The Maldives is a chain of islands located southwest of the Indian peninsula, in the Indian Ocean. The archipelago is the world’s lowest-lying country, with even its highest natural point being one of the lowest in the world, at 5.1 meters. Its history includes colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British, from whom the people gained independence in 1965.

With over 1,000 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, the Maldives comprises coral reefs and sandbars, situated atop a submarine ridge 960 kilometers long that rises abruptly from the depths of the Indian Ocean and runs north to south, with a tropical monsoon climate. Although tourism arrived to the islands only in the 1970s, its arrival greatly transformed the national economy moving it rapidly from its historical dependence on the fishing industry. 

The largest ethnic group is the Dhivehin, who are native to the historic region of the Maldive Islands. They are an Indo-Aryan people, having traces of Middle Eastern, South Asian, Austronesian and African genes in the population.

Average Monthly Earnings

Employment-to-Population Ratio

Unemployment Rate

Employment by Sector

Agriculture 9.0%
Industry 18.4%
Services 70.4%

Employment Distribution by Education

Age 15+

Less than Basic 40.0%
Basic 23.8%
Intermediate 22.0%
Advanced 10.7%
Level Not Stated 3.5%

Age 15-24

Less than Basic 13.5%
Basic 42.2%
Intermediate 37.4%
Advanced 5.9%
Level Not Stated 0.9%

Age 15-64

Less than Basic 39.6%
Basic 24.7%
Intermediate 22.7%
Advanced 11.1%
Level Not Stated 1.9%

Age 25+

Less than Basic 46.0%
Basic 19.7%
Intermediate 18.5%
Advanced 11.8%
Level Not Stated 4.1%

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