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Maldives Geography Profile 2001

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Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India

Geographic coordinates

3 15 N, 73 00 E

Map references



total: 300 sq km

land: 300 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km


644 km

Maritime claims

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines

contiguous zone: 24 NM

exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

territorial sea: 12 NM


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


flat, with white sandy beaches

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m

Natural resources


Land use

arable land: 10%

permanent crops: 0%

permanent pastures: 3%

forests and woodland: 3%

other: 84% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land

NA sq km

Natural hazards

low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise

Environment - current issues

depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); archipelago of strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean

Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of May 15, 2007

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