Permanent Mission to the UN in New York; permanent representative is Dr. Mohamed LATHEEF
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $NA
Economy - overview Tourism, Maldives largest industry, accounts for 20% of GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives' foreign exchange receipts. Over 90% of government tax revenue comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes. Almost 400,000 tourists visited the islands in 1998. Fishing is a second leading sector. The Maldivian Government began an economic reform program in 1989 initially by lifting import quotas and opening some exports to the private sector. Subsequently, it has liberalized regulations to allow more foreign investment. Agriculture and manufacturing continue to play a lesser role in the economy, constrained by the limited availability of cultivable land and the shortage of domestic labor. Most staple foods must be imported. Industry, which consists mainly of garment production, boat building, and handicrafts, accounts for about 18% of GDP. Maldivian authorities worry about the impact of erosion and possible global warming on their low-lying country; 80% of the area is one meter or less above sea level.
Electricity - consumption 108.8 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 117 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 100%

hydro: 0%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m
Environment - current issues depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups South Indians, Sinhalese, Arabs
Exchange rates rufiyaa per US dollar - 12.8 (2002), 12.24 (2001), 11.77 (2000), 11.77 (1999), 11.77 (1998)
Executive branch chief of state: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM (since 11 November 1978); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM (since 11 November 1978); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president; note - need not be members of Majlis

elections: president nominated by the Majlis and then the nomination must be ratified by a national referendum (at least a 51% approval margin is required); president elected for a five-year term; election last held 16 October 1998 (next to be held NA October 2003)

election results: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM reelected in referendum held 17 October 2003; percent of popular vote - Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM 90.3%
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $110 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities fish, clothing
Exports - partners US 51.7%, Sri Lanka 16.2%, Thailand 9.3%, Japan 7.6%, UK 4.6% (2002)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description red with a large green rectangle in the center bearing a vertical white crescent; the closed side of the crescent is on the hoist side of the flag
GDP purchasing power parity - $1.25 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 20%

industry: 18%

services: 62% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $3,900 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.3% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 3 15 N, 73 00 E
Geography - note 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); archipelago with strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean
Highways total: NA km

paved: NA km

unpaved: NA km
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $395 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities consumer goods, intermediate and capital goods, petroleum products
Imports - partners Singapore 25.6%, Sri Lanka 15%, UAE 14.5%, India 6.6%, Malaysia 5.7%, Thailand 4% (2002)
Independence 26 July 1965 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate 4.4% (1996 est.)
Industries fish processing, tourism, shipping, boat building, coconut processing, garments, woven mats, rope, handicrafts, coral and sand mining
Infant mortality rate total: 60.13 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 59.23 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 61.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1% (2002 est.)
International organization participation AsDB, C, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land NA sq km
Judicial branch High Court
Labor force 88,000 (2000)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 22%, industry 18%, services 60% (1995)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 3.33%

permanent crops: 6.67%

other: 90% (1998 est.)
Languages Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials
Legal system based on Islamic law with admixtures of English common law primarily in commercial matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral People's Council or Majlis (50 seats; 42 elected by popular vote, 8 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 20 November 1999 (next to be held NA November 2004)

election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 42
Life expectancy at birth total population: 63.3 years

male: 62.07 years

female: 64.6 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.2%

male: 97.1%

female: 97.3% (2003 est.)
Location Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India
Map references Asia
Maritime claims measured from claimed archipelagic baselines

contiguous zone: 24 NM

exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

territorial sea: 12 NM
Merchant marine total: 15 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 42,689 GRT/56,132 DWT

ships by type: cargo 13, petroleum tanker 1, short-sea passenger 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches National Security Service
Military expenditures - dollar figure $34.46 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 8.6% (FY02)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 78,025 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 43,386 (2003 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 26 July (1965)
Nationality noun: Maldivian(s)

adjective: Maldivian
Natural hazards low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise
Natural resources fish
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Political parties and leaders although political parties are not banned, none exist
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 329,684 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.91% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Gan, Male
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1 (1998)
Railways 0 km
Religions Sunni Muslim
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 21 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: minimal domestic and international facilities

domestic: interatoll communication through microwave links; all inhabited islands are connected with telephone and fax service

international: satellite earth station - 3 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 21,000 (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1,290 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 1 (1997)
Terrain flat, with white sandy beaches
Total fertility rate 5.26 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate NEGL%
Waterways none
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