Living standards, housing standards and health care have developed rapidly from a very low level in the past decade in a positive direction. Over a few years, life expectancy has risen sharply, but infant mortality is still high. Epidemics of cholera, typhoid and malaria are common. The reason for this is not least the lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitary conditions. In many islands, the lack of fuel causes drinking water not to boil. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of MDV and acronym for Maldives.
In 1994, a new hospital with 200 beds opened in Male, and outside the capital are four regional hospitals (with a total of 61 beds) and 21 smaller hospitals. A family planning center was opened in 1994. Check to see Maldives population.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
Island state (1190 islands of coral origin, grouped into 26 atolls, with 244,600 residents at the 1995 census, which became 271,000 in 1998, according to a UN estimate) of the Indian Ocean, 670 km south-west of Srī Laṅkā, with capital Male (63. 000 residents in 1995). The climate is monsoonal, with average temperatures of around 27° C and abundant rain. The archipelago is conditioned by a very high ecological vulnerability, especially with respect to the rise in ocean level resulting from the warming of the atmosphere. The population speaks the local language (dhivehi) and for the majority adheres to Sunni Islam, which is the official religion of the state.
The economy of the Maldives is based on primary activities and, above all, on tourism: agriculture (coconut palm) produces almost exclusively for the internal market, while tuna fishing, which occupies a large part of the local workforce and contributes to a prevalent measure of exports, it is being reorganized in a more modern form thanks to international aid. Since the late 1980s, tourism has become the most important economic sector (339,000 visitors in 1996) and is supported by good accommodation facilities and by a very careful legislation in preventing both the degradation of the natural environment and the marginal and deteriorating forms of this activity; tourists come mainly from Germany, Italy and Japan. Maldives does not have the typical characteristics of underdevelopment, although most of the essential artifacts and sources of energy must be imported and the trade balance is constantly in deficit, especially after the British closed their military base in 1975. In trade, the UK remains the largest buyer, while India is the largest supplier.
Male, capital of Maldives; 134,200 residents (2012). Male, located on the atoll of the same name, is the country’s only real city and seat for, among other things. government, administration, courts, the country’s only hospital, English-language schools and technical school. It is also the country’s commercial center and main port with exports of coconuts, fish and breadfruit as well as boat connections with India and Sri Lanka. Airfields are located on Hulule Island.