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Country of Maldives Flag

Capital: Male

Population: 530,953

Brief History of Maldives:

The Maldives is a country in the Indian Ocean made up of 1,191 islands. The area was first settled by people from southern India. Other peoples arrived over time including the Muslims in the 12th century. Starting in 1153 the country was governed as a independent Islamic sultanate. It remained this way until 1887 when the land was colonized by the British.

In 1965 the Maldives was granted independence from Britain. Initially the country was ran as a sultanate, but in 1968 the sultanate was abolished and the country became a republic with the name Maldives.

Country of Maldives Map

The Geography of Maldives

Total Size: 300 square km

Size Comparison: about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC

Geographical Coordinates: 3 15 N, 73 00 E

World Region or Continent: Asia

General Terrain: flat, with white sandy beaches

Geographical Low Point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)

Major cities: MALE (capital) 120,000 (2009)

The People of Maldives

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials

Independence: 26 July 1965 (from UK)

National Holiday: Independence Day, 26 July (1965)

Nationality: Maldivian(s)

Religions: Sunni Muslim

National Symbol: crescent moon

National Anthem or Song: Gaumee Salaam (National Salute)

Economy of Maldives

Major Industries: fish processing, tourism, shipping, boat building, coconut processing, garments, woven mats, rope, handicrafts, coral and sand mining

Agricultural Products: coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes; fish

Natural Resources: fish

Major Exports: fish, clothing

Major Imports: petroleum products, ships, foodstuffs, textiles, clothing, intermediate and capital goods

Currency: rufiyaa (MVR)

National GDP: $2,800,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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