Maldives

Updated:2016-06-24 12:08:59

  


Capital

  Malé

  Official languages

  Maldivian (Dhivehi)

  Ethnic groups

  ≈100%Maldivians

  Government

  Unitary presidentialconstitutional republic

  Legislature

  People's Majlis

  Area

  298km² (206th)

  Population

  2014 census   341,356

  Member cities

  Malé


      Maldives,officially the Republic of Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of India and Sri Lanka. The chain of twenty six atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to the Addu Atoll in the south. The centrally located capital Malé is traditionally called the "King's Island".

  Historically linked with the Indian subcontinent, the Maldivian archipelago was Islamised in the 12th century. The islands were ruled by Sultans for many centuries. It had a strong maritime trade network with Asia and Africa. From the mid 16th-century, the region came under the influence of colonial powers, including the Portuguese, Dutch and British. The Maldives gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1965 and become a republic in 1968. The country has a presidential government with an elected People's Majlis. It is ranked by Freedom House as "Partly Free".The Maldivian economy is dominated by tourism and fishing. The World Bank classifies the country as having an upper middle income economy.

  Encompassing a territory spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 sq mi), Maldives is one of the world's most geographically dispersed countries. It is the smallest Asian country in both land area and in population. The archipelago is located atop the Chagos-Maldives-Laccadive Ridge, a vast submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean, which also forms a terrestrial ecoregion, together with the Chagos and the Lakshadweep. With an average ground-level elevation of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the planet's lowest country. It is also the country with the lowest natural highest point in the world, at 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in). The government has pledged to make Maldives a carbon-neutral country by 2019 amid concerns aboutrising sea-levels.

  A founding member of SAARC, the Maldives is also a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the OIC and the NAM.


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