Country Listing

Maldives Table of Contents



Population: July 1994 estimate 252,077, with a growth rate of 3.6 percent. High birth rate of 44 per 1,000 in 1994.

Ethnic Groups: Homogeneous mixture of Sinhalese, Dravidian, Arab, Australasian, and African groups; also small group of Indian traders.

Languages: Maldivian Dhivehi is common language with loanwords from Arabic, Hindi, and Tamil.

Religion: Sunni Muslim apart from Shia Muslim Indian traders.

Education: Primary (classes one through five), secondary (classes six through ten), and higher secondary (classes eleven and twelve); noncompulsory. Most students attend private Quranic schools that charge fee in contrast to free government schools. No university but some vocational education. Overall literacy claimed as 98.2 percent in 1991.

Health: Waterborne and tropical diseases prevalent because of inadequate drinking water supply. In 1994 life expectancy at birth estimated at: overall 64.7 years, 66.1 for females, 63.2 years for males. In 1994 infant mortality 53.8 per 1,000 live births.

Data as of August 1994