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Maldives (2005)

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Maldives 2005 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: 43.9% (male 78,794/female 74,505)

15-64 years: 53% (male 94,488/female 90,624)

65 years and over: 3.1% (male 5,339/female 5,356) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes; fish
Airports 5 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2004 est.)
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 was long a sultanate, first under Dutch and then under British protection. It became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. Since 1978, President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM - currently in his sixth term in office - has dominated the islands' political scene. Following riots in the capital Male in August 2004, the president and his government have pledged to embark upon democratic reforms, including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms. Tourism and fishing are being developed on the archipelago.
Birth rate 35.43 births/1,000 population (2005 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 1 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
Death rate 7.24 deaths/1,000 population (2005 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 chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Mohamed LATHEEF

chancery: 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400E, New York, NY 10017

telephone: [1] (212) 599-6195
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient NA (1995)
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. 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. In late December 2004, a major tsunami left more than 100 dead, 12,000 displaced, and property damage exceeding $300 million.
Electricity - consumption 115.7 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 124.4 million kWh (2002)
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 (2004), 12.8 (2003), 12.8 (2002), 12.24 (2001), 11.77 (2000)
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

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 17 October 2003 (next to be held NA 2008)

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 (2002)
Exports $90 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports NA
Exports - commodities fish, clothing
Exports - partners US 26.5%, Thailand 23.5%, Sri Lanka 12.3%, Japan 11.7%, UK 9.8%, Germany 4.9% (2004)
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 - 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 (2002)
Imports $392 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports NA
Imports - commodities petroleum products, ships, foodstuffs, textiles, clothing, intermediate and capital goods
Imports - partners Singapore 24.9%, Sri Lanka 10.6%, UAE 10.3%, India 10.2%, Malaysia 7.6%, Bahrain 5.4% (2004)
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: 56.52 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 55.63 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 57.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1% (2002 est.)
International organization participation AsDB, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
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: 13.33%

permanent crops: 16.67%

other: 70% (2001)
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 22 January 2005 (next to be held NA 2010)

election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 50
Life expectancy at birth total population: 64.06 years

male: 62.76 years

female: 65.42 years (2005 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 straight baselines

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine total: 16 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 57,118 GRT/72,831 DWT

by type: cargo 12, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1

registered in other countries: 1 (2005)
Military branches National Security Service includes Security Branch (ground forces), Air Element, Coast Guard
Military expenditures - dollar figure $41.1 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 5.5% (2004)
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 (2005 est.)
Political parties and leaders although political parties are not banned, none exist
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 349,106 (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line NA
Population growth rate 2.82% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Male
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1 (1998)
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 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2005 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: country code - 960; satellite earth station - 3 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 28,700 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 41,900 (2002)
Television broadcast stations 1 (1997)
Terrain flat, with white sandy beaches
Total fertility rate 5.02 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate NEGL% (2003 est.)
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